Planning GuideGrade 4
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Multiplication and Division Part B

Strand: Number
Outcomes: 6, 7

Step 3: Plan for Instruction

Guiding Questions

  • What learning opportunities and experiences should I provide to promote learning of the outcomes and permit students to demonstrate their learning?
  • What teaching strategies and resources should I use?
  • How will I meet the diverse learning needs of my students?

A. Assessing Prior Knowledge and Skills

Before introducing new material, consider ways to assess and build on the students' knowledge and skills related to counting.

Ways to Assess and Build on Prior Knowledge  Word

B. Choosing Instructional Strategies

Consider the following guidelines for teaching multiplication and division:

  • Teach in a problem-solving context. Research shows that by solving problems using multiplication and division, the students create personal strategies for computing and develop understanding about the relationship between the operations and their properties (NCTM 2000).
  • Choose problems that relate to the children's own lives (Van de Walle 2001).
  • Provide a variety of problems representing the different multiplication and division situations with varying degrees of difficulty to differentiate instruction.
  • Work with the whole group initially and have the students paraphrase the problem to enhance understanding (Willis et al. 2006) and to recognize whether the numbers in the problem refer to the whole, the number of groups or the quantity in each group. Discuss whether the unknown refers to the whole, the number of groups or the quantity in each group, thereby facilitating thinking about which operation to use in solving the problem.
  • Have the students estimate the answer to the problem before calculating so that they are better able to determine the reasonableness of their answers.  
  • Have base ten materials available for the students to use as needed.
  • Provide time for the students to create their personal strategies to solve the problem and share these strategies with members of their group or with the entire class.
  • Guide the discussion by asking questions to encourage thinking about number relationships, the connection among the operations, and their personal strategies.
  • Have the students compare their answers to the estimates that they made before solving the problems.
  • Challenge the students to solve the problem another way, do a similar problem without models or clarify the explanation of their personal strategies.
  • Have the students critique their personal strategies as well as those of their classmates to decide which strategy works best for them and why.
  • Have the students create problems for a variety of number sentences illustrating multiplication and division, including examples of equal sharing, equal grouping, comparison problems and combination problems.

C. Choosing Learning Activities

Learning Activities are examples of activities that could be used to develop student understanding of the concepts identified in Step 1.

Sample Learning Activities
Teaching Personal Strategies for Multiplying and Dividing Download Activities  Word
Teaching Estimating Products and Quotients Download Activities  Word
Teaching Solving Problems Involving Multiplication and Division Download Activities  Word