Unit Chats

Unit Chats are one of the great openers developed in the last few years. The emphasis is on different units within the image. Students can answer “how many” with respect to the different options of units presented by the picture, and also relate the units to each other to build the framework for a deeper understanding of multiplication, division, and …


Penny, Nickel, Dime

This version of Don’t Break the Bank is a hit with students, and also helps give a concrete meaning to place value by linking it to both money, addition, estimation, and multiplying by fives and tens. It takes very little time, so it can be used as a warmup, station activity, or in those five minutes before class ends. While …


Story Problem – The Monster

For this long-form story problem, read the story to your class first, then give them the questions to answer, and the story as a reference. Optional artistic tie-in: draw a picture of the monster. Optional challenge: write another question about the story.

The Calendar Problem

Topics: Multiplication, addition, Materials: Calendar, Hundreds chart, pencil and paper, calculator (optional) Common Core: 4.OA.1, 4.OA.3, 4.OA.5, 4.NBT.5, MP1, MP2, MP3, MP6, MP7, MP8 How can you add up these numbers so quickly? Why we love this lesson Simple to launch, instantly engaging and accessible, this puzzle is a beautiful demonstration of the usefulness of multiplication. Not only that, figuring …


The Power of 37

Topics: Multiplication, patterns, Materials: Pencil & paper Common Core: 4.NBT.1, 4.NBT.5, 5.OA.1, 5.OA.2, 5.NBT.5, MP1, MP2, MP3, MP6, MP7, MP8. How does multiplying by 37 have this strange effect? This problems in multiplication is designed to give students the practice they need once they understand the basic idea of multiplication, with a context to provide motivation and deeper understanding. The …


Multiplication Table Sums

Topics: Multiplication, summation, patterns and structure Materials: Multiplication table, pencil and paper Grade: 4, 5, 6 Common Core: 4.OA.1, 4.OA.3, 4.OA.5, 4.NBT.5, 5.OA.2, 5.OA.3, 6.RP.1, 6.EE.1,  MP1, MP2, MP3, MP6, MP7, MP8. This is a great puzzle for kids who have some comfort with multiplication but still need to deepen their understanding. It gets them looking at the multiplication table …

Square Building

Topics: Area, multiplication, number patterns
, geometry Grade: 3, 4, 5 Materials: Square tiles, graph paper Common Core: 3.MD.5, 3.MD.6, 3.MD.7, 4.OA.1, 4.NBT.5, 4.MD.3, 5.NBT.5, 
MP1, MP2, MP3, MP5, MP6, MP7, MP8 This lesson is truly foundational. It connects central ideas of arithmetic and geometry, and advances from concrete to pictorial to abstract. It will prove to be a simple analogy …