The morning session for grades 4 and 5 math focused on Grade 4 Module 3: Multi-Digit Multiplication and Division, where students see multiplication and division in action. The standard algorithm is introduced in grade 4, but it is not a fluency for this grade level. Multiplication is a fluency in grade 5 and division is a fluency in grade 6, so the intent of the module is to allow for the deep conceptual understanding of the process through the use of modeling techniques.
Participants took a look at division through the use of number bonds, array/area models, and place value/number disk charts. This exercise provided a great visualization of the process. Language plays a key role, with the correct use of the terms, “whole,” “quotient,” and “remainder” (how many are left). Phrases like “distributing evenly” and “decomposing” are important in explaining the process.
Teachers need to pick fluency activities that tie into the lesson well. Participants looked at an example:
How many groups of ____ are in _____? Prove it by counting by ______.
The fluency activity will lead into the concept of “remainders,” an important link to the lesson. Teachers need to make sure there is a connection with the fluency to the lesson objective.