The first unit is all about Multiplication. Math is a foreign language and has its own terminology! On day 1, children learnt (or re-learnt as the case may be) the following vocabulary:

1. Factors

2. Product

3. Multiples

4. Prime and Composite Numbers

They learnt how to make **factor rainbows** to list all factors of a given number. Then using factor rainbows they learnt how some numbers can only have “1 and itself” as factors and those are “**Prime numbers**“. All other numbers are called “**Composite Numbers**“.

We then learnt how EVERY COMPOSITE NUMBER can be broken down to its PRIME FACTORS using **Factor Trees**!

Finally, I also introduced basic **algebraic multiplication**, so children know how a missing factor could be replaced with a letter (variable, really) and they could solve it easily!

Any new concept I teach will be revisited over and over again throughout the year, so do not expect children to master it in one or two lessons! We will be working with manipulatives, do group work, play games (e.g. card games, jeopardy rounds using buzzers etc.,) and also use computer programs and/or build computer games to reinforce these concepts.

The benefit of going beyond school curriculum, is that it makes school work feel like a breeze! Also, understanding prime/composite numbers and factorization will really help in the fractions unit when children have to learn about simplifying fractions and finding LCM and GCF!

Lastly, I expect that fourth grade children know their multiplication facts. If your kids are rusty and need some help memorizing these facts, you can use : https://www.multiplicationlearning.com/. Beyond the basic ways to memorize these facts, this site also has games kids can play!

Once they know the facts, you could let them play these games to improve speed and fact fluency:

http://www.abcya.com/multiplication_grand_prix.htm

http://www.multiplication.com/games/play/road-rally-multi-player-multiplication

http://www.multiplication.com/games/play/diaper-derby-multi-player-multiplication

http://www.abcya.com/multiplication_mine.htm

http://www.abcya.com/clear_it_multiplication.htm