Category Archives: math

Multiplying and Dividing Math

Over the last little while in math we have been working on multiplication. We first worked on strategies for multiplying single digits by single digits (e.g. 7×9). Last week, we worked a lot on various strategies for multiplying a 2-digit number by a 1-digit number (e.g. 34 x 6).

Many students today have not mastered memorizing multiplication facts, so until they do, they need some strategies to help.

We learned about many strategies including, but not limited to:
Multiplying is really repeated addition (3×6 is 6+6+6)
Multiplying is skip counting (6, 12, 18)
Stacking (what most of our moms and dads do when multiplying)
Decomposing (34 can be 30 AND 4)
Friendly TENS numbers (take away the zero, add the zero when multiplying by numbers like 40)
NEAR friendly numbers (e.g. when multiplying 39 x 7, do 40 x 7, then subtract one group of 7)
Doubling (if multiplying by 4, you can multiply by 2 first, then double it)
Finger trick for multiplying by 9
Array model

Today we began talking about division. We looked at this picture first to help us understand WHAT division is and how it is connected to multiplication.

You can help your child at home by practicing their multiplication facts until they know them by heart.

Also, help them see that division is about equal groups. We have 20 pieces of potato for dinner. If we give each of our 4 family members an equal amount, how many pieces will each person get?


Great job Samah and many others on a perfect measurement exit card. These will be sent home next week.

Here we are measuring different body parts. Next week we will be graphing the data we collected. We’ll also practice converted some of our measurements from centimetres (cm) to millimeters (mm), decimetres (dm), and metres (m) which we’ve been practicing with our text book work for a little while now. We are finding it tricky when decimals come into play.

Math Test Questions

Here are some sample answers from our most recent math test. Hopefully this will help shed some light on the various strategies your child might be trying to use. Please sign and return the test if you haven’t already. I will send it home again promptly so you can use it to practice further if your wish. There will be more opportunities this term for the children to demonstrate their subtracting and problem solving skills. Your child can let me know on Monday if they feel they need to do a retest

Two Weeks In

We have had a great first two weeks! Everyone is settling in nicely. I am very much enjoying this new class and I think they are enjoying me.

We have busy with lots of work reviewing and doing some diagnostic work so I can see where everyone is at. Below is a snapshot. If a child’s face is covered it is because I do not yet have a media consent form. Please send this form in as soon as you can.

We have a new friend temporarily visiting our room. DWEEBLE, as our hermit crab is affectionately known as, is helping to get us excited about HABITATS in science inquiry.

In art we are leading to a bigger project. We have reviewed warm and cool colours, and had a lesson on lines.

In math, we have been reviewing our mental math strategies from grades two and three. Check out all of the different ways our classmates get to an answer in their head! We learned that making tens, looking for doubles, and using friendly numbers like 20 or 30 is efficient. We have also been working on place value, expanded form, standard form, and written form. Today we started rounding, but we slowed down because many students had trouble remembering how to round 2, 3, or 4 digits to the nearest ten. We will work on rounding some more next week. The goal is to round 2, 3, and 4 digit numbers to the nearest ten, hundred, and thousand.

In literacy/language we have been building our reading stamina. We have listened to a few read aloud stories and have written our first story. This writing piece is a diagnostic so that I can see where their skills are at and was completed with little upfront teaching. We will be doing more story writing in the next couple of weeks with more targeted lessons.

Here is a shared writing piece we did, modelled after one of the read aloud we heard.

Have a great weekend everyone. Remember to read at least 5 nights a week with an adult. 😃✌️

Picture Post

So when things get busy, I fall behind on my blog. Then I avoid it because we have done SO SO much in the classroom and I start to stress about how to share it all. Then I fall further and further behind. Also, reading posts without pictures is boring. Sometimes I’m so busy running around the room helping kids, I don’t get to take photos. Hopefully our remind messages and conversations with your child have filled the gap and given you some insight into all the great learning we have been doing. As always, please remember I have an open door policy. You can come in any day after school to look around or make an appointment otherwise.

In the meantime, I’m going to do a picture post to share some of our many photos over the last few months.

Jump Rope for Heart

Light Inquiry

Ted Harrison Art

Patterns with three changing attributes

example: the pattern changes by colour, size, and shape

Kindergarten Reading Buddies

Understanding Fractions

This week we began taking a deeper look into fractions. Right now we are starting with fractions of a whole (e.g. how many pieces of a whole pizza are you getting). When this understanding is more solid, we will work on fractions of a set (e.g. how many buttons out of a group of 12 are pink? – 3 of 12 would be equal to 1/4)

Concepts we’ve discussed:

  • A fraction is a portion of a WHOLE
  • A fraction is a number between 0 and 1
  • The bottom number is called the denominator
  • The top number is the numerator
  • The denominator tells us how many EQUAL parts the whole is divided into
  • The numerator tells us how many of those EQUAL portions we are looking at
  • When comparing fractions, we must compare using the same size whole

Today we worked as a class and then in small groups to order various fractions on a number line between 0 and 1. Fractions are a very tough concept for many grade fours. It is often challenging for them to understand that a larger denominator means a smaller portion of the whole (e.g. 1/10 is smaller than 1/2). You can help your child at home by cutting multiple pieces of paper into different fraction portions and comparing their sizes. Also, draw a number line and have your child place different fractions in the correct place on the line. Once they truly understand the meaning of what a fraction is, the math work will come easy.

Patterning in math

Our posts have been lacking…sorry.

We have been working on patterns. Over the course of many weeks, students have worked with number patterns. We have looked at growing and shrinking patterns, using addition, subtraction, multiplication and some division. We have also looked at input and output patterns in tables.

Recently, we have been working with geometric patterns. There are many hands on opportunities here.

Earlier in December and January we learned how to read and interpret pictographs, circle graphs (pie graphs), bar graphs, and double bar graphs.  We have learned to collect data and made our own graphs.  You can have your son or daughter log into the Hub. There you can connect to their email and should see results for our data management quiz.

Pajama Day Math

Today was Pajama Day and our class was full of school spirit.

I decided that Pajama day would be even more fun with some candy cane hot chocolate. Of course we all had to do a little math before we got to enjoy our hot chocolate. We combined our knowledge of rounding, estimating, multiplication, and volume to calculate what our class would need.

We noted that an actual 1cup was 250mL, but that the styrofoam cups we were holding would only hold 180mL. 

We ran out of time, so tomorrow we will finish our calculations for how much hot chocolate mix we needed. This will give us an opportunity to talk about how fractions are “part of a whole.” This is a concept most grade fours usually struggle with and something we will visit many times this year.

Using Patterns and Mental Math to Multiply

On Thursday and today we looked at the patterns we can use to help us multiply with numbers that end in zero. Today we talked more about WHY these “add zero” tricks work.



We did a “Number Talk” as well today. During our number talks we share different ways we get to answers using mental math (no calculators, no paper). Each number talk has a series of 3-5 questions that will help students link their thinking together as we work toward the questions with bigger numbers. ALL answer are accepted, as we learn from our mistakes. The goal of number talks is for students to learn other strategies of getting to an answer and to look for strategies that might be more efficient than one they used. Here is our train of thought and some of the strategies our students used…