We learned that you can use the area model, partial products, and the standard algorithm to solve multi-digit multiplication problems. So today we played Factor Tic-Tac-Toe to practice using those strategies. Each group of partners had a tic-tac-toe game board, 2 or 3 dice, a white board, and a calculator. The first partner placed a counter on one of the 2 digit numbers on the board. Then they rolled 2 dice to determine what their other factor would be. If they rolled a 6 and a 3, their number could be 63 or 36. Next, they chose one of the strategies to solve their problem on the white board while the other partner used the calculator to check their work.
While watching the students playing the game, I realized some students weren't too comfortable with the standard algorithm and preferred to use the area model or partial products. That really surprised me. . .I thought that would be the strategy most of them would choose. This evening I made a video reviewing each strategy. Now if I could just get that thing loaded to Edmodo correctly my life would be a piece of cake.
This game can easily be differentiated by rolling 1, 2, or even 3 dice to get the second factor. Of course, the object is to get 3 in a row!
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