by Esa Helttula
Todays lunch was with a team of fourth grade teachers asking them to check out two math apps and Grid Multiplication was one of them. I rallied my team of teachers together with the idea that we could use Grid Multiplication as one of the many applications that Esa Helttula has designed. As a school, we will be working on writing a grant to implement iPads in the classroom. If you haven’t written a grant before, you really need to find something that is going to make your grant stand out from all the rest. My hope is that many of Esa Helttula’s apps will be incorporated.
Are you a parent who struggles with math homework in the evening? Are you finding that the math instruction is completely different from when we were taught as kids? Our students are now learning how to multiply two to three digits by one to two digits in ways that most parents aren’t familiar with, a grid! Imagine your child comes home with the problem 86 X 74. The only problem, your child has to fill in a 2 by 2 square. You might be thinking, what??? Don’t panic, Grid Multiplication will clear it all up for you and your struggling learner. With a press of a “break up” button, 84 moves to the correct place on the grid. The just press that “break up” button one more time and 74 is now on the grid. The numeric sentence is then broken down even further by color coding each step of the problem. If a student does not answer a step correctly, that number will not move into the grid. Once the grid has been filled students are then expected to use their adding skills to find the solution to the multiplication problem.
Using the grid method appears more work but in reality it’s not. This method helps to avoid errors of lining up numbers, it’s reinforcing the basic number facts from 0-12, applying simple addition and avoids frustration of the unknown if just given 86 X 74. Grid Multiplication helps those visual learners and also parents who want to help their child succeed!! As a teacher, if you have an iPad be sure to purchase the adapter that hooks up to a projector so you instruct as whole group. Your room will be so bright as the light bulbs shine over head of each one your students.