## Thursday, June 18, 2015

### Second Day of Math - Grade 4

On Day #1, I assessed my students' skills with multi-digit whole numbers with some fun task cards. Now it's time to measure their fluency with multiplication facts and start instruction.

Thank goodness for educational apps! Fact Navigator from Multiplication.com makes timed tests easy. Simply click on Pre-Test Multiplication and up pops a 36-problem online test. When finished, the student hits FINISHED, and the test is automatically scored with the time displayed at the top. You can have kids print their tests, or, like I do, record their scores using a clipboard.

With Fact Navigator, assessing students' multiplication facts takes only a few minutes. Now it's time to move on to a little instruction . . . built into a beginning-of-year ice breaker.

What's more special to a kid than his birthday? First, I tell the class that we're going to make a human graph. We'll line up along a wall outside the building (so that a passing airplane could see our graph). The only rule is NO TALKING. What? No talking? How will we get this done? After a few minutes of confusion, someone figures out that they can hold up fingers to express the month of their birth. They move around, and pretty soon, a human graph emerges.

We move quickly back into the classroom, and each student places a cupcake on a class pictograph, like this: