Third Grade Mathematics

Unit 2: Developing Multiplication & Division Operation Sense

What will your child learn in Unit 2?

In Unit 2, third graders will understand the meanings of multiplication and division through a variety of story problems. They will use concrete models, arrays, and pictures to represent the story problems. Students will use counting strategies to solve the multiplication and division problems. Children go through phases to quickly and accurately recall basic math facts. See chart below. Unit 2 will primarily focus on counting strategies.

They will experience different multiplication and division story types to understand the meanings of multiplication and division. They will approach the problem their own way and will explain their thinking. Students will be expected to explain their thinking using pictures, numbers, and words. The chart below displays the different types of story problems they will solve in Unit 2.

Furthermore, they will understand the Commutative Property of Multiplication. The property states that you can multiply numbers in one order and then change the order and you will get the same product. For example, if 3 x 4 = 12, then 4 x 3 = 12.

In addition, students will practice finding the missing number in a multiplication or division equation. For example, they will solve 8 x __ = 24 using math tools, pictures, or counting. They will understand the relationship between multiplication and division. Students will be introduced to variables. They will understand a variable is a place-holder for one or more numbers.

What math strategies will your child use in Unit 2?

There are a variety of strategies to help solve multiplication and division problems. The handout below gives an explanation of the different types of strategies and models students will use in Unit 2.

Check out the videos below to see some of the math strategies in action.

Multiplication Strategies:

How can you support your child at home to reinforce the concepts taught in Unit 2?

There are several ways to have your child practice the math concepts at home. Try the following activities:

  • Have your child create a story problem that involves multiplication or division to solve the problem. Challenge him or her to create different types of story problems.
  • Give your child a flashcard that contains a multiplication problem. Have your child find a multiplication flashcard that has factors in a different order. For example, for 4 x 3, your child will find 3 x 4
  • Visit Number Frames to have your child practice creating arrays using counters and grids. Click the “i” on the bottom of the website for instructions on how to use it.
  • Have your child practice the number line strategy for multiplication and division using an interactive open number line. Click the “i” on the bottom of the website for instructions on how to use it.
  • Visit Thinking Blocks to have your child build models and solve multiplication and division word problems. Pick factors in the range of 1-10.
  • Math Games for Home: Print the handouts to practice concepts through games.