Fourth graders were quite successful with factors and number theory, which I’m sure will impact their work with multi-digit multiplication and division. I have already seen that students have a variety of strategies for multiplying, including using the distributive property, ratio tables, and the standard algorithm. We will be looking further at and refining our understandings of the distributive and associative property over the next couple of weeks.
Fourth graders have been given a taste of Olympiad. Periodically, we work on a few problems in partnerships or independently and then share strategies. While they are not participating in contests, the exposure is still beneficial.
What I really like about Olympiad is that the problems address a variety of content areas, not just those pertaining to the grade level. Additionally, they are usually problems that require some kind of reasoning beyond just computation. This helps the students become more flexible problem solvers. The questions are also challenging to make sense of. Students often need to read them a number of times and decompose the information to analyze what’s being asked.
I look forward to continuing this work and watching them grow as problem solvers.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.