But with our latest unit,

*Multiplication and Division*, we've hit a bit of a wall!

As Grade 3 is the first year these topics are introduced, we felt uneasy launching right into parallel tasks, since for most students, we first had to develop the concept of multiplication as a more efficient way to add.

So, we gave everyone the same question. (Basically, a 3 x 7 number sentence -- see screenshot above.)

Ahhh... now the difficulties with differentiation finally showed their true colours!!!

The students who were new to multiplication muddled through, using some ideas introduced during our warm-up (arrays and making groups) to attack the problem and show/communicate their work. But for the students who had already memorised their times tables up to 12 at home, or at Kumon, or in the country from which they emmigrated, this simple question was painfully babyish! Even changing the numbers (say from 3 x 7 to 6 x 7) does not provide enough challenge, as, once you know it, you know it, this multiplication business!

The Ontario curriculum for Grade 3 only goes up to 7x7, so 2-digit numbers are extraneous. So, my poor friends who already have multiplication down are bored to tears, and causing all manner of, er, "interesting" behaviour problems while I attempt to guide the newbies to an understanding of this new concept.

Argh!

Can't wait to move on to something more open-ended again soon... next week, next week!