Students were given unifix cubes to show how they could be counted quickly.

Part 2

The first
lesson I tried using the You, You all, We approach involved teaching the
concept of equal groups for multiplication. 
I presented this problem to the students:

What is the
best or fastest way to count 12 cubes?

I gave each
student 12 unifix cubes and a blank sheet of paper of which they folded into
fourths.  We read the question
together.  I made sure everyone
understood what was being asked and what the cubes and the paper were for.  With the unifix cubes they had to use to
figure out a way to count the cubes quickly. 
The paper was to record either by drawing or writing what they did with
the cubes.  They had to figure out as
many ways as possible.  I also told them
they were on a deserted island and so they could not talk to anyone, including
me.  They just had to get to work and
figure it out.  

I then started to walk
around as they were trying to figure it out. 
Immediately I saw some children putting the cubes into groups to count
by 2s or 3s or 4s, etc.  Once I saw that
a child had recorded what they had done, I quietly asked the child to go up to
the white board with the paper and copy what they had done.  I kept walking and selected another child. I
did this 4 times.  Once the 4 students
had copied their work onto the white board, I asked each one to come up and
explain what he or she had done.  I
purposely chose students who had counted by different numbers.  It was exciting to see the students explain
what they had done!  I feel this part of
the lesson was so important because in many instances in the Go Math book,
students MUST explain how they got the answer….and the replies I have been
getting have been hilarious:

“I
read the question and just did it.”


“I
sat for awhile and figured it out.”


“I
guessed.”

However, when
these students came up, they confidently explained how they grouped the
cubes by 3s (or 2s or 4s, etc.) and then skip counted by that
number to 12.  The underlined words offer
insight into the student’s thinking:  I need to make equal groups of the same number
so I can count by that number to quickly get to 12!
 
The lesson did not end here.  The next step (You All) was to have the students work
with their table partner and combine their cubes to make 24 total.  They worked together to find ways
to quickly count the 24 cubes.  This time
they were even more confident and quickly figured out how to count them by 2s,
3s, 4s, 6s, 8s, even 12s!  Again, I strategically
chose students to come up record their work on the board and then explain to
the class.   Their explanations again
were spot on with the use of groups, skip counting and that the groups had to
be equal.  

Then it was my turn (the We
part) in which I help them label their paper (which were now called notes) with
terms such as:  4 groups of 3 equals 12
or 3 equal groups of 4 equals 12
.
  We did
that for all the ones that were recorded by the students on the board.  Then I excitedly announced to the
students:  You just discovered
MULTIPLICATION!  You should have seen the
looks on their faces.  Yes, I said:  multiplication is the quick counting or
adding of equal groups.  From there, I
then assigned the workbook pages from the Go Math book.  They worked for about 15-20 minutes and I
only had about 2-3 students ask for help. 
They completely understood the concept of counting equal groups and were
able to apply it to the word problems and problem solving workbook
problems.  Thank goodness for unifix
cubes!

Part 3
coming soon:  repeated addition with the
You, You All, We approach.

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As always, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions!