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Third Graders Deepen Understanding of Multiplication Through Engaging Activities

Why use rote memorization when you can enhance understanding of math concepts through fun, engaging activities?
In our Third Grade, teachers agree that the best way to learn is through interactive activities that incorporate friendly competition, creativity, and hands-on components to grab boys’ attention and make learning fun.
 
To kick off their unit on multiplication, boys take part in a fun karate belt competition! Boys hammer home basic multiplication facts, taking tests to pass up to the next level. There are twelve levels through which boys can advance, earning karate tags as they progress. When they have worked their way through all the levels, they receive a special final prize.
 
Next, teachers take these basic skills and expand upon them to more advanced concepts like multiple digit multiplication using the area and box methods. The boys engage in conversations about calculating the area and perimeter of different shapes using multiplication skills, setting them up for their final “Dream House” project!
 
As the culmination of this multiplication unit, boys put on their engineering hats and design a blueprint of their dream home. They let their creativity run wild, envisioning the spaces as they want, from a zoo room complete with animals or a ketchup room with French fries galore to a rock-climbing room.
 
Each room must be constructed in the shape of a square or rectangle, creating a visual representation of the math concepts at play. After drafting and coloring in blueprints, boys calculate each room’s perimeter and area to showcase their understanding of multiplication.
 
This multi-layered project concludes with a presentation to teachers and classmates where boys hone public speaking skills while showcasing their creative designs and mathematical prowess.
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Allen-Stevenson’s distinctive “enlightened traditional” approach educates boys to become scholars and gentlemen.