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Our focus since the beginning of the school year has been on the development of number sense for whole and decimal numbers and applying this understanding to all math operations. Emphasis has been on strategies for working with large numbers; estimating products; strategies for computing addition and subtraction, and applying computational strategies to solving word problems. In addition, we have been working on alternative strategies for using mental math to compute answers. Increasingly, our focus is on encouraging “mental math” especially as it applies to checking for the “reasonableness” of an answer.

We have completed a unit on multiplication of whole numbers. Students reviewed several strategies for multiplying multi-digit numbers. Ultimately, they can choose the strategy that they are most comfortable with, but I encouraged them to use the traditional American algorithm since that is what is expected of them in middle school. We had a test on this unit on Wednesday, and now we start a new unit on multiplying decimals.

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