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  • Christina Michaels

    October 4, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    A big “Ah-ha!” moment I’ve had is this idea of additive vs. multiplicative thinking in my students. They come to me with very shaky multiplication facts, and where as the teacher, the multiplicative relationships jump out at me, I spend many hours lamenting, “If only they knew their multiplication facts, these relationships would jump out at them too!”

    What I’ve come to realize is not necessarily their multiplication facts (or lack thereof) holding them back, but rather they are thinking in absolute or additive terms. They are using the reasoning they know and are sure about, and trying to cram this new way of thinking into it– it doesn’t fit, they’re frustrated, I’m frustrated, it’s a hot mess.

    What I am really excited about is explicitly teaching the idea of additive vs. multiplicative thinking. Of using tasks like the “Which shape is more purple” to have these discussions with students so they become more aware of where their thinking is and more aware of shifting their thinking to the multiplicative.