Guided Lessons

# Multiplication R.A.C.E.

Teach your students how to use a variety of representations when creating and solving word problems. Simple acronyms and visual aides help make learning multiplication a breeze.

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• Students should be able to provide multiple representations for multiplication and division.
(5 minutes)
• Draw or display four different visual representations on the board, such as an Internet symbol, a no-smoking sign, or restroom signs. Choose images your students will recognise.
• Ask your students to discuss the meaning behind each visual representation with a partner through think-pair-share.
• Afterward, ask for class input in revealing the meaning behind each symbol, and encourage them to participate in the discussion.
• Explain to them that a visual representation is a demonstration of an idea or image that is presented to provide meaning.
(10 minutes)
• Write the following multiplication problem on the board: 2 x 4 = 8
• Ask the students what visual representation could be drawn to demonstrate the meaning behind the multiplication problem.
• After students finish making their suggestions, draw a line going up and down and a line going across it on the board and write the acronym R.A.C.E. inside each of the four parts. See the Visual Representations attachment, figure 1, for an example.
• Tell students that in today’s lesson, they will be “racing” for an answer to multiplication problems.
• Write the complete word for each of the first letters, and then provide a visual representation for the sample multiplication problem. See the Visual Representations attachment, figure 2, for an example.
(20 minutes)
• Grab a sheet of chart paper and fold it into fours. Write the letters R.A.C.E inside the squares (one per square) and then write the following question on the board: Max the monkey loves bananas. Molly, his trainer, gives him 3 bananas every day. How many bananas does Max get per week?
• Have students turn to their partners and suggest an answer.
• When finished, ask students to share their answers with the class. Accept all correct answers, and model solving two of the four visual representations on the R.A.C.E chart.
• Ask for a volunteer to help you solve for the remaining two portions of the map.
• When completed, the R.A.C.E chart should look like figure 3 on the Visual Representations attachment.
• Repeat this exercise with a different word problem if time permits.
(30 minutes)
• Provide each student with a copy of the Multiply It! worksheet and two additional sheets of white paper.
• Ask students to work individually to solve the five word problems by folding the sheets of paper into fours, and providing visual representation for each letter within the acronym.
• Enrichment:Have students who need more of a challenge locate visual representations of multiplication and division in the classroom. Desks and students, the number of legs on a table, and the total number of tables in the classroom can all be examples of visual representations.
• Support:Encourage students who need more help to practise their visual representations by providing them with manipulatives and five multiplication problems, instead of the Multiply It! worksheet.
(20 minutes)
• Ask students to exchange papers with a partner.
• Provide answers to the word problems as well as the visual representations of what their R.A.C.E. charts should look like, and have your students grade each other’s answers.
• Collect their work when finished.
(5 minutes)
• Have students practise finding visual representations of multiplication in the classroom.