Developing multiplicative thinking

Simple ideas for assessing and develop multiplicative thinking

It can be tricky to work out what our students really understand, and what they struggle with.  Here are a few short videos that explain multiplicative thinking, as well as links to a diagnostic test for uncovering misconceptions.  Once you have watched them, remember to follow the link to order “Fixing Misconceptions in Multiplication and Division“.

What is the difference between additive thinking and multiplicative thinking?  In this short video, Tierney Kennedy shows the difference between additive and multiplicative thinking models.


What misconceptions should we look out for?  The video below shows what students thought it looked like to multiply 23 by 35…


How do we develop a multiplicative model for large numbers?  The video below shows Tierney Kennedy leading students to develop their array of 23×35 into a more formal model.


What can we do to extend student thinking?  And finally, this video shows three simple keys for extending student thinking.


Now that you understand a little more about multiplicative thinking, please download this diagnostic test, then order “Fixing Misconceptions in Multiplication and Division” to get started.  Have fun finding out what your kids understand!

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