Activity

Multiplication with Finch

Use Finch to model multiplication problems as jumps on the number line.

BEGINNER: Outputs Only

Required lessons: Moving & Turning

Students will explore how multiplication is a repeated addition problem by programming the Finch to repeatedly jump forward a set number of centimeters.

Steps:

1. Using a centimeter number line, place Finch’s beak at 0.
2. Code Finch to repeat (using one factor) a move forward block (using the other factor). This will make Finch “jump” along the number line to model the multiplication as a repeated addition problem.
3. Where Finch’s beak stops is the answer to the multiplication sentence.

Tip: Reduce Finch’s speed to 20% or less to increase accuracy.

Required lessons: Variables and LED screen

The same lesson above can be completed using variables and the micro:bit display! Create variables for each factor to use in the loop and move forward blocks. Then, use these same variables to display the answer on the micro:bit display.

INTEGRATION

Introduce Division

If you have an extra 15-30 minutes to add to the lesson, challenge students to find the missing factor in a multiplication problem by jumping backward. For example, in the problem 5 x ___ = 20, students would place Finch’s beak at 20 and move backward 5 cm. How many jumps would Finch need to return to 0? Allow students time to explore by trial and error and draw their own conclusions as they work.

STANDARDS ALIGNMENT

Represent and solve problems involving multiplication and division.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.A.1
Interpret products of whole numbers, e.g., interpret 5 × 7 as the total number of objects in 5 groups of 7 objects each. For example, describe a context in which a total number of objects can be expressed as 5 × 7.

Multiply and divide within 100.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.C.7
Fluently multiply and divide within 100, using strategies such as the relationship between multiplication and division (e.g., knowing that 8 × 5 = 40, one knows 40 ÷ 5 = 8) or properties of operations. By the end of Grade 3, know from memory all products of two one-digit numbers.