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3rd Grade Math - Interpreting Multiplication & Division

Clip 7/9: Interpreting Lesson Part 2C


After her students work individually on various problems, Mia Buljan invites them to “find the other people who have your problem and see if they agree with you.” In their conversations, the students explain their thinking clearly to each other, striving to reach consensus.

Teacher Commentary

MIA BULJAN: The third thing I’m noticing on the footage is how much they [the students] struggled with picking the words that describe what they did. Almost a third of them chose to go with blank cards for the word form, and attempted to come up with an explanation on their own.

This is a formative assessment lesson, and I love that I knew, after doing this exercise with them, that they needed more work and experiences with the language of groupings, with the words that go with making and counting equal groups. Almost two-thirds of [the students in] this class were designated as English language learners, and I’m thinking a lot about how we use language to talk, but we also use it to think. In this case, I think their limited vocabulary in this area may also be limiting their thinking around equal groups.

Materials & Artifacts