I am a math person, I was always great in math while I was in school. Maybe that is why I have always struggled a little more when teaching math. Since it comes so easily to me, it should be that easy for everyone, right?
Since our county adopted our new Math Textbooks, I have pretty much only used the Envision series. I have found that it moves really quickly and does not allow for much problem solving. So, I am not the hugest fan, especially the chapters teaching multiplication. It does not teach the concept very well, but focuses on pure memorization. With the Common Core Curriculum we will be implementing next year, 3-5 will be primarily focusing on fractions, multiplication and division. So I want to prepare my third graders for next year, with a solid base of multiplication and division.
After going to the first few Common Core sessions, I decided to use the Investigations Equal Groups Unit to teach Multiplication and Division. I am about half way through the unit, but I am already sold! I love Investigations! It is definitely more difficult to prepare than the Envision lessons, but I can already see a huge difference in the student's understanding of multiplication than in past years. My students are becoming great "Math talkers" and that makes me smile! Here are some pictures of my little ones working in pairs discussing multiples and solving multiplication problems!
So if you are an elementary school teacher and you haven't tried Investigations, you should!!