This month, for Thursday Tool School, I am featuring tools to help students develop an understanding of fraction operations. Last week, I shared an idea for helping students understand how to subtract fractions with regrouping. Today, I want to focus on multiplying with fractions. Multiplying fractions, specifically a fraction by a fraction, can be one of the harder to understand fraction operation skills and is a challenge to conceptualize for students.

With that said, this week, I have an extra special treat, instead of just one video, I have two Teaching Channel videos that I’d like to share. Click the video links below to watch multiplying fractions using a conceptual approach in action.

**Video #1: Multiplying Whole Numbers & Fractions**

Can’t see the video? Click here.

After watching the video, consider the following:

- How did the teacher utilize the components of effective math talk for the students to communicate with each other?
- What did the students learn from critiquing the sample “teachers'” solutions?
- How did the teacher, and the students, connect multiplication of a whole number and a fraction to repeated addition?

Can I just say, what about that array model? I’ve never considered using that model for fractions, but it is a great visual. It’s definitely one to add to the strategy toolbox.

**Video #2: A Passion for Fractions**

Can’t see the video? Click here.

After watching the video, consider the following:

- Why did the teacher present the students with a variety of solutions to analyze? How does this instructional strategy add to the effectiveness of the lesson?
- How does critiquing the solutions help students develop an understanding of multiplying fractions?
- What can you learn from this video about engaging students in math talk?

Did you notice all of the math talk here? Wow! These two videos represent incredible models that demonstrate the power of having students communicate about their thinking. Want to know more about math talk? Check out my Getting Started with Effective Math Talk in the Classroom article on Rachel Lynette’s Minds in Bloom.

**Sound Off!** How do you use models and manipulatives to teach fraction skills?

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