Today, we learned that we already knew how to multiply fractions by whole numbers! It's amazing what we've been doing without even knowing it all this time. Each time we had figured out a fraction of a whole number (for example, 3/4 of 12), we were actually multiplying (3/4 x 12/1).
After looking at the mental strategies we already use, we examined the U.S. algorithm to see how it fit with what we understood about fractions. Before we knew it, we were selecting the process that worked best for each problem and flying through equations and word problems.
Tying new learning in math to what we already know makes for exciting work and a constant desire to know what comes next.