So Friday, I approached multiplication of multiple digit numbers with my 5th graders. We had tears, we had fits, we had issues (I have a VERY emotional class). I can work through this. What I am really struggling with is the "Why's." I LOVE this class because they are so knowledge thirsty but they want to know why we multiply the way we do. They want to know why, if you take 234 x 56, you can't take the 4 x 6, the 5 x 3, and then drop down the 2. I tell them because that's not the answer! Because if you take 234 x 56 you don't get 374, it doesn't make any sense! But they get stuck there. They can't get past it. Last year's teacher said that she cried over this classes Math skills. They just plain out don't get it. She said they would pull out the manipulatives and they would get it while they were doing that, and then they would go to the paper, and they couldn't do it anymore. And now they are into multiple digit multiplication when I can't really pull out the blocks and show them an array of 234 x 56. Does anyone have any tips for me? OR feel my pain?