Module 2, Topic A begins a sequential study of multiplication that culminates in Topic D. In order to link prior learning from Grade 4 Module 1 and Grade 5 Module 1 and to set the stage for solidifying the standard multiplication algorithm, students begin at the concrete–pictorial level. They use place value disks to model multi-digit multiplication of place value units, for example, 42 × 10, 42 × 100, 42 × 1,000, leading quickly to problems such as 42 × 30, 42 × 300, and 42 × 3,000 (5.NBT.1, 5.NBT.2). Students then round factors in Lesson 2 and discuss the reasonableness of their products. Throughout Topic A, students evaluate and write simple expressions to record their calculations using the associative property and parentheses to record the relevant order of calculations (5.OA.1).
In Module 2, Topic B, place value understanding moves toward understanding the distributive property by using area models to generate and record partial products (5.OA.1, 5.OA.2), which are combined within the standard algorithm (5.NBT.5). Writing and interpreting numerical expressions in Lessons 1 and 2 and comparing those expressions using visual models, lay the necessary foundation for students to make connections between the distributive property, as depicted in area models, and the partial products within the standard multiplication algorithm. The algorithm is built over a period of days, increasing in complexity as the number of digits in both factors increases. Reasoning about zeros in the multiplier, along with considerations about the reasonableness of products, also provides opportunities to deepen understanding of the standard algorithm. Although word problems provide context throughout Topic B, the final lesson offers a concentration of multi-step problems that allows students to apply this new knowledge.