How to Make Your Class Multiplication Masters
Multiplication is a HUGE building block during math in school, especially as students get older. Did you know that children will be more successful in math in the older grades when they can quickly multiply basic facts? Yes it’s true and I have proof! I used to tutor students anywhere from 2nd-12th grade in math. Students who KNEW their multiplication facts were definitely able to grasp other math skills faster. In fact, when I gave them a COMPLEX math problem, they were able to solve it pretty quickly because they only had to focus on the difficult steps of the problem, not the basic math facts problems that they should ALREADY know. I have always remembered this and I have worked really hard with my class every year to get them to NAIL DOWN their multiplication facts! Not to mention that knowing the tables well facilitates the learning of basic division facts, multi-digit multiplication, long division, most fraction math, and factoring. Even in algebra you will still need to be able to simplify rational expressions and factor polynomials, perhaps even multiply matrices. Let’s talk about some things that you can do to help make them MULTIPLICATION MASTERS!
#1 Review, Review, Review!
In my 6th grade class, it’s all about review, review, review! You absolutely want to practice each fact until it is MASTERED! If Susie is struggling with her 3’s facts today-she probably isn’t going to suddenly ace the test over her 3’s facts tomorrow. Have her practice them until she knows them by heart. If you practice with a fun activity though, your students won’t even realize that they are reviewing their multiplication facts! Try these Code Breakers for the Holidays activities with them! Students solve the single digit multiplication problems to figure out the answer to the joke at the bottom of the page! There are a few FREE ones to try as well! #HelloFun
#2 Make Multiplication Fun
I already stated it above but it needs to be said again- MAKE MULTIPLICATION FUN! I mean...this definitely goes for ALL areas of learning but you get the point! Whether you are in-person or virtual right now, you can easily make multiplication fun!
Here are some fun ideas to try:
Have students work in teams to solve their problems correctly (not the fastest) for a prize.
Code Breakers for the Holidays activities (Some are FREEBIES!)
Play multiplication war with a deck of cards
Have students play “Roshambo” but instead of rock, paper, scissors, students hold out fingers. The first partner to call out the product gets a point!
Roll 2 dice and multiply them together
Make multiplication arrays out of play-doh (This is great for your tactile and visual learners!)
Multiplication Bingo will always be an oldie but a goodie!
Multiplication Math Facts songs-there are so many on Youtube that you can play during transition time for just a couple minutes
Give your students a nametag with a multiplication problem for the day. For the remainder of the day, students will refer to each other as the product of their tag. For example, if yours says 5x6, then you would be called “30” all day!
#3 Get Techy with it
Whether you are teaching in-person or virtually, students really do love to be on devices and there is something about a learning website or online game that is just so much better than a worksheet! Most classrooms have at least a couple of computers or ipads if you are doing in-person learning. I like to make these games a math center rotation on the days that we do centers.
Here are some of the best websites to try with your students to help make them multiplication masters:
If you are able to help your students succeed at becoming multiplication masters with their basic facts, you will see how much it can pay off as the math curriculum gets more complicated throughout the year!