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  • Writer's pictureKristy Johnson

Multiplication Code Breakers

Updated: May 1, 2021

Start each holiday off with the perfect review of multiplication - with code breakers!!!! Students typically love a challenge and that’s exactly what code breakers give them! Here’s a list below of multiplication code breakers for every holiday!

What exactly are code breakers, you may be asking? Code breakers are math problems that work on a specific skill (in this case, multiplication) and give students a chance to perfect their basic math fact skills. It is extremely important for students to know their math facts off the top of their heads. This will help them be successful in elementary school, but also in middle, high school, and even college. Code breakers help set students up from the start to be successful and save time in the process. As the problems get more difficult and other variables are introduced, students that know their basic facts will be able to focus on the more difficult steps, rather than spend time trying to multiply the "easy" numbers. Check out this blog post all about How to Make Your Class Multiplication Masters for more tips on reviewing basic math facts!

Each code breaker set has a different theme and usually revolves around a holiday, to make it even more engaging for students. Each worksheet inside of the set has a joke question and students use a key to figure out what each picture represents and then set up their multiplication equation to solve. I challenge my students to figure out the answer to the jokes using their problem solving and multiplication skills. Most of the code breaker problems are single digit by single digit problems (hence-working on their recall skills for basic facts!)

Code breakers are perfect for:

  • Morning work

  • Homework

  • Math Centers

  • Individual Work

  • Partner Work

  • Group Work

  • Sub Plans

  • Early Finishers

The full version of each code breaker set includes a printable version and a digital version for Google Slides. In addition, each code breaker set includes teacher instructions and an answer key! You can assign the code breaker to students on Google Classroom (Learn how to use Google Classroom like a Pro!) or share it with them on Google Drive to solve. It could also be converted into a PowerPoint and then sent to students in Microsoft. With my students, I always introduce them to the code breakers using the paper print outs for the first one. Once they have practice with that, then we work on the digital ones. The part about the code breakers that students seem to love is that many have social media inspired challenges-which makes these perfect for upper elementary and middle school students! Code Breakers typically work best with 2nd-6th graders!

If you have not yet tried one of the Code Breaker activities and would like to do so, here is a freebie version of the Summer Code Breaker! This is a printable version and is only one sheet. You can view the Full Summer Code Breaker set here.

What themed Code Breaker set would you like to see next? What other skills would you like to see in a Code Breaker activity? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

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