Are your students reluctant to learn multiplication? Do you find that your students are struggling to understand the basics? I’ve watched far too many kids walk through the door of my classroom saying “I hate math” or “math is my least favorite subject”, which just broke my heart. Math is near and dear to my heart and something that I find…dare I say, FUN? Math is all around us, and multiplication is an essential skill that all kids should know. Without multiplication, how are you going to tell how much you save from that spectacular sale at your favorite store? Or how much you’re going to tip the waiter at dinner? Or how much sales tax you’re paying?
Without the basic and fundamental skills to master multiplication, students get frustrated, defeated, shut down, and in turn dislike learning and school. NOT in this teacher’s classroom!! When students understand how to use their skills, they begin to feel confident, excited, and motived to continue learning. And they too start to think math is FUN!!
So…I’m sure you’re asking HOW do I make math fun?! HOW do I get students to understand multiplication?
- Teach the basics. Yes, students do need to learn their times tables!
- Connect math to real life!! Help students make sense of WHY they are learning multiplication. Motivation increases 2 fold when students understand the real life connection.
Examples: Calculating how much an item is on sale, how much sales tax you are paying, how much to tip your waitresses
- Don’t teach tricks to get an easy answer. Teach the math! Tricks will be forgotten. Logic will remain so students can reason out the task at hand.
- Put easily accessible references at their fingertips so they can be independent with their learning and take ownership rather than constantly asking for help.
- Provide students with ample opportunities to practice their skills in a non-graded way. This helps provide students with the ability to practice without the associated pressure. Math centers are a great way to do this. Students receive a task card at the center, solve, and self check using the answer key.
- Teach multiplication with body movements, visuals, stories, and manipulatives. Teach area when you teach the times tables. You can relate words like 7 “by” 8 as 7 x 8. For great visuals and stories, I love using Times Tables the Fun Way! It’s a visual program with stories that students can relate to and remember the math facts.
- Teach different methods and allow students to choose the one they prefer. Lattice multiplication. Area method. Arrays. Partial Products. Grid method. Traditional method.
And remember….Make math fun and relevant!
Below are so hand picked multiplication materials that are tried and true that combine the most effective methods for teaching multiplication!
- Lattice multiplication task cards 2×1, powerpoint lesson, combined with math centers OR try 2×2 lattice multiplication task cards
- Multiplication Task Cards, with increasing difficulty of problems (winter theme)
- Coloring combined with multiplication skill practice, (Easter themed). FREE
- Coloring combined with multiples and common multiples
- Area and perimeter multiplication with history lesson about George Washington and his Gardens
- Multiplication Strategies Explained: Easy to print and send home with students so that parents can help at home.