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Multiplication Facts

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Use these strategies to help your students memorize their multiplication facts.
multiplication blues
Posted by:shannon #40839

Multiplication doesn't need to give the teacher or kids the blues.. I found a few ideas on a website a couple years ago and it was LIBERATING! Wish I could remember the name of the site, but here's the jist of it! The main message was that until memorization occurs, use some simple "tricks" to figure the problems out.. it takes the fear out of learning all those dreaded facts.
My favorite manipulative for teaching the CONCEPT of multiplication/division is the class itself!
Whether we're figuring out how many shoes 6 kids are wearing, or how many groups of 5 we have in our class of 25, this seems to be very effective. On to the facts:

Teach the "easy" tables first.. 0's, 1's, 2's 10's. Stress that each fact has a "twin" 1x9's twin is 9x1. Then when you...

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Multiplication songs
Posted by:Elaine #30864

We made up our own songs for skip counting. We found the recorded ones were not just what we were looking for. Kids love making up their own because of the ownership thing, I think they buy into singing (and therefore learning the facts) the songs faster.

0s = You know that song -- Two and two are four. Four and four are eight. Eight and eight are sixteen? Well, I do a silly version of that song for zero. Zero times zero is zero. Zero times one is . . . zero. Zero times two is . . . zero. Zero times three is . . . . zero. Zero times four is zero. (Get it?)

3s = "This Land is Your Land"(I think I got this one out of a multiplication book -- we did not make it up.)

4s = "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24; 28, 32, 26, 40, With a four here and four there, here a four, there a four, everywhere a four, four; 4, 8, 12,...

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multiplication facts
Posted by:Kim #77071


I have a schedule of tests for the facts in the order that we teach them (that is, they will not be tested until we have practiced them in class)

Students get the schedule well in advance. The tests are only on Monday Wednesday and Fridays and they get 2 minutes to do the problems. They are not allowed to skip count around, the problems are out of order. If they miss any problems they do not pass that set and must retake it at another time. If they get them all right, then they get to put a sticker on the class chart next to their name and under that set of facts. This way I know who still has to take a test.

The makeups can be done at any time and i always allow them about a week and a half from the last test to...

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multiplication facts
Posted by:mary #34274

I start with the hardest while motivation is high after I give them a 1's and 0's quiz- which they love as they all know the rules to this one before we even begin to discuss multiplication. The 6's are good becaue they also cover may of the other facts with common multiplws(3's , 12's etc..) and can be presented that way and referred to throughout the unit. Next I do 7's because they are so difficuolt to relate to other multiples- teach "tricks" of course ex; 56 = 7 x 8 (5,6,7,8) for each table. Then I do the 9's -again related to threes but with two "tricks" (finger mehntod and adding up the two numbers in the product = 9 for each fact.These help the children feel in control and when able to do "big" numbers like the 9's they really feel good about their growing abilities! Now, I give them a break- we...

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Multiplication Facts
Posted by:Margaret #37686

I teach fifth grade and of course I still have students who do not know their multiplication facts. However, the number of those who don't know their facts is growing smaller all the time. I give timed drills of 100 math facts (through the 10s table). The drills must be completed in 4 minutes, a recommendation I took from the publisher. At the beginning of the year not a one of my students could meet this challenge. Now, more than half of my inclusion class has learned their facts. We check the drill, pen in hand, as a class. No judgments are made about how many are missed, but after the drill each student who has missed any facts must fold a sheet of notebook paper to make 4 columns (fold the right edge over to the far margin line, then fold the fold over to the far margin line...

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Multiplication ideas
Posted by:Michaela #123631

I have done multiplication licenses and multiplication passports. I made the licenses similiar to drivers licenses with picture and student info. At the bottom, I put the numbers 1-12. I laminated each card and as the students learned each table, I covered the number of the corresponding times table with a small star sticker. When all 12 were covered the student received their 'license to multiply'. For the passports, I modeled them after real passports and made a page for each times table. As the student learned each table, we stamped the date and a word (unfortunately, I can't remember what it was, passed, cancelled, something like that) on the corresponding page in the passport. Both went over well with the kids. A student who graduated this year told me she still has her license. (I have done the multiplication sundaes for the last few years, but I'm getting...

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Multiplication Games
Posted by:Sunshine #52961

Have you tried:
1)Around the world: Students stand in a line the first student moves next to the second student in line both students are shown a flash card the first person to get the correct answer moves on to the next student. A student try to make it around the class (world).
2)Multiplication Toss Ball: I found mine at a local teaching store.
3)Multiplication Baseball (Similar to Spelling Baseball) Divide the students into 2 teams. Draw to Baseball diamonds on the board, rather than having the students write a spelling word they answer a multiplication problem.
4)Let the students student with a partner and some flashhcards. This is my students favorite. They like to come up with their own games.

I hope this helps.

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multiplication facts help
Posted by:Susan #21889

After years of looking for ways for students to memorize their facts more long-term, I finally found the key last year. I made them do multiplication and division simulataneously. It was amazing how much easier it was for them, and they began to understand the relationship.

So they would come to me when they were ready for multipying by 2s (in random order 30 seconds or less). Then they had to learn dividing by 2 and answer in random order in 30 seconds or less.

After they had mastered multipying and dividing by 2s through 5s, we had 20 mixed up facts (the hardest ones) in multiplication, then division before working on 6s through 9s; then 20 mixed up facts again.

Each mastery was rewarded with class coupons to be spent for various things plus their name on a bulletin board chart.

One way they liked to practice was with Wrap-Ups, a...

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Multiplication and division
Posted by:Janet F. #11979

I recommend starting multiplication with lots of work using some type of manipulative. We use base ten blocks a lot. I give the students a fact like 3 x 4 and have them build an array that shows this fact. Next I have them write the fact on their white boards and draw an array using x's or O's. We talk about how 3 x 4 means 3 rows of 4 and the answer is 12. Then I have them turn their boards sideways so they can see that they haven't changed the number of x's but the fact is now 4 x 3. After they have aught on to that, we discuss families of facts in adition subtraction and how we can do the same thing with mult. and div. because they are also opposites of each other. I point out to them that just like subt. when yu divide you must start with your equation with the...

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Learning Multiplication
Posted by:1956BD #130109

We use 100's charts and highlight numbers by skip counting by 2's, 3's, 4's, 5's, 6's, 7's, 8's, 9's, 10's, 11's, and 12's. We observe all the patterns we can after making each chart. Then we make a book of these charts and they can use them as a reference sheet for answers to multiplcation problems by counting up to the highlighted number they are looking for on the correct chart.

We draw many arrays to illustrate multiplcation problems.

We build arrays to demonstrate a multiplication problem using connecting blocks.

I read 7 x 9 = TROUBLE by Claudia Mills aloud to them. In the story the students receive an ice cream after learning all their times tables. We can not serve ice cream, but they do get a pudding cup with whip cream as a reward, plus a certificate.


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multiplication entrance/exit pass
Posted by:jgreen #88197

I've recently started a new idea that seems to be working great! Get some multiplication flash cards, and when students come into your class, their "pass" into class is to know the fact on the card. I also use it as their exit ticket out at the end of the day. As many times a day as you can afford the time for it - go for it! (it goes quickly and efficiently as long as the students already have an activity to work on when they come into class). The students have gotten quicker in their responses, and they now go home and practice, b/c they know they can't get into class w/o knowing their multiplication facts. It's fun for them, and they look for their "passes"! :-)

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Posted by:Cathi #29422

We use a math program called Investigations. One activity was to have the children make arrays. Use graph paper and cut out rectangles that are the dimensions of the multiplication problems. For example 6x3 would be a rectangle that has six rows of three. On one side write the dimension (6x3) and on the other side the answer. You may want to make a master copy and then just run these off for the kids to cut out. The kids love to play games with them like put them in a bag and take turns pulling it out. If they know the answer they can keep it if not it goes back in the bag.
Another activity was to make skip counting books. I copied eleven 100 boards for each child and then we made a skip counting page for each factor. For the number 2 we used a highlighter and marked...

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Introducing Multiplication
Posted by:LindaR #67216

I really like the simple and yet creative approaches of Marilyn Burns. All the lessons are based on investigative activities, which help the students make connections and formulate patterns. You might want to see if your school has any of her books. I've gotten a lot of use from her book, ABOUT TEACHING MATHEMATICS, which has an excellent chapter on introducing mulitiplication.

One activity that might interest you:

THE CHOPSTICK PROBLEM. Use this problem to initiate the exploration of multiplication in contexts. First, make sure that children know that when people use chopsticks to eat, two are required. Then pose a problem for class discussion: How many chopsticks are needed for four people? Hear from all children who want to respond, asking them to explain how they arrived at their answers.

Then pose another problem: How many chopsticks are needed for everyone in the class? Ask the children...

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Posted by:Lisa Koivu #67965

You can play a game called "Buzz"

1. Kids all sit on their desks.

2. You choose the multiplication table you want to explore.

3. You show the kids the pattern. For example, if you choose 4 x tables, the pattern is 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 26, 28, etc. The pattern is that the ones repeat, 4, 8, 2, 6, 0, 4, 8, 2, 6, 0.

4. Kids sit on their desks. First kid in first row starts by saying one. The next kid says 2 and so on. Every kid that gets to a multiple of 4 OR a number with four in it says "buzz". So for the four times tables, it would be 1, 2, 3, buzz, 5, 6, 7, buzz, 9, 10, 11, buzz, 13, buzz (because 14 has a four in it) etc. Go all the way up to 100 and all the way backwards from 100. Good for kids in grade 4 and up and they really like it and it really WORKS!

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multiplication sundaes
Posted by:iteachthird #70692

I have used multiplication banana splits for several years now. For the O's, we earn a bowl. 1's - a spoon. 2's - half of a banana, 3's - another half of a banana, 4's - a cherry, 5's nut sprinkles, 6's - fudge or caramel topping, 7's, 8's, and 9's - each a scoop of ice cream. I made the cut outs from construction paper (my own drawings) and hang them on a bulletin board for them to see their progress as they go.
When they all learn their multiplication table, we have a banana split party.

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multiplication game
Posted by:Jen #54675

We play a game called "multiplication wrestling". Here is how to play it: Depending on the level of your children ( I have 5th grade) the number of cards taken will vary.
1. Take a regular deck of cards, get ride of face cards
2. This is a two person game. Each person takes 4 cards (but they can only take 2 if you want).
3. They arrange the cards so that they have 2, 2 digit numbers (i.e. I draw a 3,5, 2, 8). I would make the problem: 82 X 53.
4.Then each of the players solves his/her problem.
5. They check each other's work for errors and the person with the highest product gets to keep all the cards.
6. When all the cards are done from the deck, each person counts the cards they got and then can declare a winner.

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Multiplication Manipulatives
Posted by:Lori #12125

I have been collecting a variety of small plastic insects, bugs, and creatures to use for manipulative with the concept of arrays and multiplication. The students love them. The work great on the overhead for whole group introduction.

snakes - How many legs?
O legs times 1 snake = 0 legs
0 legs times 2 snakes = 0 legs

flies - How many wings?
2 wings times 1 fly = 2 wings
2 wings times 2 flies = 4 wings

ants - 6 legs
lizards - 4 legs, 1 tail
spiders - 8 legs


After learning are tables - I use these creatures for quick reviews - places # of them on the overhead the class replies chorally, by first reciting the problem, then the answer.

I great time to find the bugs is in October.

The ants work great in conjunction with the story 100 hundred Hungry Ants. (Skill - Arrays)

Good Luck &...

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multiplication facts
Posted by:Elisa #54372

I found a predominately white beach ball at a local dollar store. I took bright (neon) colored markers and wrote the multiplication facts all over it. (spread out) Then I drew boxes around the facts. I toss the ball to a student whereever their thumb lands, they have to give the answer to the multiplication fact. The children love this! I drew the boxes around the fact just in case someone said, "my thumb isn't on the problem", this way if it lands in the box they got it. Hope this helps.

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Posted by:Lynne in VA #72396

Another idea is to read the book Bunches and Bunches of Bunnies. Then assign each child a different multiplication fact and have them choose an animal, make up a little rhyme, then use Kid Pix to create the page for a class book on multiplication facts.
We also are using macaroni shapes to lay out arrays on colored paper and glue them down and write the appropriate math fact for them.

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Multiplication Board Races
Posted by:Rachel #27279

I have an idea that my third graders love! However, I must admit I "stole" it from a colleague. I divide my board into 8 sections and call 8 children to the board. I tell them which multiplication set to do and then say "go!" As each child gets finished, I tell them their time and they write it at the bottom of their section. They absolutely love these races! And needless to say, they have to know their facts in order to finish quickly. I usually give some type of reward to those who finish under 2 minutes. I also let those who finish under 1 minute race me - they love trying to beat the teacher!

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Posted by:m.a. #12120

We made our own multiplication video.The students listed ways of showing each table. (posters, actions, flashcards etc) Then they signed up in small groups to be responsible to come up with the way to show it. It took many days, but it was great. I would video maybe the 1.2. 3 tables on one day. Another day we added 4,.5.6 and so on.
They also devised a beginning and ending to the video. It was not high tech quality, but a lot of fun. Jus another way to help them remember. They loved watching themselves and then we showed it to other third grade classes.

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multiplication motivator
Posted by:kristin #29991

I got this idea from my P.E. teacher who was a veteran 4th and 5th grade teacher. She used masking tape and put it down on the carpet, then the students marked off 1-144. The distance between each number was the length of the student's foot. Then give the student a fact like 5 x 6. The student has to step off 5 groups of 6 steps, equals 30. They find the answer at their feet, literally!! I have used this to introduce multiplication in a Resource room and it has been great!! Any time a student gets stuck on a problem, they have to go "step off" the problem to find the answer!

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baseball multiplication
Posted by:Christina #85290

We use Everyday Math and that program has a game called Baseball Multiplication. There is a black line master of a baseball diamond with the bases, a place to mark strike outs, and a place to mark runs. The "pitcher" rolls two die and the "batter" multiplies the numbers together and says the answer. Correct answer = a hit; incorrect, a strike. Students move their game pieces (pennies, whatever) on the master until they make up to 3 home runs. Then the "pitcher" and "batter" trade roles. You could always expand this to make it life-size or modify it to be addition, subtraction, division. Hope that helps!

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Multiplication Fact Fun
Posted by:WSM #48395

I have used the idea that Melissa had concerning ice cream scoops. However, one year I looped with a class and I needed a different vehicle.

I used an individual gumball machine for each student. Each time they learned the math fact family they added a gumball to their machine. We called them "gumball" tests. (one minute for all 13 facts)(0-12)

Of course at the end of the year we all brought in bubblegum and celebrated while we chewed away and played multiplication games.

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Pizza Feed
Posted by:kasey #67014

I don't know if this is too cutesy, but it works. I have the kids earn their way to a pizza feed by learning their mult. tables. For 0's they get a cheer (too easy), for 1's they get a napking, for 2's they get a plate, for 3's they get the crust, for 4's they get the sauce, for 5's they get cheese, for 6's through 9's they get a different topping each. For 10's they get extra cheese. Each kiddo has a placemat with their name on it posted around the room. They build their pizza on the placemat. I use real napkins and paper plates, the rest is graphics from my computer, and stuff I just drew and copied on appropriate color paper (red for sauce, tan for crust, etc.). I have three pizza feeds per year, the parents supply the food, they...

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Multiplication facts
Posted by:Kathy #65912

We do Saxon as well and starting with the 7's is a good idea, I think. My whole class (3 and 4) have those completely mastered. The way this series teaches the "sevens" is through days in a week. (How many days in 5 weeks? etc.)

One way my class learned these was by singing the multiples to the tune of "Are You Sleeping?"

It goes like this:
Seven, fourteen,
twenty-one, twenty-eight,
thirty-five, forty-two,
forty-nine and fifty-six
sixty-three and seventy
Counting by sevens,
Counting by sevens!

We sang it a couple times every morning until they learned them and we still sing them from time to time. At first I could hear the kids whisper singing the song every time they were trying to do problems, but eventually they became instant!...

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multiplication rhymes
Posted by:lisa #51426

My class and I make up rhymes together to help learn multiplication facts. Example: "Jump up and slam the door,'cause 8x8= 64! They love it, and since they help make it up, they remember them better. We then put them on a chart, and post them in the classroom. We also have a problem of the day song that we sing to line up,or during a transition time. Every morning I put a problem on the board, like 7x8=56. Then we sing (Tune: "London Bridge is Falling Down") "7x8=56, 56, 56. 7x8=56. I can multiply!" My kids love it, and know by the time the song is finished, they should be ready to go to the next activity.

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Multiplication Unplugged CD
Posted by:NDteacher #126354

I use one called Multiplication Unplugged. I think it is Sara Jordan Publishing. The kids do really well with it. It sequence counts each number to a different tune. They are a little corny, but the kids really remember them. The 4's and 7's are really catchy tunes. I have kids in middle school that can still sing them to me 4-5 years later and they also teach their younger siblings.

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School House Rock!
Posted by:Jennifer #81035

School House Rock! is pretty easy to find at bookstores or music stores - if you are around 30ish, they were on TV between cartoons on Saturdays. Look online, there is a website where you can preview the songs, but they have both the CDs and DVDs/videos for Grammar Rock! Multiplication Rock! Money Rock! and Science Rock! I have never forgotten the words to many of the songs (I used to watch them) and the kids are fascinated that they were "around" when I was a kid! They are awesome! You can also check your local library. I check out lots of music from them. I forgot to add Lucas Miller, who is a "singing zoologist." I have a CD by him called Anaconda LaBamba that the kids love!

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Posted by:Michaela #59234

Last year I made my class passports for the times tables. We had timed tests for each table 1-12. The students could move at their own pace. Each time they "passed" I called them up to stamp their passports and they could move on to the next number. When their passports were complete they received a certificate, a round of applause from the class, and a keychain saying they had a license to multiply.

The previous year we did licenses. I made a license for each student and laminated it. At the bottom were the numbers 1-12. As each student "passed" the timed test, we covered up the numbers with a star sticker until they had all 12 covered.

We also had a challenge with the fifth graders in our school last year. We had 2 competitions with 3rd and 5th graders going head to head with multiplication flash...

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Posted by:Rebecca #34108

We have already started times tables in third grade this year. I do several things, but when it comes down to it they just have to memorize. I'm a very hands-on teaching person, but I have resigned to the fact that they just have to learn them! I make little booklets for each table(ideas from a teacher book from Scholastic) and we listen to the "Multiplication Rap" and use those "wraps". I also try to "tie in" anything that I can to help them grasp the facts (use nickels and clock{5 min. intervals}for 5's, days of the week for 7's, spider legs for 8's, 6 pack cokes for 6's, etc.) anything!

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