What’s the best way for my child to learn multiplication?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions teachers face when the time comes to memorize those multiplication facts.
We teach all the arrays, and the strategies to cement that conceptual understanding but at the end of the day they need to memorize the multiplication facts in order to be able to perform more advanced math.
In fact, the Common Core lists this as a standard:
3.OA.C.7 : By the end of Grade 3, know from MEMORY all products of two 1-digit numbers.
I have compiled a list of my favorite methods and resources to get your students to memorize the multiplication facts:
This is my all time favorite and one of the most successful ways for kids to memorize the tables. I used it with my own children and with my students. It’s highly effective and they love singing and dancing in math class.
I recommend learning one table at a time and focus on that one until they have learned it by memory (both in order and out of order)
There are many songs on YouTube. Some are too childish and my students didn’t like them. because you know…. they think they are grown in third grade.
My favorite tunes are by NumbeRock. They are on YouTube but also on their website. I know many schools block YouTube.
Their videos are so catchy and I love that the graphics are age appropriate but not too childish. My kids love singing and dancing to the music. I also love that they show the numbers as they sing them. So students are hearing AND seeing them which is very effective in memorization.
2. PowerPoint Slides with Movement
I love when kids get up and move. I find that engagement automatically increases and they are willing to try whatever it is you want them to do.
PowerPoint or Google Slides with flashcards are very effective. You can easily make them yourself and your students will thank you for it.
This is how it works (remember one multiplication table at at time)
Create slides for let’s say the four tables. Once fact per slide. So first slide it would be 4 x 0, then 4 x 1 and so on. Do not write the answer on the slides. Make slides with just the answer to follow each fact.
When you play the slide, put a timer of a few seconds. So students will see 4 x 1 then after a few seconds they will see 4. This gives them time to come up with the answer and show it out. Yes, out loud. Students will be standing in from of the smart board for this activity.
In addition, make slides with movements such as “Jump and Jacks” , “Hop in one Foot” to play every few slides. This gives them an incentive to move and it energizes them. Blood flows to their brain, they are happy, energized, and learning is more effective.
3. Multiplication Sorts
Multiplication sorts are a fun and effective way to practice facts. They can be used at home or during math centers. The students can make the cards on index cards. Make a set of true cards and a set of false cards and mixed them up. They can sort accordingly and then record on a recording sheet or simply take a picture as evidence of their work.
4. Multiplication Reward System
Who doesn’t work hard when there is a reward?
I love this Multiplication Ninjas Motivation System created by Literacy Loves Company. You can download it for free here
This motivation system works by asking students to learn their tables one at a time. As they learn their 2’s and 3’s they earn their Black Warrior Pencil.
Then, as they learn each additional table they earn the rubber bands which resemble belts.
We have used this system in our fourth grade classrooms and the kids have been so motivated to earn all their bands.
5. Websites and Online Programs
There are many websites and online games that target multiplication. Here are a few of my favorites: