Have any students who are STILL stuck on their 2s and 3s? or 4s multiplication facts? Is multiplication practice something they don’t want to do? Do they whine that multiplication practice is boring? Are you having trouble fitting it into the schedule? Join the club!
Why is Multiplication Practice important?
I teach multiplication in late September. I gave the students my yearly speech about how important multiplication is for third graders. Without it, you can’t do any higher-level math. You wouldn’t be able to divide or do algebra! You would be stuck at a level of math similar to a second-grader.
I emphasized to parents HOW important knowing the multiplication facts are during Back to School Night. The parents leave knowing that part of DAILY homework should include multiplication practice.
Multiplication Practice is a Year-Long Plan
And so I have my yearly plan to teach multiplication.
- Each student received a weekly Multiplication Tic-Tac-Toe Homework Activity Chart so they were held accountable for multiplication practice.
- I gave each student a chart and showed them strategies and tips to learn the multiplication tables.
- Up went posters up in my room to remind the students of the strategies and tips. If you would like to see a FREE SAMPLER of the posters, click HERE.
Taking Multiplication Practice to the Next Level
Once students were proficient in what I call the Foundation Strategies, we could move onto Derivative Strategies that would help with long-term fluency. Foundation Strategies include knowing the 0s, 1, 2s, 5s, 10s, the squares (3×3, 4×4, etc.), and an understanding of the Properties of Multiplication.
Slowly the students learned the multiplication facts and were making progress. Some pulled away from the pack and made it to the 12s with little effort. Then after about 3 months of daily multiplication practice for homework, I still had about 5 students stuck on the 2s, 3s, and 4s. Watch a video of one of the strategies being used by a student.
But Wait. Why Aren’t They Progressing?
What could I do to help them? Why were they not progressing? Were they not studying? Did they not see the value in knowing the multiplication facts? The reason didn’t matter, they were behind and I needed to get them going again.
My first thought was to let them study and practice on iPads or Chromebooks. I’m in a 1:1 classroom so I found some good apps and online sites for both. But, I couldn’t allow the iPads or the Chromebooks to go home with the student for practice.
So How Did I Get Them Over the Multiplication Speed Bump?
I came up with this idea: Multiplication Practice Tablet Cards!
I used a tablet template and made 5 cards for each multiplication table 2 – 12. There are 55 cards in all. I printed them out, trimmed them, folded them and then laminated and trimmed them.
I stored each set of 5 cards in a baggie with a dry erase marker and a piece of felt as an eraser. The whole process took about 2 hours, but it was worth it! I now had a fun and colorful way for those students who were significantly behind to practice their multiplication facts!
I have the students take a baggie and practice in class. I’ve also sent the baggie home for practice as well. Since doing that, those students progressed! They became unstuck made their way to the 12s.
I knew that some of these students really weren’t studying at home for whatever reason. But these cards have made it fun for them and I’m seeing progress. I wished I had made these earlier! Then when I saw that a particular student was stuck or not studying I could have made them practice the cards.
You can check out the entire resource HERE in my TpT store.
Also, don’t forget to check out the bundle and save on 4 multiplication facts resources!!!
Newly Added Resource for Multiplication Practice!
As teachers, we know that if students are not practicing and keeping up their skill sets, and no matter how well they conceptually understand a math concept, being efficient in math is a key to higher-level mathematics. I’ve attended many Back to School Night sessions in middle school and high school for my oldest only to hear the math teachers lament that students STILL don’t know their multiplication facts!
So that’s why I created these game boards. I designed them in a way that makes the practice fun, challenging, and grounded in the concept of multiplication. Each game board includes practice with arrays, equal groups, skip counting, and math fact expressions. This way, students can practice those different strategies they learned during the year. Bring the games out anytime for a quick practice, put in a center, or just for fun. You can find the games HERE.
Don’t Go Yet!
Are your students struggling to achieve multiplication fluency? They can achieve it with some additional strategies! Register for the newsletter to receive this FREE Guide to Achieving Multiplication Fluency. Get it now by signing up for my newsletter below!
What other fun ways do you have your students practice the multiplication facts?
Share your ideas in the comments!