It has taken me years to find a balance when teaching math facts. Developing the concept of multiplication, the need to help students become fluent with the facts and continue teaching other standards is. a. struggle.
Flashcards, computer programs, Around the World, timed practices, games…I’m sure you can add a few ways to this list.
Start with hands-on concrete materials. I love Target’s Dollar Spot erasers. Just this week, I was so excited to see a new shipment. As I was loading pairs of new erasers in my cart, a woman came over and asked about them. When I explained they were erasers for counting and multiplying she was less than impressed. #youneedtobeanelementaryteachertounderstand
I use the erasers in a 10-frame to help students see the groupings and ultimately multiplication strategies for each fact.
Once the students can build and see how a strategy works, I provide an opportunity to move toward representing the multiplication facts within a 10-frame using disks or dots. This practice helps to solidify the strategy.
When my students demonstrate an understanding of the strategy, they are given a choice of activities to use for practice. If they want to continue to build and record using a ten-frame, the materials are available for their use. In addition, I have individual and partner games, such as Beat the Clock and Spin to Win. Opportunities to use 120 charts to see patterns, Hidden Picture Multiple color sheets, Amazing Multiple Color Mazes, and Tricky Fact practice sheets, along with the materials are all available and organized for student choice during math centers or math choice time.
Try It Out
I have put together some of my favorite ways of developing an understanding of multiplication strategies and engaging students in becoming fluent with facts. Click below to try out these activities for the 2s facts, free. I am sure your students will love these activities as much as my students do.