Understanding and memorizing multiplication facts is a prerequisite for 4th grade math. I provide three easy steps to motivate my third graders to become Multiplication Wizards!
1. Understand how multiplication works
I provide various class activities that help my students visualize multiplication. We build arrays, addition sentences, and figure out how the Multiplication Properties work. We sit in a circle and count by 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s, 7s, 8s, etc. We use multiplication beads. We discover patterns and tricks. We play a lot of games. Playing with multiplication makes the next step easier as they have had lots of experience.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice
I don’t like to take up valuable class time for students to work on memorizing their multiplication facts. So I enlist parents to work with their children by providing flash cards, quizzing them while driving around, and providing a set time each day. This is a perfect activity to do at home with the family.
I created a Multiplication Passport that helps my students set goals and note their accomplishments of each set (for example, the 5s,6s, etc). The Multiplication Passport contains links to online games and family activities to make memorizing their facts a bit more fun.
To finally become a multiplication wizard, a student will sign up to be “tested.” I have a multiplication chart and ask them all their facts and they need to respond quickly and accurately. If they miss one, then they have to try later.
Now this is the best part. When they pass the test, they get a certificate congratulating them on becoming a Multiplication Wizard as well as a fabulous wizard hat! Notice the red multiplication symbol.
They wear this hat when they go through the gauntlet of wizards. The previous wizards line up (wearing their hats) and the new wizard has to answer a multiplication question from each of the wizards. So they want to become a wizard as soon as they can, as the gauntlet line is shorter. I also display the list of multiplication wizards in the classroom.
I hope these tips will help your students memorize their facts! And please comment below if you have any questions!
Supporting EMW Products
- Arrays Around Us Task Cards
- Array Task Cards
- Array Flash Cards
- Free Array Game
- Free Multiplication Wizard Certificate and chart
- Multiplication Passport
- Multiplication Task Cards
- Properties of Multiplication Think Sheets