I’m starting to teach multiplication strategies this week! It is one of my favorite units of the year. I use four strategies to teach multiplication when we first start our unit: equal groups, drawing arrays, repeated addition, and skip counting.
First, I always start with equal groups.
Second, we learn how to draw an array.
Third, we talk about how multiplication is the same as repeated addition.
Last, I teach my class how to skip count.
Skip counting is the method I like them to use ALL year long. The other three methods are great for the beginning, but in the months to come, skip counting is what helps them get the most quick and accurate answers. It also helps them transition and memorize their multiplication facts quicker!
During each unit, I teach my mini-lesson and whole group lesson on Monday. This means we glue each of the strategies into our interactive notebooks on Mondays. We also do some independent practice that day. This helps me decide who will be in each of my groups during math centers the rest of the week (Tuesday through Friday). For the rest of the week, they get to play games and enjoy math centers that help practice the skills we learned on Monday.
Third Grade September Math Centers
I also include some of my Third Grade September Math Centers in my rotations to help spiral review the skills we learned earlier in the year.
Additional Math Centers
I also use these multiplication math centers that practice all of the strategies we have learned. They are easy to understand and great for extra practice.
Skip Counting Posters
I also put up skip counting posters on the wall during the first two months of our multiplication unit as something the kids can refer to as a reference. This helps them start to learn the skip counting sequences by heart.
I also want to mention two games that are perfect for teaching multiplication strategies! The first one is called Back to School Problems: Multiplication Strategies. Students have to collect school supplies each time they solve a multiplication equation.
The second game is called Introduction to Multiplication Strategies Sort. The students sort the cards of equal groups, arrays, picture forms, and repeated addition equations to match the correct multiplication equations.
After we’ve been practicing these methods for several weeks, I also introduce them to our multiplication fact quizzes because these quizzes help show me who is starting to learn their facts and who needs more practice. I also have an ice cream party with my class at the end of the year for anyone who passes all of their multiplication facts (passing their division facts earns them extra toppings too!).
Finally, here are links to all of the products I talked about above!
How do you teach multiplication each year because I’d love to hear about it!