Multiplication is Tricky

These past two weeks we have been working on our multiplication facts in math. We have been learning the tips and tricks for solving multiplication problems in a variety of ways. We have even outlined the “rules” such as any number times zero equals zero and any number times one is that number.

It’s so inspiring to see the kids faces and hear the exclamations as they reach their “Ah ha!” moments during our lessons. A lot of them came into the unit frustrated or feeling behind, so it’s wonderful to see their faces light up and their hands raised because they now know. It has taken us a few days but they’ve really grasped the concepts quickly and I couldn’t be more proud of the kiddos.

We also read the book The Best of Times by Greg Tang which gave us a new look on some old and new tricks for figuring out multiplication problems. We worked some of them out on the board to fully understand the concepts Tang presented in his colorful mathematical picture book.

We started off focusing on the grouping of numbers by playing a game from Marilyn Burns called “Circles and Stars.” This game led us to the creation of the mushrooms, since it is mushroom hunting season it seemed fitting.

 And as always they look a good math trick so we discussed the rule of 9’s using our hands. Do you have any other “easy” multiplying tricks or tips?

 As our times have progressed we moved onto more assessment type material such as the above activity. This was a great way to combine all the techniques and equations we have learned into one single activity.


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