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Easy Strategies for Teaching Multiplication Facts

Updated on August 13, 2015

Strategies for the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners

1. Introduce the concept of multiplication to students first as repeated addition. As students practice repeated addition, they should be able to make the connection between addition and multiplication.[HINT: Many students do not understand the concept of multiplication because they do not recognize that it is a SHORTCUT for repeated addition.]

2. Allow students opportunities to explore multiplication facts by modeling multiplication using arrays. Extend this lesson by showing students how to use multiplication to find the area of their arrays. This helps to reinforce the facts that have been learned through repeated addition and arrays.

3. Some students will not understand or learn multiplication facts any other way except memorization. This is where the Multipication Practice Table below will be very useful and handy.

As you can see the table is color coded to demonstrate the commutative property, i.e. 6 x 4 = 4 x 6. Use this table to assign a particular color of facts for students to memorize within a given timeframe. Provide plenty of learning opportunities in the classroom and at home for students to practice and use these facts.

A suggestion for motivating students to learn the multiplication facts is:

assign a specific color of facts to memorize within a specified time frame. Then plan activities around that color such as dressing in that color, bringing something of that color from home, or creating something at school of that color to associate the color with the facts that are to be learned.

You know your class and grade level, so be creative and decide how to best use this strategy. Notice that starting from left to right, the number of facts decrease by two from 12 facts on the far left to 2 facts on the far right.

The doubles are in bold text and should be memorized together. This will be a perfect opportunity to talk to students about numbers that are perfect squares and have them make arrays to see how perfect squares get their names.

The ones (horizontal facts) are colored coded and most students will master these relatively easy; many will already know them. Therefore, these should not be your focus. However, these facts are GREAT for teaching students about the Identity Property of Multiplication.

Have fun with the tables! If you do not have access to a color copier; highlighters work just fine. Children love colorful presentations.


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    • April Reynolds profile image

      April Reynolds 5 years ago from Arizona

      I'm not sure what an array is, is that what you call the chart? My son understands the concept but doesn't want to take the time to memorize the facts, do you have any suggestions on motivating him? Thank you!

    • YvetteParker profile image

      YvetteParker 5 years ago from AUGUSTA, GA

      Hi April, an array is a visual model of objects arranged in columns and rows to represent multiplication facts. For example, let's say your son collects action figures. If you or he were to use them to make an arrangement on a flat surface, oh let's say,4 rows with 7 figures in each row (creating columns) then he has just modeled 4 x 7 = 28. Try using objects that interest him when modeling arrays. Arrays may also be drawn, if he likes to draw. Show him multiple ways for getting the answer. For example, he can count each object, he can skip count by 4 (repeated addition), or he can multiply rows x columns and columns x rows. If he is a visual learner, he could also write the fact on an index card to reinforce what he has modeled and discovered. His index cards would then become flash cards. Challenge him to learn an agreed upon number of facts in a given amount of time and then reward him for doing so.

    • April Reynolds profile image

      April Reynolds 5 years ago from Arizona

      Thank you Yvette, That is helpful. I will have to give it a try. :)

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