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Strategies for Teaching Double-Digit Multiplication

Updated on September 17, 2016

Math Strategies

Which multiplication method do you prefer?

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Today's Instructional Strategies for Teaching Math

Years ago there seemed to be only one way of teaching multiplication, and that was what we now call the long multiplication method. We did it over and over again until we had the math procedure memorized. I didn't realize when I learned to do it, that I was acturally taking one of the numbers apart and multiplying its pieces by the other number. Today, math is being taught in an entirely different way than years ago. Children are expected to understand the concept behind the procedure. Because of this, there are numerous instructional strategies for teaching math and ways of doing math problems that can help children make sense of what is being done. To those of us who learned it one way, this may be hard to understand, but it really does work well for students especially when introduced in the beginning of their learning.

After teaching my students the lattice method first, then the box method, and ending with the long multiplication method, I was surprised by the choices of strategies. Almost everyone chose the lattice method, while a few students chose the other two methods. The students who chose the box method, were ones that were weak with basic multiplication facts, and had difficulty drawing the lattice box. The students who chose the long multiplication method were ones who were rapid learners and knew their basic multiplication facts well. With all of these strategies for teaching math concepts, it is important to let the child decide which method is best for him. Multiplication is a great example of method variety as it shows the skills that are important for each method to be accomplished.

Instructional Strateties

Before teaching double-digit multiplication, it is preferable for students to have a complete understanding of repeated addition and to know their basic multiplication facts well. Students lacking these skills will become frustrated with double-digit multiplication, as it will require more time and will cause students to lose sight of the steps of each procedure.

  • Lattice Method

The lattice method may seem a bit confusing at first, but it is the perfect strategy for children who struggle with multiplication facts. If the child is fairly neat and capable of drawing a lattice box as shown in the video, then she will probably be very successful with the lattice method of multiplication.

  • Box or Grid Method

The box method is great for teaching the concept of breaking numbers apart so that they can be manipulated to produce the results needed. This is a valuable skill, and once acquired, this skill can help children develop a conceptual understanding of multiplication. The challenges here are being able to find the product for larger numbers, and then finding the sum for large numbers. More calculating work is needed to be successful with this method.

  • Long Multiplication Method

This method is great for students who have a higher level of understanding, who know their math facts very well, and for those who choose it over the other methods. This method requires a very good understanding of the multiplication concept. Otherwise, lots of repetition will be necessary to be successful with this method of multiplication.



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    • ESPeck1919 profile image

      ESPeck1919 4 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      These are very interesting. I really like the lattice and box methods more than the long multiplication I was taught. Being more of a visual learner, I think having those variations available would have made math much less traumatic to learn than it was.

    • Rosie writes profile image

      Rosie writes 4 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks ESPeck. I like the lattice and box methods too - I think I would have chosen the lattice method when I was a child.

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