Last year I noticed that I had several of my 5th grade students struggling with multiplication facts. It wasn’t just that they didn’t know them, but several of them couldn’t even skip count. Some who were still drawing out dots and groups to count, would get so tied up with figuring out what 8 x 7 was that they couldn’t remember what step they were on in long division or fraction computation. It was getting to be a little crazy.
I started researching strategies and found this handy anchor chart. (This year, it was the first anchor chart hung in my room!) I tried researching where the original idea came from but there were at least 25 variations on Pinterest and the web. I took out some of the facts that I felt my kids should know like 0s, 1s, and 10s and left the rest. I’m hoping that if I get this out early enough this year and teach from it, that it might help those students who are struggling. Chart Paper and Sharpie Markers are the best- I usually laminate all of my charts so it is super easy to pull out each year.
I also found this great little Kahoot called Multiplciation Facts by Jordan Manning that I love to use. I started using that about midyear last year as a warm up to get our brains thinking about math. I found that the kids loved competing against each other and for those who kept missing the same facts, I had them make flash cards on index cards to help them study. I plan on starting this a lot earlier in the year than last.
Another game, I like to use to help with fact fluency, is a game called Multiplication War. The only item needed is a deck of cards. (Amazon has 12 packs and 2 packs) In this game, students deal out the entire deck of cards, then turn over two cards. Each player multiplies the two cards together while the highest product wins the cards. In case of a tie, players flip again – this time winner takes all the cards turned over. Aces are worth 1, Jokers are 11, and Jacks, Queens and Kings are 10. The students use the cards that they won to continue playing until one person has all the cards or time is up. This year, I played it the first week of school and gave my students a multiplication table to look up the facts if they didn’t know them. As the year progress, I plan to slowly remove that handy chart.
http://www.multiplication.com also has some amazing games that the students love to play!
Hopefully, starting all of these games and strategies at the beginning of the year will help solidify some of those crazy facts that the kids need to survive secondary math!