Teaching (and learning) multiplication can seem like a daunting task, but when implementing effective multiplication strategies, this lesson can be fun and enjoyable for all!
Because our students don’t all learn in the same way, it is important to incorporate various teaching methods to help them build a solid foundation and understanding of the concept of multiplication. So, let’s break down four strategies you can include in your lessons during this unit.
When introducing this new skill, my favorite multiplication strategies to use are engaging, visual, and interactive. Each of the methods below offer students a “new” way to solve the same equation, allowing them to see that the basic idea of multiplication is simply repeated addition.
Arrays offer a detailed, visual representation of a math problem, allowing students to create an interactive display as they work to find the product.
This strategy has students break down the equation by using rows – representing the number of groups, and columns – representing the number in each group.
As students identify the groupings, they can create an array to solve for the equation.
Teacher Tip: Use a real life array (like an egg carton or muffin tin) to introduce this method to help your students best understand the concept
Teaching multiplication using equal groups is similar to using arrays, however, the groupings can be represented in various visuals, not specifically in rows and columns.
As the resource pictures, your students can draw circles (or another shape) to represent the number of groups in the equation, then adding in a dot to each circle to represent the number in each group.
An interactive tool, number lines, can help to enhance your students’ understanding of multiplication, promoting skip counting skills, and helping students make connections between numbers.
This strategy has the students break down the equation – starting at zero and then moving towards the right side of the number line for a given number of times, based on the equation.
For the 3 x 5 example, the students would represent three groups of 5 equal intervals – starting at zero and “jumping” 5 places, 3 times on the number line.
As students begin transitioning from addition to multiplication problems, the repeated addition strategy may be the easiest process for them to understand.
This method is simply adding equal groups, or the same number over and over, and will help in developing a strong foundation for the overall concept of multiplication.
If you’re looking for an an easy prep resource that follows the Common Core Standards check out this Multiplication Strategies resource that’s jam packed with ink-friendly printables to help your students learn and apply the four different strategies for solving equations!
Want to snag a FREEBIE? The Strategy Posters are the perfect reference for students when they’re learning the different ways to multiply!