- I begin teaching students that multiplication is simply repeated addition and combining groups. When teaching multiplication facts, I always begin at 0 and go up. I go in the order of (0, 1, 2, 5, 10, 11, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12). At the end of the school year we don’t always get through all of those, but we definitely touch upon the basics.
- Anyway, before I begin I give each child a multiplication mat. You can use the ones I’ve created here (print and laminate) or use plastic rings that hold drink cans together (I know these aren’t easy to collect these days, but every now and then I’ll buy something with them. I’ve saved them over the years for this exact purpose. You can always ask everyone you know to please save them as well!). I also give each child a set of counters. The exact number changes depending on the facts we are studying each day.
- Beginning with 0, students are asked to figure out what 0x0 equals. They make 0 groups of 0 using their counters. We work our way through all 13 facts (0x0 to 0x12) and record these on the board and discuss the patterns we notice. We continue this task with all facts. Once students get the hang of it, we work out a few together, and then I let them figure out the rest. Once we figure out the pattern (such as anything x5 goes up by 5 each time), we just do the math in our heads.
Here’s an example of what this looks like with the plastic drink rings:
For an example, here’s the video for x5 Facts.