5 Strategies to Teach Multiplication
There are 5 strategies that I use to teach multiplication to my students. These strategies offer an alternative to the rote memorization of math facts. Plus, you can add your own personal spin on these strategies a make them more meaningful to your students.
The 5 strategies include; grouping, repeated addition, arrays, number lines, and skip counting. Read more about the strategies below and how I implement them in the classroom.
Multiplication by Grouping
First, learning multiplication by grouping is the process of separating objects into equal groups. Most commonly when using equal groups, repeated addition is also used. This method is one of the most straightforward ways for students to comprehend the strategy of multiplication by grouping.
As you can see in the example below there are 3 equal groups of 2 cookies. Your student can use repeated addition to solve this multiplication problem below.
In the classroom you can use manipulative such as; erasers, counters, small blocks, or even drawing on dry erase boards to practice the strategy of grouping and repeated addition.
2 + 2 + 2 = 6
Multiplication by Repeated Addition
Second, is repeated addition. We touched on using repeated addition with grouping above when we grouped 2 cookies in groups of three. Both learning using grouping and learning using arrays are complimentary to each other.
What is repeated addition? Basically, repeated addition is using what students already know about addition to help them solve a multiplication problem.
3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 18
Multiplication by Arrays
Third, there are arrays. Arrays are an arrangement of objects arranged in rows and columns.
The arrangement of cookies shown below shows the systematic way to introduce arrays. The student will first learn a 1× 4 array, 2 × 4 array, 3 × 4 array, 4 × 4 array, and so on... A larger arrangement of objects can also be broken down into arrays to preform many different types of multiplication, such as properties of multiplication.
Making arrays in the classroom can be fun AND engaging for students. Using colorful objects, such as; erasers, counters, and blocks to build arrays can keep all types of learners engaged and ready to learn.
1 × 4 2 × 4 3 × 4
4 × 4 = 16
Multiplication by Number Lines
Fourth, there is learning multiplication by number lines. Students will take "jumps" on the number line. These jumps help students solve multiplication problems by skip counting.
Number lines are an exceptional way to teach number sense as well.
2 4 6 8 10.....
Multiplication by Skip Counting
Last, learning multiplication by number lines uses the next strategy - skip counting. Skip counting is not just for providing students a way to count faster, it also helps them solve multiplication problems.
Starting at 0 students count in intervals until reaching the desired number. Students can also point out the pattern being used when skip counting.
0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30...
Resources to Teach Multiplication
Check out the many resources in my Teachers Pay Teachers store that help teachers provide FUN ways to teach multiplication. A few of my recommendations are listed below. The resources are broken down into volumes to help teach your students systematically.
- Volume 1 introduces the strategies needed to solve one-digit multiplication problems and covers standard 3.OA.A.1.
- Volume 2 covers is standards-based and covers standards 3.OA.A.1, 3.OA.A.2, 3.OA.A.3, 3.OA.A.4, 3.OA.D.9.
- Volume 3 is also standards-based 3.OA.A.4, 3.OA.B.5, 3.OA.B.6, 3.OA.C.7.
- Volume 4 covers standards 3.OA.B.5, 3.OA.B.6, 3.OA.C.7, 3.OA.D.8, 3.OA.D.9
- Volume 1-4 Bundle includes all the volumes listed above