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October 15, 2014 Multiplication Fun By Erin Klein
Grades 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    Multiplication is something that we introduce at the second grade level. However, just like cursive, the children can't wait to begin learning more. Perhaps this has less to do about the nature of the content and more about the way in which the material is being delivered. However, after a day or two of learning, some of the children are excited to start sharing the facts they've memorized, while others quickly become intimidated by their lack of being able to recite several facts with speed and accuracy. I work hard to get both groups of students to understand that it's not about being able to quickly recall memorized facts, but more important to comprehend what the facts are helping you to compute, and why one would use that given operation. Stated differently, I want students to understand multiplication as repeated addition, and to be able to visualize examples to help them make sense of the math.  

    A Multiplication Story

    One of my favorite math stories to share with children is Amanda Bean's Amazing Dream: A Mathematical Story. In this book, Amanda loves to count. She counts everything! However, she quickly realizes how counting everything by adding can become a challenge. Amanda discovers the need to learn to multiply.  

    Each year when I share this book with my students, they laugh throughout the entire story as they hear about Amanda's ridiculous journey and her silly need to slowly count everything. By the end, they are chanting right along with the other characters in the book telling Amanda to just multiply.  

    This book really allows the children to visually see multiplication as repeated addition and understand the need to learn how to multiply.  

    Scholastic has a great lesson to accompany Amanda Bean's Amazing Dream.

    A Multiplication Game

    We love to play games in our classroom. We believe that having fun is one of the best parts of learning. So, anytime we get the opportunity to share our knowledge and practice our skills through game-based play, we take advantage of that chance.  

    Materials

    • Counters or pennies (to represent bird eggs)

    • Two dice

    • Six index cards or ¼ size sheets of paper (to represent the birds' nests)

    • Pencils

    • Paper (one for each child)

    Directions

    1.  Students roll the first die. This shows them how many "nests" to put out.

    2.  Students roll the second die. This shows them how many "bird eggs" (counters/pennies) to put in each nest. They place that many "eggs" onto each index card. 

    For example, if the first die is rolled and lands on three, the student partnership would place three of their six index cards out in front of them. The other student would roll the second die. Let's say that die lands on five. The kids would put five counters on each of the three index cards.  

    3.  Students visually see that there are five eggs in three nests. They record this on their paper. They sketch out the three index cards and put five dots/circles on each square they've drawn.  

    4.  On their paper, after they've drawn the visual representation of what they've built, they write the actual number model under their sketch. So, the child would write 3 x 5 = 15.  

    5.  Students clear their eggs from their nests and roll their die again to play more rounds.  

    Tip: remind the children to roll one die at a time 

    *I have students play in partnerships. However, each child is responsible for recording the information on his or her own paper.  

     

    Do you have a favorite math game or read aloud story?  Please share it in the comments!  

     

    Join us for an exclusive video with Taylor Swift about books, and how reading and writing have influenced her.

    Multiplication is something that we introduce at the second grade level. However, just like cursive, the children can't wait to begin learning more. Perhaps this has less to do about the nature of the content and more about the way in which the material is being delivered. However, after a day or two of learning, some of the children are excited to start sharing the facts they've memorized, while others quickly become intimidated by their lack of being able to recite several facts with speed and accuracy. I work hard to get both groups of students to understand that it's not about being able to quickly recall memorized facts, but more important to comprehend what the facts are helping you to compute, and why one would use that given operation. Stated differently, I want students to understand multiplication as repeated addition, and to be able to visualize examples to help them make sense of the math.  

    A Multiplication Story

    One of my favorite math stories to share with children is Amanda Bean's Amazing Dream: A Mathematical Story. In this book, Amanda loves to count. She counts everything! However, she quickly realizes how counting everything by adding can become a challenge. Amanda discovers the need to learn to multiply.  

    Each year when I share this book with my students, they laugh throughout the entire story as they hear about Amanda's ridiculous journey and her silly need to slowly count everything. By the end, they are chanting right along with the other characters in the book telling Amanda to just multiply.  

    This book really allows the children to visually see multiplication as repeated addition and understand the need to learn how to multiply.  

    Scholastic has a great lesson to accompany Amanda Bean's Amazing Dream.

    A Multiplication Game

    We love to play games in our classroom. We believe that having fun is one of the best parts of learning. So, anytime we get the opportunity to share our knowledge and practice our skills through game-based play, we take advantage of that chance.  

    Materials

    • Counters or pennies (to represent bird eggs)

    • Two dice

    • Six index cards or ¼ size sheets of paper (to represent the birds' nests)

    • Pencils

    • Paper (one for each child)

    Directions

    1.  Students roll the first die. This shows them how many "nests" to put out.

    2.  Students roll the second die. This shows them how many "bird eggs" (counters/pennies) to put in each nest. They place that many "eggs" onto each index card. 

    For example, if the first die is rolled and lands on three, the student partnership would place three of their six index cards out in front of them. The other student would roll the second die. Let's say that die lands on five. The kids would put five counters on each of the three index cards.  

    3.  Students visually see that there are five eggs in three nests. They record this on their paper. They sketch out the three index cards and put five dots/circles on each square they've drawn.  

    4.  On their paper, after they've drawn the visual representation of what they've built, they write the actual number model under their sketch. So, the child would write 3 x 5 = 15.  

    5.  Students clear their eggs from their nests and roll their die again to play more rounds.  

    Tip: remind the children to roll one die at a time 

    *I have students play in partnerships. However, each child is responsible for recording the information on his or her own paper.  

     

    Do you have a favorite math game or read aloud story?  Please share it in the comments!  

     

    Join us for an exclusive video with Taylor Swift about books, and how reading and writing have influenced her.

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