The multiple ways to multiply!


At Arithmetic Village, we are firm believers of concept first. But how do you “get” the concept? Everyone is different, that’s why I think it is important to introduce multiplication in a multiple of ways BEFORE starting the journey of memorisation. See the beauty first!

What ways?

First, use manipulatives. Show what 2×5 looks like! Give them equations to show with jewels or rocks or shells or coins. I have also used chalk circles and stuffed animals. Make it fun!

Find multiplication in nature! Clovers, flowers, leaves, etc. Find some equations on a nature walk.

Then skip count or use a number line. See what 2×5 looks like on a number nine. (You can do this anywhere, on a piece of paper, a chalk line or on the beach if you have one near.)
Compare it to other number lines, like the ten’s times tables.screen-shot-2015-08-13-at-1-50-18-pm

Make some jewelry. That’s right! Why not? This teacher has a great lesson right here…

Color a pattern on a 100’s chart. Compare the patterns to other multiplication families. (It is good if you use thin paper that is a bit more transparent, so the patterns of 2/4/6/8 are more evident.) This visual will come in handy when learning about factors.

String art: This is a fantastic, beautiful way to see multiplication patterns appear before you!

After exploring multiplication in all of these forms, then the concept is cellular. Then children have a deeper understanding of the concept, then and only then, should you engage with simple, rote activities songs and tricks for faster recall.