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How can I help students learn their multiplication facts?

Many letters received from both parents and teachers ask for help in teaching students their multiplication facts. One parent put it like this:
"Is there a tried and tested best way of learning multiplication?"
Oh, it would be so nice if we could have a formula to follow. Studies show, however, that children learn in different ways. Some learn best kinesthetically; some learn best when music is involved; some learn using rote memorization methods; still others respond to a visual display.

Teacher2Teacher Associates and contributors in the Teachers' Lounge discussions have responded to these many letters suggesting a variety of methods. Somewhere in the suggestions will be one that works for the student you are helping.

   Suggested techniques:

Answer Card by Maureen Hasenbalg
Arrays by Debra Muse
Chanting by Randy
Flash Cards by Mary Lou Derwent
Hints and Tricks by Linda
Math Masters Game by Linda Kelly
Memorizing through repetition by Judy
Multiplication Bowl by Suzy Rolman
Music by Judy Chambers
Number Families by Ruth Bell Alexander
Row, row, row your boat by Cookie
Slap, Clap, Snap, Snap by R. Daniel
Times Table Strips by Wayne Watson
Variety by Gail R. Englert


T2T discussions about multiplication:

Any ideas on how to get kids to learn their multiplication tables with ease and some fun?...view discussion>>

Teaching multiplication
How can I teach my 8-year-old multiplication without difficulty? My plan is to have him memorize it like I did at that age. ...view discussion>>

Multiplication tables
What are some ways that I can get my son to learn his multiplication tables? He can write them over and over and still does not comprehend them....view discussion>>

Learning multiplication tables
I am not a teacher by profession, but having a child in grade four and trying to teach him ways to memorize his multiplication tables is proving difficult....view discussion>>


Ask Dr. Math resources:

Learning Multiplication Facts - Math Forum, Ask Dr. Math FAQ
Tips for parents, teachers, and students for different ways of learning to multiply....more>>

Learning Multiplication Facts, 2
More tips for parents, teachers, and students for different ways of learning to multiply.

Elementary Level Multiplication
Best archived answers for different ways of learning to multiply.

Napier's Rods
Can you explain why the lattice method of multiplication works?

Napier's Bones
How do Napier's bones work?

Russian Peasant Multiplication - Math Forum, Ask Dr. Math FAQ
What is Russian peasant multiplication? How do I use it? Why does it work? How is the Russian peasant algorithm connected to binary numbers? ...more>>

Tips for Learning Multiplication Tables
I have great difficulty with my 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9 times tables...


Literature connections:

Students' mathematical understanding can be enhanced through literature selected for its mathematical connections. The following books are available through
Amanda Bean's Amazing Dream: A Mathematical Story
by Cindy Neuschwander, Liza Woodruff (Illustrator), Marilyn Burns (Illustrator)

Bats on Parade
by Kathi Appelt, Melissa Sweet (Illustrator)

Each Orange Had 8 Slices: A Counting Book
by Paul Giganti, Donald Crews (Illustrator)

Multiplication Unplugged-Times Tables to 12
by Sara Jordan, Sebastian Hergott

Times Tables the Fun Way: Book for Kids: A Picture Method of Learning the Multiple Facts
by Dave and Judy Rodriguez

Times Tables the Fun Way: Flash Cards
by Dave and Judy Rodriguez


Resources on the Web:

Activities for Kids - Apollo Web Stars
Lesson plans and printable activities can be found under Teacher Help: printouts are available for math worksheets (number chart, addition chart, timed worksheets) and for multiplication tables. You may also search for activities locally by state and ...more>>

All About Multiplication (AAA Math) - John Banfill
Free, interactive math exercises, lessons, and games teaching multiplication tables, fact and multiplication of whole numbers, decimals, and fractions. ...more>>

Aritm - Mikael Bonnier
A Java applet for simple mental calculation, drilling on basic arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division, with 1- or 2-digit terms), in digits, words, or Roman numerals. It will tell you when your answer is wrong, and how many problems ...more>>

Attacking the Multiplication Facts - A Bulletin Board Idea
Dr. Harry Bohan presents an activity that is designed to help the teacher promote a classroom feeling of, "Here is our task, to learn one-hundred multiplication facts. Let's set up a game plan to get this accomplished!" ...more>>

Flashcards (A+ Math)
Java and non-Java homework-helper flashcards for practicing: Java (with answers and with or without sound): addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square roots, and rounding; non-Java: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, order of ...more>>

K-12 Math Problems, Puzzles, Tips & Tricks - Math Forum
Links to calculation tips (Beat the Calculator, Divisibility Rules, Multiplication Tips), Math Problem sets, and math number and line puzzles....more>>

Math Stars - Kids Domain
A Macintosh and Windows shareware program by Roger Clary to download that quizzes students on the four basic math functions: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division. ...more>>

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