July 19, 2024

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How to Teach Children to Multiply in 5 Easy Steps

You may find yourself more confused than your pupils as you prepare to teach how to multiply. Teaching multiplication, though, doesn’t have to be difficult. A methodical strategy is all that’s required. In what way is 45 multiplied by 14? What, they can’t figure it out?

Students will gain self-assurance, and you’ll have easy-to-implement lesson plans with this five-step method for teaching multiplication.

  1. Experiment with Real Fiddling

Using manipulatives that can count makes multiplication easier to grasp. Toss off any concerns you may have regarding the monetary value of your presents (buttons, blobs of modeling clay, cut-outs, bottle caps).

To make the information more accessible, use the following strategies:

Sort Items Into Groups

To see what occurs, let’s multiply 3 by 4 to make a point.

A good way for students to keep track of their manipulatives is to divide them into three sets of four and label them with a circle, a square, and a triangle.

In this approach, the method underlying each multiplication issue may readily see: Adding together all the x’s that are multiples of y yields z.

Using an Array

Students can continue working with the subject of 3 4 by arranging their manipulatives into three rows of four. Then, pupils may show that the sum of the three rows of four is eight, not six, as could be expected from a similar example. We call this setup an “array” in the jargon.

  1. Try Skip Counting

After children have mastered counting and putting away their manipulatives, they can teach to skip counting (counting in lots of a given number).

Even so, a set or array may come in handy. Now that students have a better idea of how many items are in each column or space, they can more quickly tally up their total.

Three plus four equals four.

4 + 4 = 8

8 + 4 = 12

Finger counting by twos is another method they may use to master skip counting.

  1. emphasize the commutative property

As the commutative property of multiplication, the result may be obtained by reversing a sum. This is why 12 may be calculated by multiplying either 3 by 4 or 4 by 3.

If students can master the commutative concept, they will have considerably more discretion in how they approach multiplication issues. Learning one piece of information entails simultaneously learning its reverse, so they’ll find it easier to recall their tables.

To demonstrate this, have students put manipulatives in a 3×4 array on a sheet of paper and then have them rearrange them in a 4×3 array without disturbing any original ones.

You may drop hints all you want, but soon they’ll figure out that turning the page will solve the problem. The only difference is that the order of the elements in the array has been flipped.

  1. Practice Multiplication Tables

After mastering the concept up to 12, students expected to remember the tables.

Just get the easy ones out of the way:

If you multiply any integer by 1, you get the original number back.

A two-fold multiplication of an integer is equivalent to adding the integer to itself.

Multiplying any integer from 1 to 9 by 11 equals multiplying by the same digit twice.

There’s a good chunk of the 1212 table right there, and you can find it with little work. Emphasize the commutative property to your students, which means that all these elementary truths hold even if the numbers are flipped around.

Memorizing the remaining digits of the multiplication table requires practice and repetition. Try these things out:


They may set up interesting competitions in the style of well-known game shows, but it is important to make adjustments for students who may need them. Awards are one kind of extrinsic incentive that may apply.

To begin, players are dealt a single-number card and a corresponding multiplication expression. In this activity, students take turns reading the sentence “I have [my number], who has x times y?” to their peers, who must give the proper answer.

  1. Educational Internet Opportunities

Turn to study multiply into a game or thrilling story to keep students engaged. Student-users of Mathletics, for instance, get to travel the “multiverse” while they practice multiplication and division. They’ll want to come back for more of the same since it’s so engaging.

Use Language to Your Advantage

Students may acquire a distorted grasp of multiplication if they taught the topic only through fact fluency. Thus, it is crucial to combine fact fluency exercises with word problems.

Because it is sometimes difficult for students to make the leap from visuals to text, it is useful to begin by encouraging them to construct mental representations of the problem at hand. Teach students to draw diagrams that highlight observable data points.

Find success with the Schema Approach

Comparison of two or more multiply word problems side by side might help reveal the common formula (schema) underlying them. In this way, they can better disregard the seemingly irrelevant particulars of a word problem and zero down on the reliable answer at its heart.

You may want to check using an educational technology application that already has some built-in word problems if you’re tired of thinking up increasingly more complicated ones on your own. For instance, Mathletics provides over 700 different reasoning and problem-solving activities tailored to certain learning objectives.