Math Background

Using a Multiplication Table: Tips and Tricks

  • Some students may have difficulty following the rows and columns on a multiplication table. Let them use rulers or index cards to serve as a guide.
  • Have students keep a multiplication table in their math journals to use as a reference. They can keep track of their progress by highlighting the multiplication facts they have memorized.
  • Make a customized multiplication table to meet the needs of your students. For example, when students are focusing on the multiplication facts to 6, prepare a multiplication table that goes only to 6. This can provide a real boost to your students' confidence.
  • Have your students practice multiplication facts with flash cards. They can benefit from making their own and practicing with a partner.
  • Create a bulletin board of multiplication patterns. Have students shade rows and columns on a multiplication table that show a pattern they have discovered. Then have them write a description of the pattern. Post the multiplication tables and descriptions of the patterns on the board.
  • Two or more students can play Multiplication Concentration. Write an expression such as 8 x 7 on each of eighteen index cards. Write the corresponding products on eighteen more cards. Arrange the cards facedown in a 6-by-6 array. Players take turns matching expressions and products. The player with the greatest number of matches wins the game.
  • Play “What am I?” Say to students, “Seven is one of my factors. The sum of my digits is 6. What am I?” (42) Repeat this activity with other numbers.
  • Do a quick warm-up activity each day to reinforce the Associative Property of Multiplication. On the board, write a three-factor expression such as 2 x 5 x 1. Have volunteers say the expression as a two-factor multiplication sentence. (10 x 1 = 10, 2 x 5 = 10, and so on)

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 3