Math Background

Multiplication Tables and Fact Families: When Students Ask

  • Is division harder to learn than multiplication?
    Although division may seem more difficult to students, they should be assured that it's not difficult if they remember that division is the opposite of multiplication. If they know a multiplication fact, they know the corresponding division fact.
  • Why do I have to memorize the multiplication and division facts?
    Remind students that being able to recall the multiplication and division facts quickly will help them when they multiply and divide greater numbers. It will also help them when they are shopping, doing craft projects, participating in sports, and in many other activities.
  • Why are we using a multiplication table to divide?
    Division is the inverse, or opposite, of multiplication. When you use a multiplication table to divide, you can clearly see the relationship between the two operations.
  • What else can I do with a multiplication table besides multiply and divide?
    You can explore number patterns and other math concepts such as square numbers, skip counting, and even and odd numbers.
  • How can I remember all of the multiplication and division facts in a fact family?
    You don't have to. If you know one fact, you can use the numbers in that fact to find the other facts. For example, If you know that 5 x 7 = 35, you can use 5, 7, and 35 to make 7 x 5 = 35, 35 ÷ 5 = 7, and 35 ÷ 7 = 5.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 3