Math Background

Multiplication Tables and Fact Families: Tips and Tricks

  • You can help students understand the relationship between multiplication and division by posting related pairs of number sentences in your classroom with color-coded labels.
    Five times nine equals forty-five; forty-five divided by five equals nine.
  • Have students keep a multiplication table in their math journals. They can keep track of their progress by shading the division facts they have memorized.
  • Some students may have difficulty following the rows and columns on a multiplication table. Suggest that they use rulers or index cards to serve as a guide.
  • Make a customized multiplication table to meet the needs of your students. For example, when students are focusing on the multiplication and division facts to 5, prepare a multiplication table that goes only to 5. This can provide a real boost to your students' confidence.
  • Play “Division Squares.” Prepare board cards for each student. Write division expressions such as 12 ÷ 3 in the squares on each board card. (Each expression should have a different quotient.) Then call out a quotient and have students use a bean or a counter to cover the square that has the corresponding expression. The first student to completely cover a row, column, or diagonal is the winner.
  • Do a quick warm-up activity each day to reinforce fact families. Say three numbers, such as 2, 9, and 18. Each of the first four students to raise their hands says one fact in the family.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 3