Learning multiplication facts is a huge deal for 3rd grade. For many of us, learning multiplication facts was pure, agonizing torture. ? I want my students to know that multiplication practice can be fun. After teaching the basic concepts of multiplication with manipulatives, I like to use music and games to help students put basic facts into long term memory.
Multiplying with Music
I begin with this (affiliate link) CD of skip counting songs from Melody House. I play these songs long before my kids are introduced to multiplication. Even though the title says multiplication, these songs do not include multiplication facts – skip counting songs only. These songs have been around for a very long time. As a matter of fact, I first started using these songs over 20 years ago. ? The songs are not very modern, but they are extremely catchy. I’ve been told that my students sing them years after they leave my class. ? That’s a win in my book!
Listen to a sample of my favorite song from the CD. The other songs are not this fast, so don't get overwhelmed.
Once my kids have mastered skip counting, I move on to videos by Music Notes Online. This music set comes in CD (audio only) and DVD with music videos. I would definitely recommend getting the videos. These songs are very catchy and my kids love dancing to them.
Although I rely a lot on multiplication songs, nothing replaces good old fashioned practice. The key is to provide opportunities for practice without drilling and killing. Another way I make multiplication practice fun is with no prep activities that students love.
My “Go To” Multiplication Activities
With math fact searches students solve the equation more than once. As they are searching for the equation, they typically recite the fact in their head giving them more interaction with the fact.
Multiplication Gears provides a lot of practice, in a fun format. The best part is that each “gear” has 2 problems with missing factors so my students have to work backwards. This prepares them for algebraic reasoning.
Students love spinning and multiplying. By adding a paper clip, this worksheet just became a fun activity. The novelty of using a paper clip to spin the factor keeps my students highly engaged.
Four in a Row games are a big hit in my class! To play this game, students spin a paper clip to find a factor to multiply by the number given inside the circle. Then, they find the product in the grid and color it in. The player with four products in a row (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) wins the game. Not only are students practicing multiplication facts in an exciting way, they are also developing game playing strategies.
I'm very pleased with the progress my students make each year using these resources. Being fluent with math facts is allows my kids to focus more brain power on problem solving. Click here to make multiplication fun and get a 14 page FREEBIE containing games and activities for multiplying x6.