Multiple Ways to Multiply

This post is an oldie  (hence the maskless students) but goodie: When we spend enough time early in the year on place value and number sense, teaching multiplication and division go much more smoothly. 
We always begin exploring abstract concepts with concrete manipulatives. Base 10 pieces are some of my favorite.
As I pose various multiplication problems, student use the base 10 pieces to build & solve. This leads naturally into learning about area model and partial products (again, place value is the basis for these). We move from building multiplication problems to learning how to record our process on paper.
For homework, instead of giving a worksheet with numerous problems, I've been giving 1 problem and students solve using at least 4 different methods. They LOVE this and for me it's time-saving because it's self-checking; all four solutions should be the same answer!
 Since all of these methods besides standard algorithm is soooo different than when I was going to school, I know parents might be confused. I started to flip my math classroom by making teaching videos this year, through Educreations. I'm NOT techie AT ALL,  but even I was able to figure out how to make a video. using my iPad and a stylus. My first attempts (below) are a little embarrassing, but so far they've gotten rave reviews and nothing but thanks from parents & students alike. My class says they watch & rewatch the videos when they study and do homework. 
You can watch the lattice method of multiplication.
Check out area model.
Here's one on partial products.
Finally, here's a video on standard algorithm.
Students LOVE sharing their solutions on our SMARTboard!
You may be interested in some Fall Multiplication Task Cards for students to use for practice. I encourage them to solve with whichever method they want, but most kids soon find out that standard algorithm is the fastest strategy.
How do you teach multiplication so your students understand the concept? Be sure to click on the blogs below for more great teaching ideas!

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1 comment

  1. Number sense skills are so important in math. I really enjoyed reading your great tips for teaching multiplication!