In my most recent newsletter I asked for people to reply to me and let me know the areas of weaknesses of their students to help you the most when creating items for intervention. While I am working on that I wanted to also create a round-up of resources so that you had other ideas to grab for use in your classroom.
One of the first things that teachers were telling me, and I remember experiencing in my own classroom (yes, even 8th graders) was MULTIPLICATION FACTS. Yes, those facts that we start teaching in 3rd grade our students are not mastering. Teaching has changed since I went to school and we learned through drill and timed tests. I won’t even get to the controversy of those as I do feel they are okay for some students and not for others, you have to know your students.
Starting your math class with a bit of music from my friends at Music Notes Online is a great way to get students interacting with their learning. Better yet, just leave it playing in the background while students are working and you will start hearing them singing along with their favorite songs and learning at the same time!
When you first start teaching multiplication it is all about arrays but who says you can go back to teaching this way when students haven’t mastered their basic facts? Very tactile, kinesthetic and definitely colorful!
We have all played the Squares game as a kid so mixing that with the use of dice (and just think of the cool dice you can add into this game), to have students practice their multiplication facts. Definitely something they could do after they finish an assignment or test or even for after-school intervention as they are engaged, practicing facts and checking their partners.
A perfect collaboration activity that can be hung up around the room for all to see if these Spooky Ghost Multiplication Pennant Banners from one of my good buddies Scaffolded Math and Science. Gives just one problem per banner, allows students to do a little bit of classroom decoration at the same time and take ownership of their learning by seeing their own work posted regularly in the classroom.
DIY Multiplication Games is a book that was created by a mother to help her children with dyslexia and memory problems who were struggling with multiplication facts not only learn but have fun doing so. There is quite a bit of repetition in this book which is great for those students who need the 1-on-1 repetition of facts to get things down. This is more than just flash cards and filling in worksheets, this is a fun set of mind games, puzzles and art games just to nail down those facts!
Identifying mulitplication properties doesn’t come easy for all students and this center activity from Blair Turner (while meant for 3rd grade) is something I can see even using in middle school while leading up to expressions and equations. Students have to match the expression to a broken down form of the expression (or equivalent expression) and see that just because they are written differently doesn’t mean that they aren’t the same value.
Another fluency game is this Multiplication Punch Card Packet by the great Shelly Rees of Appletastic Learning. Shelly combines individual punch cards, group punch cards, reward certificates and reward bracelets all in this one pack together for you to get the most BANG for your BUCK! Definitely something to check out if you are working with you Upper Elementary kiddos on mastering those facts!
And last, but certainly not least- because these are TOO COOL, are X-Bandz for Math which are known by teachers at ‘Today’s Flash Cards”. We all see students wearing silicone bracelets for various things around their wrists so why not give them one for the facts they are trying to master! How stinkin’ cool would this be? Then when they have mastered those facts they get to get the next bracelet to practice. I seriously want to wear all of these bracelets like NOW!
Do you have a FAVORITE resource to share for Multiplication Fact Fluency? Feel free to leave a comment in the links below to share it!