I don’t know about you but one of my favorite things I get to teach in 3rd grade would have to be multiplication. At the beginning of the year, students come in excited to learn about multiplication. While my plans vary from year to year on how I teach multiplication, depending on the needs of my kids, below is an outline of a 5-day unit I use to help students understand and master multiplication.
Day 1- All About Arrays
As an introduction to the lesson I always show the Brain Pop Jr on Arrays- My school has a Brain Pop Jr. Membership and my students always love learning what Annie & Moby are up to!
The link to the video is: https://jr.brainpop.com/math/multiplicationanddivision/arrays/
After showing the Brain Pop Jr. Video clip- I use a Multiplication Array PowerPoint to review the concept of arrays. While I am going through the slides, students have their white boards at their seats and when I show the array they must present me with the addition sentence, multiplication sentence, and product that matches the array. Anytime the students use whiteboards they are much more engaged than with just pencil and paper. At the conclusion of the PowerPoint there is a quick Exit Slip slide and my students fill out the answers on an index card. I use the card as an assessment to see who might need more practice.
Day 2- What strategy do you use?
On the second day of the multiplication unit, students get to find out which multiplication strategies work best for them. I use a Multiplication Strategies PowerPoint and we work through the problems together as students work out the problems on their whiteboards. Just like on day one at the conclusion of the PowerPoint there is a quick Exit Slip slide and my students fill out the answers on an index card. I use the card as an assessment to evaluate who needs more practice.
Day 3- Prove you can multiply through puzzles!
Puzzle Day! Yes, I said it, day 3 of the unit in my classroom is puzzle day. My students learn so much from puzzles and group work, so on this day their job is to solve all 22 multiplication puzzles with a partner or in a small group. This works great as a multiplication center activity. I also print out a few sets and laminate them and students can work on them throughout the year when they finish their work early.
Day 4- Review Time
We all stand in a circle and students are given a card. The first student says, “I have ____, who has___” and the pattern continues. The first couple of times, this game may take a few minutes, but I promise your students will get better the more you play it. Once we have played it a few days in a row, I will time them, and the class will try to beat their previous time.
Also, as a review of what we have learned about Multiplication I use a Multiplication Review PowerPoint. Students can answer the multiple choice questions on loose leaf paper, whiteboards, or my personal favorite their PLICKER cards. Plicker cards are really a paper version of a multiple choice clicker system without the added cost. I print out the cards and assign the students their number and BAM! We are on our way to instant assessment in the classroom. I can quickly see who is mastering the concept of multiplication.
If you would like to learn more about Plickers click the link: https://plickers.com/
Day 5 and beyond
Math Facts Fluency- I believe all 3rd graders benefit greatly when they are fluent in multiplication. I use Multiplication Facts Fluency Worksheets to measure their fluency growth. With this fact fluency system, students can work at their own pace to master each set of multiplication facts. Students enjoy setting goals for themselves and coloring in their data sheet once they are ready to move on to the next set of facts.