Multiplication Fact Fluency AKA Tying Up An Angry, Hungry Grizzly is Easier!

I don't know about you guys, but getting my kids to practice multiplication facts is *thisclose* to near impossible. My school does have a neat computer program called Fast Math that the students use and enjoy.  For many, though, it is simply not enough.  They need lots and lots and lots of exposure and repetitions of multiplication facts and also strategies. 

Many of my students try to add 9  seven times and get 61. Then of course, he or she just might argue they are right because they did the work. Oye. 

 Now that we are moving into 2 and 3 digit multiplication it is SO much harder for the kids that don't know their facts OR have no other strategies other than adding to find the answers.


So I/ we have gone all kinds of hard core. We are now playing Around the World daily.  I am sure everyone knows this game, but I am going to share my twist.  The class sits in a circle on the carpet.  I have two packs of multiplication flash cards.  I use one pack of cards for the game.  Each students is flashed a card and then I (I am the only one that gets to do any sort of counting!) count in my head, silently to 10.  If the student knows the answer by this time or before, they keep the card and are still in the game.  If the students does not know the answer or gets the answer incorrect they are out.  Here is my twist.  Then they get a small stack of flash cards from the other pack - maybe 5-6.  They go to their desks and go over the cards continuously.  No peeking to watch the game, they just practice their cards. 

We (my co-teacher and I) explain that we give only a few cards so they are more likely to memorize them.   We explain THIS is their time to practice so they can stay in the game longer- don't waste it by not practicing!  At first kids didn't take it seriously- UNTIL I made a big deal because the kids that actually DID practice after they were out the first game, stayed in longer the next game. 

When we first played the game, we played three rounds in 10 minutes because they ALL got out so quickly.  That was maybe a week ago.  On Monday we played ONE round in the same amount of time and had to stop with SEVEN winners because I RAN OUT of flash cards (clearly I need a third pack!!).  Yahoo!



The next game I will be introducing is a Multiplication Fact Bee.  I did this with my fourth graders years ago and I guess it is time to dust off this game!  Here is how to play this one:

Project the “Wild about Facts” slide show for all students to see.  Line up the class in two lines.  Each line is a team. The first two students will be playing against each other.  Show the first multiplication problem, the first child to say the answer correctly gets a point for his or her team.  These two students go to the back of the line.  The next two students then compete against each other with the next multiplication problem.  The team with the most points at the end of game play wins!

  I can't decide if I want the child that doesn't get the fact to go practice or not.  I may leave it up to the kids.  Since we really have stressed it in a positive light (they learn more and therefore will stay longer in the games), I bet many of my kids would actually choose to go to their seats to practice. 

This slide show is totally editable, so add more slides with new facts, or click and drag to rearrange!  I purpose put the answers in orange, because I (think) I read somewhere that the brain remembers the color orange best.  True or urban legend?  I have no idea but thought it couldn't hurt!

If you are looking for free, printable flash cards I love these!

Click here for this great pack of FREE math centers, plus get tips and updates from me!




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4 comments

  1. I use Xtra Math with my kids for addition & subtraction fact fluency. It is SUPER easy and takes about 2 minutes a day per kid. I have 4 computers and almost everyone gets through during morning work time. I LOVE it! :)

    Casey
    Second Grade Math Maniac Blog
    Teachers Pay Teachers Store

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  2. Thanks for sharing your twist, I love the idea of having the students who end up out return to their seats to practice additional facts. =)

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  3. Great twist to Around the world. I think I will give that a try with my first graders and addition facts. Thanks!
    Alyce

    Mrs. Bartel’s School Family

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  4. I am so happy you imparted! so much fun in Math Fractions . I have been attempting to think about a fun approach to practice duplication for my more seasoned two, who have the information, yet could simply utilize the fun practice to help them be snappier to reply.

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