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Multiplication Games - Making Math FUN!!!

My kiddos absolutely love this flyswatter game! I can’t take credit for making this game up, but I have used it for years. I’ve used it in grades 2-5 and it has been a hit in all the grades. I’ve used it for addition too (you can see my addition chart showing through behind it).

It was really simple to make. For this one, I just used yellow butcher paper. This chart is actually in three parts (which makes it easier for storage and it allowed me to laminate it). I staple them all on the wall to look like it is one large chart. To make the numbers, I just used precut stars since I already had them on hand. IMPORTANT, only use numbers that are products!!! This chart is easily 8 years old. At the end of the year I take it down, roll it up, and store it for the next year.

The rules are simple – divide your class into teams (we often do boys v. girls). Give each team a flyswatter. Mine are labeled for each team.

Have some flashcards ready. I usually pick through mine and pick only the ones that we have already learned.

Both of my lines stand behind my rug. You could easily make a line on the floor out of tape for them to stand behind. The first person in each line stands on the rug (or in front of the line). I show both of the students a flash card and the first person to tap (not slam) the correct answer gets one point. The winner gets to stay for one more turn. The person who did not get it, goes to the end of their line. The first team to 25 is usually the winning team in our class.

 Guidelines before starting:
·        Make sure that they know they cannot smack the flyswatters too hard. I always joke and tell them that the teacher next door doesn’t want a new hairdo from them knocking through the wall.
·        Explain that they cannot simply hold their flyswatters close to the chart before finding the answer - this blocks the other person and they will automatically lose their turn if they do this.
·        When their turn is over, they have to gently hand the flyswatter to the next person in line.
·        If it is not their turn, they have to stay off the rug (or behind the rug).

That is it -  you’re ready to practice your facts and have fun!

Below is my FREEBIE for teaching the beginning multiplication facts!

Teaching Beginning Multiplication

I always try to introduce my second graders to multiplication in the last month of the school year. It is important that my students understand the concept of multiplication before they enter the third grade. Hint: Ask the PE teacher if they can skip count by different numbers while stretching. 3’s and 4’s are tough for them, but if they can skip count by them before we start our unit on multiplication, they will have an easy time mastering the skill.

            Where do I begin? Of course the easiest set of facts is the 0’s. This only takes one lesson. Then, we move on to the 1’s. This only requires one lesson as well.

            I begin the 2’s by explaining that they are just our doubles facts from addition. We also do some sort of drawing activity to help them see what the concept of multiplying looks like. This is really important when they are just starting to learn how to multiply. It also shows them how multiplication is used in real life. I also think that it is really important that they learn them in word problem form.

            We learn our 3’s the same way that we learn our 2’s. Again, skip counting by 3’s daily (and at different times of the day) helps them tremendously.

            We do many of the same sort of drawing activities with our 4’s and 5’s too. Once we have mastered the concept of multiplication, we move on to solving word problems without pictures to help. When solving word problems, we do the following steps. These steps help when moving on to more difficult word problems down the road.
  1. 1Read the entire word problem. 
  2. Underline the question and understand what they are wanting you to find or solve.
  3. Go back and circle only the important numbers that you need to solve the problem.
  4. Solve the problem.

            Once we have worked through our 5’s I like to show them a multiplication chart that shows how many of the facts that they know. There are only 25 other facts that are left for them to learn. I generally don’t go past the 5’s for my second graders. Rather, I would prefer them to be confident and completely master the basic facts.

Below is a FREEBIE that you can use in your classroom to help your students learn their basic facts!

The complete Beginning Multiplication Unit can be found here:

Teaching Place Value and Numbers to 1,000

Let’s face it – base ten blocks are BIG in the new math standards. Understanding place value is a key concept for students to learn. Base ten blocks are great because they are a hands-on way for students to build numbers.
 In second grade we build on our previous knowledge and add the thousands place to the mix…

 In order to remember the places, we make a foldable activity to place in our Math journals. This is a great reference whenever we need to use it!

 The FREEBIE below contains the place value foldable activity! It also contains some great material to reinforce place value.

The complete Place Value Unit can be found below!