I just noticed that Margo had a similar question to what I was going to ask. I teach 4th grade, and my students do not know their basic multiplication facts! They were supposed to have mastered these in 3rd grade and then we review in 4th grade and build upon those basic facts--2 and 3-digit multiplication. But my students are SO low this year! What kind of things can I do? I want them to memorize their facts rather than counting on their fingers or drawing pictures like I see them doing! Any ideas of things that help with memorization of facts?

If they're not getting multiplication, seems to me like maybe you have to go back to addition, since multiplication is really just repeated addition... Make it as hands-on as possible... 3 groups of 5... count by 3's or 5's, then repeat it as a multiplication problem... In one of my student teaching placements, we had a clothes line strung across the room with multiples of __ clothespinned on... every day, we'd go through them, 3, 6, 9, 12, etc... then we'd stand in front of a number, and have them figure out which number goes there... the ones that had memorized their facts knew it right away, and the others could figure it out quickly. Bonus to this is it allows you to work on doubling/tripling numbers... if I know the 3 tables, I can double all the numbers and get the 6 tables... if I have the 3 tables, I can figure out the 9 tables by tripling... for some reason, that really got our lower kids going (esp. by telling them that it's something they don't usually learn til next year, so they'll be able to impress people... that always worked)... but I digress. the clothes-line thing REALLY worked with our group, probably because it was a lot of repetition at a level they got... just keep trying!

Have them practice skip-counting. Our 3rd graders make a 100's chart book- one 100's chart for each number 2-12. Then they fill in the mulitples of 2 on the first 100's chart, multiples of 3 on the second... Then they practice skip counting with partners and play lots of games with it too. By the end of the year, if they haven't memorized the basic facts they at least have the skip counting strategy to fall back on.

My 4th graders don't know their facts either. We just do the old fashioned flash cards. I started 5 weeks ago. Each week we make 1 set of flash cards (on 3 X 5 index cards). We do lots of flashing in groups, travel,and other games. I took a deck of cards and made a transparancy of them. Then I put them two at a time on the overhead and we make a game of it practicing facts. We do the mad minute tests (but I give them 2 minutes, instead of 1). Lots of those nekkid number problems (just don't tell our administration that we're doing them!) Christy

I teach 4th also. My kids are okay this year. In the past I've done it the old fashioned way. I found these short worksheets on the times tables (the 1's, 2's, etc) I had them complete them on their own in class but could take as long as they needed. When they finished I had my experts(the ones who are in honors or are high) grade them. When they got 100% they got to move their shape(dinosaurs or stars)across to the next level. I had little posters for each times table. When they passed 1 level they moved on. It seemed to work with that group of kids. This year I just do lotsa game type things: multiplication war, around the world, etc. I also took some egg cartons & wrote #'s 1-12 on the bottom inside. Then the kids put 2 beans in the carton. They shake it up open it up & multiply the 2 #'s where their beans landed. They loved this!! (it surprised me I didnt think they'd find it "fun")I made some more challenging by writing 2 digit #'s. I also put 3 beans in the easy cartons. Anyhow, I hope that helped!!

I did that egg carton game with my fourth graders last year and they loved it. I put a little directions sheet inside and covered it with laminating film; then I could use a dry-erase to change what I wanted them to practice (i.e. change the operation, or the number of beans to put in the container). We called the game "Multiple Jumping Beans" since we were practicing multiplication.

One of my college math books uses the clock to teach 5's. 5 x 8= 40 since 8 is 40 min past!!! Have you used the 9 trick with the hands to help with the 9's?!? I know you want them to move away from using hands, but until they really get it?!?

I think the hands trick is okay for always! It is very quick and that's the goal. If you present multiplication to the kids like this, it makes it seem more manageable: 1 times are obvious, 2 times they already know, 3 times is just 2 times with one more group added, 4 times is just double the 2 times, all the numbers 1-10 times themselves are pretty easy, 5 times are simple, 6 times is just 5 times with one more group added. That leaves 7's and 8's to memorize and 9's to use with hands. Not too bad!

my principal purchased a supplemental math series called Otter Creek. I'm putting the word problem system onto transparencies this week and I'll begin short classes on the overhead. This program gives you the words to guide the students when reading word problems. It helps them understand how to fill in a number sentence and to then find the missing part of the sentence. It covers add/sub and mult/div. I'll let you know how it works. The video of the author is visually blah, but content rich! Just having the right questions to ask the students in a particular order to organize (my) their thoughts is worth a million bucks. I'll write again soon. maxine

Thanks for all the ideas. Our school uses Everyday Math and it has a lot of multip. games in it. So, I do a lot of multip. review games ( like multiplication baseball, multiplication top-it (similar to war), around the world multip., beat the calculator, multip. bingo, etc.) and we also practice flash cards in partners, but some of the students still don't seem to be improving as much as I'd hoped. Some of the students were just rusty from the summer, but some are really struggling. They get the concept of multip., but I want them to get them memorized so they don't have to draw pictures or lines. I love the 9's fingers trick and I showed them that. I guess what I want to know are some more "trick" that will help the students memorize their facts. Have any of you heard of Times Tables the Fun Way? I've heard of it--never taught with it--but I think it uses little rhymes to help the students remember facts. I think that might help some of my students. It makes multip. problems into stories. I think one goes something like this--eight times eight fell on the floor, got back up, and it was sixty-four. I'm not sure if that is right, but it works for some students. Does anyone have any ideas along those lines? Memory strategies?

The book Math for Humans has tricks for teaching the times tables (i.e. memory tricks to teach students). I don't have the text anymore but you could check the library.

I dont know if the product is still made, but way back when i was in 3rd grade, We had a tape called Multiplication rap..and you would listen to the tape that put the tables into a song! Study shows that when set to lyrics, things are retained! I am sure all of your kids know the words to the most recent song on the radio, mabye this would work???

Also School House Rock has a 3's song... maybe you can get ahold of a video? I just bought the complete School House Rock Collection DVD.

Try using the different learning styles. Have them sing the 3 tables to the tune of when the saints come marching in. See which specific facts each child doesn't know - if they are auditory learners have them learn a sentence to remember the fact like My gate my gate has a sticky door code for 8 X 8 = 64.

Schoolhouse Rock actually has a multiplication song for most of the facts--I have the video somewhere, I picked it up at a garage sale. I know my fourth graders had watched it last year--they could sing the songs but they weren't really sure what they meant or how to apply them.

Me I'm 14 and I am a Freshmen in high school. I still do not know my multiplication facts, I get by by adding everything! It really... hurts me in math to know know them. ITs becasue I enver learned them in 3rd grade.

I have had that same problem with my 4th grader. she loves aaron carter and music so i purchased the multiplication rap c/d and we listen to it everywhere. in the car, while in the tub, bonding believe me if it's put to music. they will respond. goooooood luck

I know a 3rd grade teacher who uses the rhymes "I eight and I eight and got sick on the floor, 8x8 is 64...... The football fact: 7x7 is the 49'ers. Six and Eight went in the gate, came back out as 48 lots of other ones too. I'll ask him for a copy and respond back. n_a [/i] The book Math for Humans has tricks for teaching the times tables (i.e. memory tricks to teach students). I don't have the text anymore but you could check the library. [/QUOTE]

Pringles calculator It's so coooool! I just had to share this. I just got back from the LATM conference (Louisiana Assoc. of Teachers of Math). At one of the sessions we made a mulitiplication calculator out of a pringles can. You have one sheet that basically has a mult. table on it. You glue it sideways on the can. You have a second page that has holes in specific places. You wrap it around the can so that it can move around the can. When you line it up it shows the two factors and the product. I left my digital camera at school. I try and get a picture of it to show tomorrow. It is really cool! Christy

Here is a fun way, use the 3-D multiplication table (iqee.com) and back to the flashcards! Better that they master that now, than later.

9 trick After students learn the finger trick, teach them that 9x6 =54 The five is one less than six and 5 plus 4 = 9 Works on all nines and is fast. 9x3 = 27 The first number is 2 one less than the 3 And 2 plus 7 = 9. 8x7 = 56. count 5, 6, 7, 8. Have the whole class learn that fact Ask the class to answer as a group. Than go around the room and each student says: 8x7=56 Do this everyday for a week. I think this is probably the hardest fact.

I also teach 3rd grade and am currently teaching the mult. facts. Every other day I give a 20 fact quiz on the facts we've studied. The students each have a large graph sheet on which they graph their score for that particular quiz. (5 points awarded for each correct response) They can visually see whether they are improving or need to study harder. They love this activity and love to see their scores go up and up. They color them in using different colors so it is easier to see. The parents also find this helpful as they can see whether or not more practice is needed at home. It also allows me to see who needs practice more quickly too. I make one large graph (12 x 18 sheet) and run copies for each student. They fill in the necessary information. This also reinforces graphing skills.

this might help... As far as memorizing facts goes, when I was in third grade, we had paper kites with string on the end hung around the room that had a number on them, 1-10. When we memorized table, like the 1's table, we would recite the facts to our teacher, and then our name was added on a little paper bow to the kite tail. When everyone's name was on all the kites, we got to have a pizza party with the teacher...I think it worked well because no one wanted to let the class down...I don't know if you could use a technique like that, but I hope it at least gives you some ideas!!

Hi everyone.... MULTIPLICATION! I feel it is one of the most important skills our elementary children need to learn. I agree...it should be mastered in 3rd. grade, but like a few others who have responded, that hasn't happened in our school either! I teach 5th grade, and my students come to me not knowing their multiplication facts, also. They know a lot of "games" or tricks, but those strategies won't help them "Master" multiplication facts. Mastery, to me, is INSTANT RECALL...not a 20 second delay in answering while they count fingers, or knuckles, or recite some jingle! Great strategies for introducing multiplication, but not for the caliber of mastery required in fifth grade. I start "MY" way of mastering multiplication facts with my fifth grade students in the first week of school! I'm "Old School"...I was a third grade student grade in the 50's! We learned by reciting, reciting, and reciting some more. Only now, I use an overhead...each table on its own sheet...answers included...and my "Magic Wand"...a laser pointer! (Kids LOVE gimmicks!) We "follow the bouncing ball" (laser pointer) along each fact saying aloud, "Two times two equals four, two times three equals six..." and so forth. After several repetitions, I cover up the answers. Again, we "follow the bouncing ball"...and recite some more. Finally, the "clincher". I allow a student to use my "Magic Wand"...and we recite some more! This whole process takes about 15 minutes. We review the selected table using the "Magic Wand", (2's, or 3's, or whatever we're learning that week) each day. On the second day of "MY" way...I give them a 1 minute timed test. We do a timed test each day thereafter, following our "Magic Wand" review. On Friday they take a final test for a grade. The laser pointer aids my visual learners, reciting aids my auditory learners, and allowing a student to use the "Magic Wand" excites ALL OF THEM! As they learn their tables, I also start giving them 5 minute timed tests. (100 mixed multiplication facts) When they can complete two 5 minute tests in a row (with NO incorrect answers), they are then a member of the "Math Facts Club"!! They recieve a special pencil from me, a "Badge-A-Minut" button stating they are a Math Facts Champion, and their picture goes up in the hall on a color coded star! I have 5 minute members (green star), 4 minute members (yellow star), 3 minute members (red star), 2 minute members (blue star), and less than 2 minute members(silver star)! This year I have TWO LD students in the "Less than 2 minute" category!! SUCCESS ! We are still doing our 5 minute timed test each morning as students are trying to go up to the next star. My "less than two minute" champs are also doing the test, trying to beat each other's times! LOL! I did use an unorthodoxed method to get one boy to finally pass his 5 minute test! He was only missing 2 - 3 answers each day. So close, but no cigar! I told him, for each problem he missed, I was gonna "smooch" him! I don't need to tell you, HE PASSED HIS TIMED TEST THE NEXT DAY! This strategy has worked for me almost 100% of the time for the past 4 years...reciting, Magic Wand, Math Facts Club. My students are excited about multiplication, and even more so about math in general since they can now advance into the more complicated math skills encountered in fifth grade, so many of which rely on multiplication mastery. I didn't mean to "go on so"...this reply is a mile long! I hope some or all of my ideas help you solve your multiplication mastery woes.

I, too, teach 5th grade and agree with KMC. There is no time in 5th grade to re-teach the facts. By mid-year or early spring we start reducing fractions and finding equivalent fractions. They better not be scrambling for multiplication facts then. I used to teach 3rd and told the kids that if they didn't master facts to 11 they would have to go to summer school or be tutored. Starting in the beginning of 3rd grade you can add one multiplication fact to the bottom of each spelling list. 3rd grade is the time and place to do all the hands-on activities possible, along with the paper and pencil stuff. We used to sing the multiples (I like better than singing the whole facts) each morning to the tune of Frere Jacques. Try it. It works great. Even now, when I tutor older students who I've taught in the past, if they forget one, I sing the multiples up to that point and they immediately know what comes next. Multiplication bingo is also lots of fun for 3rd and 4th graders.

I let the students watch evry school house rock multipilcation rock. I also buy tapes and I let the students listen to the, while they are working. I also give each student a multiplication chart and have them tape it to their math folder or book or some place that the have it everyday. We also do Multiplication time tests. We also review a number set everday like 1's, 2's, 3's etc... Hope I helped! Good luck

When I did my student teaching in England, one of the things we did was hang a clothes line across the room, and we clothes-pinned a set of facts hanging to it... we practiced counting by 2, 3, 4, 5, etc, whatever the numbers were up there... then we had up, like 2's, and we said, "oh ,you can figure out the 4's from this... just double it! And if you can do 4, double it and get 8's!" By practicing counting by the number, they were working on their multiplication facts. This was 7-8 year olds, but it's basically a 3rd grade curriculum... maybe something like this will help you? ***** oops... jst went back and realized I'd already posted this! Aah well, might help anyway.

Hi. There is a book by Greg Tang that deals with multiplication. I use that, schoolhouse rock, flash cards, timed tests, worksheets, oh yea I drill the children as well. Mix up the old way of teaching multiplication with the new way. Give them some sort of multiplication every day. If they don't use it, they could forget it.