I will be teaching a fourth grade class this year of twelve students for math. Most of the twelve students are in our school's LD program. What do you find an effective and fun way to teach multiplication and division to this age?

Do you know the Acronym: Does McDonald's Serve Cheese Burgers? D(oes)=Divide M(cDonald's)=Multiply S(erve)=Subtract C(heese)=Check B(urgers)=Bring down These are the steps in a division problem. Turn lined paper sideways to line up multiplication problems- helps keep numbers in the correct place value spots. Write one digit in number per space between lines. Hope this all is clear and helpful!!

That really does help! And no, I have never heard of the acronym before! I realize that my students need to get a really good grasp on multiplication before they can complete measurement, geometry, and all other problems.

They need to get a grip on multiplication, yes... but it may also help motivate them to get said grip if from time to time you let them play with measurement, geometry, and all that so they see where knowing the times tables comes in handy. See John Mighton's The Myth of Ability and his Web site http://www.jumptutoring.org for discussion. One game that might help is the 24 Game, http://www.math24.com.

TouchMath has great CDs with skip counting (for multiplication) songs. The class next door loves them!

I'll definitely let them experiment with everything from the very beginning and model specific problems to them. One thing I know I'm definitely not doing is spending too long on something so they never get to do what the other classes are doing.

i also teach special ed 4th and 5th grade. i teach my students to multiply by learning to skip count by the number. We start with 7 since I do a calendar math activity every day. We count by 7's and I ask them questions such as How many days are there in 3 weeks? etc. They take tests on the different time tables and complete a time table chart and hihglight the ones they know. We keep these on the wall in a page protector. We review constantly and before long they will know them. i also teach them to learn the doubles and near doubles and how to add on to figure out the ones they don't know. Nan

Something I haven't done for a while, but really helped my students SEE that multiplication is repeated addition was to make a multiplication book. Excuse the long description here, but I don't have a photo. Divide a blank sheet of paper into 12 equal size boxes. I turned it landscape style and number each box 1-12. We had TONS of the small round stickers and put stickers in the box to equal the multiplication fact. SO, if it was the 6's..there were 6 stickers in box 1 and 6 stickers in box 2 and 6 stickers in box 3, and so on. Students could then actually count the stickers if they needed to to realize that 6x4=24. They knew to count all the stickers up to and including box 4 to find the product of 6x4. Each set of multiplication facts was given a page and was backed by a different colored sheet of construction paper (This way, I could tell at a glance if everyone was on the same page) It would work to just put the stickers on colored paper to begin with. We laminated and spiral bound them when we finished. We spiral bound them. I did not have them do a page for 1's or 0's, but depending on abilities, you may want to do this just to help reinforce the concept. And, experience taught me to start with the 12's. It is fun to put the stickers on at first, but after a while, it is tiring and getting the larger numbers done and out of the way would have been a smart thing to do. It might also work well just to do whatever fact you are working on at that time and then place them in a folder until you can spiral them.

These are all tremendous ideas. I am adding them to a long list of ideas that will be posted at my website. Keep them going!

For those who are struggling, I provide lots of hands-on activities and have all students share a variety of strategies. Some solve the multiplication by using patterns, skip counting or repeated addition. We learn that the standard algorithm may be the most efficient way, but it is not the only one. (Our curriculum expectations for grade 5, for example, state that the students will multiply 2-digit by 2-digit numbers using a variety of methods).

Another acronym for division steps is dad - mom - sister - brother (divide - multiply - subtract - bring down) I wrote this on the board and kept it there for about 2 weeks while we were working on division. Schoolhouse rock also has some good multiplication videos with catchy tunes. We play multiplication bingo in my class also. I bought the game at a teacher store, but you could also make your own game. I hold up cards with a multiplication problem on it, and on their game sheet, they have a bunch of answers. They need to figure out if the answer to the question is on their sheet before they can put a tile on it.

The dad-mom-sister-brother plan seems really easy to use. Our curriculum expectations for grade 4 are that the students eventually multiply two digits by two digits and three digits by one digit or something like that. I am not completely sure.

We did three digit by two digit, and that is as far as we went in our math curriculum in fourth grade.

I taught the children how to make use of the multiplication table, by initially playing the classic game of "Battleship." Afterwards, they were able to connect the knowledge from the game to the multiplication table. Oh yeah, I use the word "trade" instead of "borrow" or "carry over" when it comes to the addition (with regrouping) part of multiplying numbers.

Remember to reinforce the proper terms - dividend, divisor, quotient, factor - and to check the division by using multiplication. Refer back to fact families that they learned about the prior year or earlier.