We all want our students to master their multiplication facts. Quick recall is important and we know that fact fluency builds so much confidence in our young learners.
But before kids can become fluent in their multiplication facts, they really need to understand the concept of multiplication. What's an array? Why is skip counting important? What about equal groups and repeated addition?
My preference for introducing the tables is 2s, 10s, 5s, 1s, 0s, 9s, 3s, 4s, 6s, 7s, 8s, 11s, and 12s. I introduce the 9 times table early because it has such a great thinking strategy for memorizing it and kids feel so clever when they master it. I do know though, that some teachers prefer to introduce the 3 and 4 times tables before the 9s.
Whatever order you choose, you don't want to introduce each fact too quickly. Introduce each multiplication table when children are confident in working out or recalling the previous tables.
Before learning to skip count, children should be able to count forwards in ones fluently. Once they can count by rote, students can use skip counting sequences to work out answers to multiplication facts.
Multiplication can be seen as repeated addition.
5 x 2 = 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2
When children understand this strategy they can use it to help them answer more difficult facts.
6 x 6 = ? If children know 6 x 5 = 30 they can add 6 more.
Multiplication can be thought of as equal groups of an object. Before using the booklet, I give children lots of opportunities to use concrete materials to show equal groups. The booklet then is the perfect opportunity to show how we can problem solve number stories by drawing groups of an object.
Arrays are a real visual way for kids to see multiplication. Arrays are formed by arranging a set of objects into rows and columns. Each row must have the same number of objects as the other rows in the array, as must the columns.
They also lend themselves perfectly to understanding the Commutative Property. If 2 x 3 = 6, 3 x 2 = 6. Understanding this will halve the number of multiplication facts there are to learn.
Knowing the thinking strategy or mental math strategy is really going to help with the memorization of the multiplication facts.
I've included this booklet in my multiplication bundle. You can read more about that HERE.
Grab a Multiplication Strategy Booklet
You can grab these multiplication booklets from my TpT store by clicking here or the picture below.