Learning the multiplication facts shouldn't be about learning to recite the times tables.
I've seen too many students searching their memories for the answer to 6 x 8, only to have them start at 1 x 8 = 8. There's no knowledge of the multiplication thinking strategies that can help them reach the answer much faster.
If kids need to go back to 1 x 8 to find the answer to 6 x 8, there isn't a real understanding of what multiplication is. These are the kids who also struggle to achieve fact fluency.
Skip Counting Multiplication Strategy
One of the mental math strategies to help with unknown facts is to skip count from what you know. A child who answers 6 x 8 might not know the answer to that multiplication fact, but they may know 5 x 8.
In reality, they should know 5 x 8 = 40. If they're learning the multiplication facts for 8 it's ideal that they have mastered the 5s facts first.
When you're skip counting to help with an unknown fact, a child needs to be able to start with what they know and add the number they are multiplying on.
5 x 8 = 40
6 x 8 = 48
Kids need to know that 5 groups of 8 is 40. If we add another group of 8 to it to make 6 groups of 8 the answer is now 48.
If your students are finding multiplying by 6, 7 or 8 challenging, learning to skip count for multiplication will help.
You can get your kids practicing it by coloring a
My kids weren't very inspired by that so I made these Skip Counting for Multiplication Cards.
They're perfect for math centers, fast finishers and independent work stations.
You can either have your student writing onto a recording sheet. It's great for accountability.
Or laminate the cards and students can write onto them. They can then use the answer card to check their answers.
Grab a Pack
If you're looking for more ways for your students to become masters at multiplication, head on over to this blog post.