Saturday, October 20, 2012

Multiplication Patterns

Mental Math Strategies
This year I've really been focused on how to get my students to use patterns in multiplication to help them "see" and solve other problems quickly. I try and spend at least 15 minutes at the beginning of my math instruction on some type of strategy that will increase their ability to solve by mental math.

I teach 3rd grade and I've found that so many kids aren't able to "see" patterns until we point them out and even then struggle with it. As adults we use patterns all the time to solve "real world" math and we probably don't even realize it. Think about when you are at the grocery store, shopping sales, and even just budgeting. We use mental math more than getting out the calculator.

The next quarter my focus will be on how students use properties of multiplication to solve problems. I've wanted to share one of my products with you. I honestly don't know what the real name of this strategy would be but I've decided to name it "Doubles Strategy For Multiplication". Basically students will learn that knowing the product of one answer will help them solve the double of that answer when one of the factor is doubled also. This increases their fluency so that they don't spend all that time trying to skip count on their fingers. There comes a time when they need to know it quickly and this strategy will help.

So, I will use this activity to introduce the strategy and then put 2-3 of these on the board each morning to use as my Number Talks each day. Enjoy!



If you love this activity, I have a full product in my store also with additional pages and strategy poster as well. :)


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