5 Easiest Ways to Teach Children to Multiplication

Getting ready to teach multiplication might leave you more bewildered than your students. However, imparting the skill of multiplication need not be challenging. All that’s needed is a systematic approach. What Does 36 x 57 equal? Don’t they know the answer?

This five-step approach to teaching multiplication will inspire confidence in your pupils and provide you with straightforward lesson ideas.

1. Try Some Hands-On Fiddling

Multiplication is made more tangible by the use of countable manipulatives. Don’t worry about the size of the gifts (buttons, blobs of modeling clay, cut-outs, bottle caps).

Follow these methods to make the material more approachable:

Put Things Into Sets

For the sake of argument, multiply three by four and see what happens.

Students should organize their manipulatives into three groups of four that may easily be distinguished from one another by drawing three circles around them or dividing them among three boxes.

This way, they can see the formula behind every multiplication problem: Multiples of x of some number y add up to a sum of z.

Apply An Array

In keeping with the theme of 3 4, have students arrange their manipulatives into three rows, each containing four objects. After that, they can be numbered to show students that the total of the three rows of four is eight, not six, as they might expect from an additional problem with the same numbers. In technical terms, this configuration is an array.

2. Use a New Method of Counting, Skip Counting

Students can be gradually introduced to skip counting once they have mastered counting and organizing their manipulatives (counting in lots of a given number).

A set or array can still be helpful. Now that they know how many units are in each row or location, they can add them more efficiently.

So the answer to 3 4 is 4.

4 + 4 = 8

8 + 4 = 12

They can also use their fingers to learn to skip counting by twos.

3. Point Out the Commutative Property

It is possible to reverse a sum and yet receive the same result, according to the commutative feature of multiplication. For this reason, 12 may be obtained by multiplying 3 by 4 or by 4 by 3.

Students will have much more leeway in approaching multiplication problems if they grasp the commutative principle. They will also find it simpler to memorize their tables, as learning one fact involves the simultaneous learning of its reverse.

To illustrate this idea, have students arrange manipulatives in a 3 x 4 array on a sheet of paper and then ask them to rearrange them in a 4 x 3 array without touching any original ones.

You may hint at it a few times, but they’ll eventually realize they only need to flip the page. In every other respect, the array is identical but inverted.

4. Practice Your Multiplication Tables

Students must memorize multiplication tables after they have mastered the idea, up to 12.

Get the simple ones out of the way first:

  • When you multiply a number by 1, the result is the same.
  • Multiplying an integer by two is the same as adding the number to itself.
  • Multiplication by 11 of any number up to nine is the same digit repeated twice.

That’s a substantial portion of the 1212 multiplication table that can be found with minimal effort. All these simple truths stay valid even if the numbers are switched around, so highlight the commutative feature to your pupils.

Practice and repetition are the keys to memorizing the remaining digits of the multiplication table. Test out the following:


These might be organized as exciting contests in the form of popular game shows; nevertheless, it is essential to accommodate students who may require special accommodations. Extrinsic motivation, such as awards, may be used.

To play, each player receives a card with a single number and a multiplication statement written on the back. Students take turns reading the phrase “I have [my number], who has x times y?” to their classmates, who must respond correctly.

5. Courses That May Be Taken Online

Add fun to learning multiplication by incorporating it into a game or exciting tale. Example: in Mathletics, students explore the “multiverse” while multiplying and dividing. Because of how entertaining it is, they will want to return for more.

Take Advantage Of Language

Teaching multiplication through fact fluency alone might give students a skewed understanding of the concept. Hence it is essential to integrate word problems with fact fluency exercises.

As transitioning from pictures to words can be challenging, it’s best to start by helping pupils form mental images of the issue. Show pupils how to make pictures that illustrate the measurable parts of the situation.

The Schema Method Can Also Be Helpful

Side-by-side analysis of a set of multiplication word problems can aid in the discovery of the underlying formula (schema) that connects them. By doing so, they can better ignore the seemingly random details of a word problem and focus on the tried-and-true solution at its core.

If you’re sick of making up ever more complex word problems, you might want to try out an educational technology tool that already has some built-in. For instance, Mathletics offers over 700 problem-solving and reasoning exercises to address individual curricular goals.

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