Mastering Multiplication

Knowing multiplication facts help students see the patterns and relationships between numbers that are needed to be successful in other areas of math!   Division, renaming fractions, and balancing equations are just a few examples where being able to recall facts quickly and correctly are extremely helpful!

So what do you do as a teacher or a parent of  upper elementary or older students who have not mastered the multiplication facts?

  1. Meet them where they are!   Find out what they know and celebrate that!  You can use fast fact sheets found online like this, or quiz them with flash  cards.  I recommend recording what they know on a chart or form and then using this information to give positive reinforcement for facts they know and to identify facts still to work on.
  2. Review Skip Counting!  Most students are pretty good with multiplying by 2,5, and 10 because they started skip counting by 2, 5 and 10 in Kindergarten and/or 1st grade.  They had a lot of repetition!  So give your students opportunities to practice skip counting by all the other numbers!  Repetition is key here!  Sing songs like the ones on the CD Multiplication Motivation or find YouTube Videos!
  3. Add short practice sessions to your daily routine!  No one learns to walk or talk in one hour long class!  We all learned to walk and talk through many hours of practice!   So find a few minutes here and a few minutes there to ask about and reinforce facts!  Driving to soccer practice?  Quiz your child on some facts.  Lining up for recess?  Ask your students some facts!
  4. Online Games and Smart Phone Apps:  Children and teens love electronics, right!  So, let’s use that to our advantage here!  Hook them up with games on the level they need to practice!  Here are two games you might try:




5. Flash Cards!  I know that sounds old school and boring, but flash cards can be very effective. You can have your students review flash cards on their own for small periods of time and also use the flash cards to play a game of War, or Connect Four!


6. Pencil and Paper Practice!   I think that pencil and paper practice is a great way to review the facts and commit them to memory.  I especially like to give short pencil paper work after a student has played a game or watched a video with the facts!

7.  Celebrate Success!  As your students improve take time to acknowledge their success!  You can make charts or graphs to show improvement or tie a special reward to mastering a certain set of facts!  The type of celebration/acknowledgement will vary by age and interest.

Halloween Freebie!

Now that it is finally starting to feel like Fall I have done a little Halloween decorating and made a few new Halloween Math Games!  The first one I would like to share is a FREEBIE!


To download the Halloween Addition Bingo Game for FREE, just click the photo above!


Adding & Subtracting Fractions:

I have been working with my students on adding and subtracting fractions so I thought I would share some strategies and resources!

Example 1: If the denominators are the same, add or subtract the numerators and keep the denominator the same.  Simplify if needed.


Example 2: If the denominators are not the same, find the least common multiple. Then use the least common multiple to find equivalents with denominators the same.   Next, add the numerators and simplify if needed.



Here are some great internet resources:

Math Antics Video:  Adding and Subtracting Like Fractions

Math Antics Video:  Adding and Subtracting Using LCD

Game:  Adding Fractions Fruit Shoot

Game:  Adding Fractions to Make 1

Here is a print and go resource from my TpT store:



Place Value Relationships

Understanding place value is an important Math skill for elementary students.  One of the objectives is for students to describe the relationship between places in a base ten system.  Although this may seem difficult at first, starting with concrete manipulatives can really help students gain a deeper understanding.


I like to start by letting students “play” with the blocks for a few minutes.  Then I will ask specific questions and have them use the blocks to work out answers.  One such example is “How many ones do you need to equal a ten?” or “How many tens can you use to make one hundred?”  Give students time to work together or independently with the blocks to answer the question, then discuss.  I also like to write the questions/answers on the board or have a record sheet for them to work along with.


After students have a lot of practice discussing and writing the relationships with place value blocks, a place value chart will come in handy.  I like to use different colors and draw arrows on the place value chart to show the students the patterns on the chart.


I also teach students how to draw their own place value charts.  When working word problems with relationships, I have my students draw and label place value charts.



If you are looking for resources to help your students master this objective, I have two great resources in my TpT store:

Place Value Relationships Task Cards:


Place Value Relationships Notes and Practice:



Back To School Math

Guess what?!?  It’s time to get ready to go back to school!  Here in my little world we have less than 2 weeks left until the kids are back in school!



If you are a parent looking for something to use to help our kids brush up on Math Skills before the school year stats off, I have something perfect for you!  If you are a teacher looking for classroom work to help get your students back into gear, I also have something for you!


My Back to School Math Practice is perfect for  elementary students!  It includes 14 pages of Math skills ranging from addition and rounding to multiplication and division! The cute graphics will keep your students engaged while they brush up on skills!


5 Summer Math Tips


Summer Slide is a term often used to describe the backwards slide in academic skills that can happen over a long summer break.  Spending a little time several days a week on Math skills can help your child keep his/her skills sharp and be ready when school starts in the fall.


  1. Make it fun!  Your kids are less likely to complain about doing “school stuff” over the summer if you make it fun.  Play a classic board game such as Yatzee or Monopoly.  Give your child a pencil and paper and let them use it for scratch paper to work out the Math involved.  Help when needed, but also let your child work out the problems they can.  For more Math Fun ideas check out this post.



2.  Practice  Math Facts.  Most Math curriculums are fast paced and a lot of skills are covered during the school year, so practicing basic facts in the Summer can help your child to keep up during the school year when he/she is applying these facts to more complicated problem solving.  Not sure where to start?   Generally students 1st grade and up need to practice addition and subtraction facts and 3rd and up can start on Multiplication and Division.  You can pick up flash cards at most bookstores or variety stores or you can make your own.  Here are some tips for using multiplication cards that can be applied for any flashcards.  If your child doesn’t do well with Flash Cards, you can try a Math App or Website to practice facts!  One of my favorites is the Math Magician by Oswego Schools:

math magician


3.  Watch educational videos.  For all grades you can find videos on Math Game Time.  In addition,  Scholastic Study Jams and PBS Cyberchase both have  great Math videos for grades 3 and up.



4.  Talk about Math as you go about your day to day routines. Involve your child in the Math related to cooking, shopping, playing with toys, driving to grandmas! There are so many opportunities to fit Math discussions and Math problem solving into your day!



5.  Workbooks and worksheets can also be helpful.  If you visit your local teacher supply store or look online at Amazon, you can find many great workbooks.  Office supply stores will often have a small educational section where you can find workbooks.  Just remember to balance the worksheets out with fun activities and real world experiences like suggested above.