With a third grader in our home, learning about multiplication is well and truly on our agenda. As well as learning to recite the multiplication facts tables, Miss 8 is also learning a range of multiplication strategies for solving math problems. If you’re looking for ways to support your child’s multiplication learning, with an emphasis on making the learning fun and engaging, be sure to check out our Times Tables Bingo game (free printable) and today’s printable Multiplication Strategies Mat. The mat helps take multiplication learning beyond rote repetition, cementing a child’s understanding of the relationships between a range of multiplication strategies.
Some children struggle with memorisation of number facts (I was one of them!) and providing tools that help children realise there are a number of different ways to approach solving a multiplication problem helps them to better understand how multiplication actually works. Once they learn and understand a few different strategies, they will indeed have a stronger foundation for learning to remember and recite multiplication facts.
How to Use the Multiplication Strategies Mat
The Multiplication Strategy Mat requires the child to draw/make and write to represent a multiplication problem as four different strategies – equal groups, arrays, repeated addition and skip counting – as well as recording the problem with the correct answer as a complete number sentence. This helps the child to actually manipulate, see and better understand that multiplication is actually all about combining equal groups together to find a total amount.
The strategies included are;
- Equal groups: The child can draw dots or shapes to represent the equal groupings or use small manipulatives such as beads, buttons or unit blocks. I suggest laminating the printed mat and using a whiteboard marker for the drawing and writing tasks.
- Array: An array is a group of objects arranged into rows and columns. Again, this can be drawn or made with manupulatives.
- Repeated addition: The child is learning that by adding the second factor (or number) repeatedly, you can solve the problem. The first factor tells you how many time to add it.
- Skip counting: Counting by the second factor, the first factor tells you how many skips ahead to make as you count.
- Write the full multiplication sentence.
The problem shown in the centre of the mat is simply a card drawn from our set of multiplication cards. You can grab a beginner’s set here, or check out our complete Printable Muliplication Games Pack which includes printable sets of multiplication cards for factors 1 through 12 alongside 35 pages of print and play multiplication games.
To print your Multiplication Strategies Mat
Download the strategy mat as a PDF file here: Multiplication Strategies Mat Printable. Print and laminate before use.
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Please note: All Childhood 101 printables are for personal use only, you may not use any part of this content for commercial purposes-that includes selling the document, giving it away to promote your business or website, or printing the file to sell. You may not share, loan or redistribute these documents. Teachers may use multiple copies for students in their own classroom.