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Make Teaching 3rd Grade Math Less Intimidating

This FREE guide is filled with helpful information, engaging ideas and relevant resources for teaching 3rd grade math.

5 Fun Ways to Teach Multiplication Facts

A few months ago, I wrote a post about using read alouds to teach multiplication. I am always on the lookout for new ideas to help students master their multiplication facts.  Interestingly, I didn’t always enjoy learning my multiplication facts.  I remember sitting down in the kitchen with my dad and copying facts on index cards.  It was so boring! I just wanted to go outside and play, but I knew my dad wanted the best for me.  Fast forward 25 years and now I want to make sure that learning multiplication facts don’t have to be a dull task for students.

There are many different ways to make learning your facts fun.

So let me introduce:

1 – Multiplication Songs

Kids love music and beats.  They can learn almost anything with great music.  Find songs and videos that help make learning the facts fun.

You can find a large variety of multiplication songs on YouTube.  This site has a list of the Best Multiplication Songs for Kids.  If you or your school is willing to spend a little extra cash I would highly recommend  Flocabulary.  They have some really great songs with excellent beats that older kids will love, but you will need a subscription.

2 – Math Fact Team Competitions

Get kids motivated with math fact competitions! I have found that healthy competition gets high levels of student engagement.

How do you play?

  1. Divide your class in half and create 2 teams
  2. Students stand in 2 lines (1 line is a team) and face each other
  3. The teacher can either call out a multiplication fact or hold up equation
  4. The 1st pair of students call out the answer
  5. The student that answers correctly 1st gets a point for their team
  6. Both students sit and the teacher moves on to the next pairing
  7. This process continues until the teacher has gone through the entire line
  8. The team with the most points wins
Note: If you have an odd number of students, make the extra student the score keeper. One way to differentiate the activity would be to pair students that are at the same academic level to compete against one another.

3 – Spinning for a Multiplication Match

Another way to increase student engagement is playing games. In this game, students spin and try to find an equivalent game card.  Kids love this game because they are trying to get the most cards.  However, the best part is that they are exposed to different representations (arrays, number sentences) of multiplication facts for a deeper understanding.

spin for a multiplication match game board and cards

This game is included in Multiplication Facts Times Table resource.  I’ve created one for each of the multiplication facts to 12.  This resource is great because it includes 3 different multiplication games, student study cards, and a quick assessment.

Download a FREE copy of the Multiplication Facts- 11 Times Table Games by clicking on the photo below.

4 – Multiplication War

Another fun game is an oldie but goodie.  Most kids may be familiar with playing for the larger card, but switch this game up to become Multiplication War.

How do you play?

This is a 2 player game. One student shuffles the cards and hands them out face down in two piles.  Both students countdown (3, 2, 1, GO!) and flip over the top card from their face down pile.  The first student to accurately multiply both numbers on the cards wins the set.  When all cards are gone, the student with the most sets is the winner.

Note: If you are using the Ace, Queen, and King in the deck,  be sure to give them a numerical value. For example, the Ace could be worth 0, Jack could be worth 1, Queen could be worth 11 and the King could be worth 12. Don’t forget to take the Jokers out.

5 – Multiplication Name Tags

Get kids moving with multiplication name tags! This activity will appeal to your kinesthetic learners.

How do you play?

Create multiplication name tags for everyone in your classroom, including yourself. Throughout the day, everyone should be called by their Product Name.  For example, if someone has on the tag “8 x 3” then his or her name for the day would be 24. Have a special time of the day when students must get up and introduce themselves to someone.  “Good morning 25, my name is 80!”

Looking for more multiplication fun?

If you are looking for fun games that reinforce multiplication facts 2 through 12, then check out my Multiplication Facts Bundle.  Each fact includes 3 engaging games (Multiplication Face Off, Multiplication Flip, Spinning for a Multiplication Match), student study cards and a quick formative assessment that can be used in a whole group competition.

Click HERE to download the preview from my TpT store.

Do you have any fun multiplication games that you use in your classroom? If so, please share in the comments section below.

Take the stress out of implementing math centers in your classroom...