We have started our first few units in multiplication. These units will focus on the meaning of multiplication and different ways to show and represent multiplication. This includes showing multiplication as repeated addition, jumps on a number line and in an array. Once we have a strong foundational understanding of multiplication we will be switching our focus toward fact fluency.
A great way to support your child at home would be to purchase multiplication flash cards for your student. Multiplication flash cards have been seen at Walmart and the Dollar Tree stores, but can also be handmade using a set of 3x5 notecards. Please contact your child’s teacher if you are unable to provide flash cards for your child.
Here are some tips and suggestions to use with your child while practicing flash cards. When the multiplication cards are first introduced to your child, it may be helpful to go through the stack one time to determine the facts that students know and the facts that students are struggling with. If your child hesitates for approximately 3 seconds or more, place that card in the “need more practice stack”. For cards that your child can say automatically (less than 3 seconds), place those cards in the “already know” stack. You will want to focus the majority of your training time on the “need more practice” stack; however, it is important that your child occasionally reviews all of their multiplication facts to reinforce their mathematical knowledge.
In addition to simply quizzing your child with flash cards, here are some “twists” on this learning tool that can spice up their fact fluency practice:
1. Students can play multiplication flash card War. In this game the students will need a partner (parent, brother, sister, friend, etc.).
Both partners flip a card. They find the answer and the partner with the bigger answer gets to keep both cards.
2. Students can play multiplication flash card Go-Fish. In this game the students will need a partner (parent, brother, sister, friend, etc.).
Each partner group gets 7 flashcards. Partners take turns asking…”Do you have a _____?” and “Go-Fish”.***For example, “Do you have a 20?”. Then kids can make matches with (5x4), (4 x5), (2 x 10), or (10 x 2).
Thank you for all of your help at home! Any way to encourage your child to learn/memorize their multiplication facts will help build a successful math foundation for years to come!
~The 3rd Grade Team