A very commonly used math concept is multiplication; it can be defined as repeated addition. For example, 2×4=8 can also be written as 2+2+2+2=8. This seems like a very simple definition, but can be confusing for young students. I can remember learning multiplication when I was in elementary school, and it took me a while to fully grasp the idea of it. I practiced my multiplication with flashcards all the time! Now that I am learning how to teach students multiplication, I think it is important to get them involved in math activities.
A great activity to help students understand multiplication is to draw chocolate chip cookies. In the drawing the chocolate chips stand for the number that we are multiplying and the cookies stand for the number that we are multiplying by. In the problem 2×4=8, the 2 is the number we are multiplying and the 4 is the number we are multiplying by; therefore, we would have 2 chocolate chips in each of the 4 cookies. When we add up all of the chocolate chips in the cookies the answer is 8. I think this is a fun and creative way to get students to understand multiplication.
The cookie activity is a great way to learn how to multiply, and Factortris is a great way to practice multiplication. Factortris is an online game that helps students who may struggle with their multiplication tables. It is also great practice for students who know their multiplication tables, and just need more practice. The idea of the game is to answer the problem before the time runs out. For example, it may say 54 and the player has to use the arrows on the keyboard to click the answer. In this case the player could use the down arrow and move it to 9, and use the right arrow and move it to 6. This would show up on the screen as 9×6 which is 54. Factortris is just one online game that focuses on multiplication practice, but I am sure there are many more.