Sequence of teaching multiplication facts

The sequence I use in teaching multiplication facts is a bit different than most textbook curricula.  I like to integrate the concepts of arithmetic facts with other areas of math, so when teaching multiplication facts, I usually step away from the curriculum I am using and spend time helping students learn, master, and become automatic with the facts.

The sequence I use is as follows, along with notes on other concepts that I try to integrate into the instruction and practice times:

* x0–immediate success and introducing that we will be making groups and haven't made any yet.

* x1–I introduce the identity property and talk about people's names.  We can go by our first name, last name, and nickname, but they all mean the same person.  When we multiply by 1, we always end up with the same number.  I integrate this into fractions with the numerator and denominator being alike and meaning 1 whole group.  Count pennies.

* x10–This is an extension of x1 and x0.  Think of the number with a 0 behind it.  Practice counting by 10's.  Practice counting dimes.  Review place value.

* x100–This is another extension of x1 and x0.  Think of the number and place two zeros behind it.  Practice counting by 100.  Practice counting dollars.  Review place value.

* x11–Another extension of x1!  For 1-digit numbers, just write or think the number in 2-digits. For 2-digit numbers, split the digits apart.  Then add the digits and insert the answer in the middle (be careful to carry if necessary).  Example:  24×11=264  Split the 2 and 4.  Add to 6 and insert.

* x5–Practice counting by 5.  Practice counting nickels.  Practice telling time to 5 minutes.  Practice counting nickels in groups of 2 to show the relationship of 5 to 10.

* x2–Practice counting by 2.  Practice counting 2 pennies or counters at a time.  Use the term double.  Find pairs around the house.  Introduce the concept of half of various numbers.  Teach even numbers.

* x4–Practice counting by 4.  I often teach the 4 facts with mnemonic memory tricks, but for some students who become proficient at doubling, we play around with "doubling the double."

* x3–Practice counting by 3.  I usually teach the 3 facts with mnemonic memory tricks.  Introduce thirds.

* x6–Practice counting by 6.  I usually teach the 6 facts with mnemonic cues.  Sometimes I introduce the idea that multiples of 6 will always be multiples of both 2 AND 3.  Making a list of x2 and x3 facts and circling the common multiples helps students to see the relationship to 6.

* x9–Practice counting by 9.  This fact list is easy because of the patterns of the multiples.  I either teach the finger trick or the strategy to "back it up and make it add" to 9.

* x7–Practice counting by 7.  I use mnemonic tricks for 7 facts.  I often introduce prime numbers and fractions that cannot be reduced.

* x8–Practice counting by 8.  I use a mnemonic cue for the remaining fact to learn:  "8×8 fell on the floor; pick it up, it's 64."  Or, "8×8 went to the store; bought Nintendo 64."

* x12–Count by 12.  Introduce the concept of dozen.  Make up games with plastic eggs and used egg cartons or with pretend doughnuts.

If you need more ideas or information for teaching multiplication facts, look in the math section of our catalog.  If you would like a workshop presented to your group that is jam-packed with fun ways to teach multiplication facts, e-mail or call Wisdom Seekers at 1-406-771-0069 to make arrangements.


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