How to Teach Multiplication to Little Mathematicians (Curriculum-Aligned)

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Written by Holly (Teach Starter)

Times table anxiety is a real thing! The recall of multiplication facts instantly makes my hands sweaty. I once had a teacher who wouldn’t let us into the classroom until we provided her with the correct answer to a multiplication sum. Little did I know that this anxiety would stay with me well into my adulthood. And, to be honest… I didn’t even understand the concept of multiplication as I was just trying to rote learn random numbers!

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This blog highlights our brand new Multiplication Teaching Unit Plan suited to Year 2, along with a teaching continuum to assist with how to teach multiplication to your little mathematicians, without causing unnecessary anxiety!

How to teach multiplication to kids

Shutterstock.com / wavebreakmedia


How to Teach Multiplication to Young Kids

The understanding of multiplication begins with the ability to recognise and represent multiplication as repeated addition, groups and arrays. These concepts provide a clear pathway for how to best introduce multiplication.

Teaching PowerPoint for Multiplication

A fantastic starting point for the introduction to early multiplication concepts is our Early Multiplication PowerPoint.  This teaching PowerPoint visually explains and contains hands-on activities for the following concepts:

  • repeated addition
  • skip counting
  • arrays
  • multiplication symbol
  • the term ‘product’
  • equal groups
  • multiplication word problems.

Here’s a preview of the resource…

 

Repeated Addition Activities and Resources

Introducing students to the concept of repeated addition is a fantastic stepping stone for kids to understand the idea of multiplication.

By Year 2, your students will already have a solid understanding of basic addition, so, building on this understanding to introduce the concept of multiplication is a no brainer!

Stepping stones in a lake

Shutterstock.com / Johnwoodkim

Fill That Tummy Hands-On Activity

These super cute character templates will capture your students’ attention instantly. Begin by talking about their ‘big’ tummies and how we are going to imagine that the counters are ‘real’ food that the animals have eaten. Then, invite a student to roll a dice and then ask them to place that many ‘pieces of food’ in each of the tummies of the characters. Ask students how we could work out how many pieces of food had been eaten by all the animals.

Encourage students to see that the items are added together and write the sum on a whiteboard. For example 2 + 2 + 2 = 6.

Repeated addition hands-on activity

Multiply Those Toys Repeated Addition Activity

There’s no denying that children love a good toy store! So, why not draw on this enthusiasm with this fantastic hands-on repeated addition activity – Multiply those Toys! Students consolidate their understanding of repeated addition in the context of shopping in a toy store!

How to use this resource:

  • In partners, they take turns to be the shopkeeper or the customer.
  • A shopping trolley template is provided along with pictures of the available toys in the toy store.
  • The customer places their order on the order form and records their multiple purchases as repeated addition number sentences.
  • The shopkeeper calculates the various costs and records this on the order form.
  • Play money is used to pay for goods.

Repated addition activity for kids

Fun with Arrays for Multiplication

Arrays are a fantastic visual to help bridge the gap between repeated addition and multiplication.

It’s important to explain the concept of rows and columns to your students. This language is covered in Lesson 3: Arrays of Sunshine! Then, spend time covering the concept of arrays in a variety of hands-on activities!

Arrays Bingo

Everyone loves a good game of BINGO!

Download our Array Bingo Cards for a resource that just keeps on giving. This resource download includes 16 different bingo cards which contain a variety of arrays and calling cards for the teacher to call out.

Array bingo cards for kids

Array Card Kaboom Game

Get your kids excited about using arrays to represent multiplication with our Array Card Kaboom Game!

In this card game, students try to match array cards, multiplication number sentences cards and products written on pop sticks! The winner of the game is the first person to find matches for all the cards in their hand!

Array card game for kids

Array’s Beanbag Toss

Getting kids up and moving, plus consolidating a maths concept is the ultimate resource!  The aim of this activity is for students to match arrays with number sentences by trying to get their beanbag on the desired array card. Fun!

Array activity for kids

More array activities…

Learn About ‘Groups Of’

Teaching the concept of grouping objects into equal-sized groups is another fantastic skill to help students understand the concept of multiplication.

Connecting the multiplication symbol with the words ‘groups of’ is also a great way to consolidate the understanding of multiplication with younger kids. For example, when reading out the sum 3 x 2 – I would often say you can read it like this – 3 multiplied by 2, or,  3 groups of 2. This provided a visual for students to understand what the multiply sign really means!

Farmer Sam’s Paddocks Activity

This super adorable activity will have your students working with a partner to create equal groups of horses in a small group of paddocks!

Students will roll a dice to determine how many horses and how many paddocks will be assembled. Then, they will use the record sheet to detail:

  • the number of paddocks
  • the number of horses in each paddock
  • the ‘groups of’ equation
  • multiplication number sentence
  • total number of horses.

Groups of activity for kids

Grouping Spin Activity

A simple, yet fun activity where students practise making equal groups to represent multiplication.

This activity can be done individually or in partners. Students spin each of the spinners. Then, they use the two numbers to write a description of the groups, the multiplication number sentence and the repeated addition sum.

Groups of activity for kids

Sound Groups Helping Teach Multiplication

This educational video and accompanying worksheet is a fantastic listening activity that doubles as a vehicle for teaching early multiplication skill while honing musical skills. All of the cross-curricular goodness in this resource!

 

The full student-facing video for teaching multiplication through sound groups is an engaging and fun video with a matching activity that your students will love!

Multiplication Assessment

Wondering how to assess your students’ knowledge of the early multiplication concepts you have taught without having to give them a boring old test?

Use our Multiplication Fold-Out Box activity for students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of multiplication in a fun way!

Multilication fold-out box template

Check out the full Early Multiplication Unit Plan for even more guidance and to download these resources!

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