Way back ages ago, my daughter was struggling to learn multiplication. We’d built it with blocks, we’d watched videos, we’d read books, but for whatever reason, it wasn’t clicking quite yet. Then I combined several ideas, we built it and then drew out what we’d built creating a multiplication mini book all our own.
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A bit of background before we get to the multiplication mini book and materials suggestions
This all happened way back when my kids were in 3rd grade (yes, I am that delinquent in writing this post as my kids are now in 9th grade). This is the year we tried a couple of different math curriculum before heading back to Math-U-See.
For this you need materials you can build several sets of, whether it is mini erasers (okay, I cut my finger yesterday and the ER put this giant bandage on the finger, and it is making typing incredibly hard, I keep adding random extra letters and having to delete them), base 10 blocks, or Math U See blocks.
Then, of course, you need some markers and some copy paper and a stapler.
Just fold about five pages in half and staple them. I feel silly writing this up because I’m sure you already know it, but for some reason, Google really likes posts to have more than a few words, and if I want people to see this amazing multiplication mini book I need to write a lot.
I’m perfectly aware, you’re skimming and didn’t read a word I just wrote. I do the same thing.
Set up learning expanded notation
As you get further into multiplication you need to understand big numbers. Our first step in our multiplication mini book was to review expanded notation.
For some reason, this concept confused Princess. She could say the number correctly, and she could build the number using manipulatives, but changing it into expanded notation confused her.
So we grabbed some blocks and built 487. Then we looked at the hundreds blocks: 400. I wrote that down on a piece of paper I tore off.
This was a super formal lesson.
Then we counted our tens, 80. I wrote 80 on the next slip.
The units had 7, and you guess it I wrote 7 on that final slip.
Then we stacked them on top of each other, just like it was all one happy number, and glued it into the book. If she was unsure how it should have looked, she could flip the pages to see what it looked like in expanded notation.
Once she had well and truly mastered this, and we built out a few more of them, we moved on to…..
Multiplication Mini Book
Then we started making sets with blocks (which of course I didn’t get pictures of six years ago).
First, we did the one’s multiplication table. You know, counting.
Next came the twos, and we drew out the sets, drawing circles and counting how much was there. The twos were easy because we’d been skip counting by twos since preschool as part of calendar time.
After we drew out all of the sets we started writing out math problems.
Then over the course of the next several days we completed the rest of the multiplication mini book. We use a 20 minute schedule for school because it helps their concentration, and keeps them interested.