Multiplication Can Be Fun

Happy Wednesday! It’s another day which also means another snow day. Yes, this is officially the 5th snow day so far this year. It’s insane but I’m starting to accept that this is beginning to be the norm. Since I have the whole day off I figured I would share with you some of my favorite multiplication games that are helping my students memorize and learn their facts in a fun entertaining way.

As most of you know, one of the main things that you learn in 3rd grade is your multiplication facts. We’ve been working HARD on this since November and we’re slowly making progress. In one of my older posts I shared our multiplication sundae incentive and that is working great but I still have half of my class stuck on similar facts.

Last year I taught 4th grade and I was shocked that at the beginning of the year less than half of my students knew their facts. I found all of these games last year and it helped them remember their facts by October. I don’t want my 3rd graders going into 4th grade in the same boat so I took out all of these games (and found more) to use daily in my room.

The first game is a HUGE hit with my students! It’s multiplication connect 4. I found this on Grace Hartman‘s store on TPT. It’s as easy as it sounds, students have 2 dice, role them and then multiply the 2 numbers. Whatever the answer is they cover up that number. Their goal is to get 4 in a row before their partner. It is SUPER easy and SUPER fun. One of my students yesterday told me it was her favorite game that we’ve learned so far.

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The next game that was a hit last year with my 4th graders as well as my 3rd graders this year is multiplication squares. It’s just like the normal squares game that most kids play at restaurants on their kids meal mats. I found this activity on Flying Through Fourth‘s page. All you need is 2 dice and 2 colored pencils. It is similar to connect 4 because students role and multiply their dice. They find that number and make a line by that number. The person who completes a square around that number gets to color it in. At the end of the game, the student with the most colored squares wins. Super easy!

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The next few are more activities that I do with my whole class at once. The first activity is a free multiplication scoot game that is just as it sounds. I’m using this tomorrow in my room as a full review. The other activity I will be trying (that I did last year twice a week) is a free multiplication “I have/who has” game. Again, just as it sounds. It helps with concentration and knowing facts fast! I found the free scoot game on Teaching with Heart in Texas‘s page and I found this version of I have who has on Erica Castillo‘s page. The last activity I will use as a “homework assignment” that is all about multiplication/division fact families. I got this from Alissa Manning-Telisak’s store and I am so excited to use it! They role their dice and practice their facts while also understanding the relation between multiplication and division.

The next few games I have never tried before but I plan to use them in the next week or so. I found all again on Teachers Pay Teachers and they are all FREE as well! From Light Bulb’s and Laughter‘s page I found a fun Penguin Multiplication dice game which is exactly like the connect 4 game except that it has a fun penguin theme and is super cute! The second game I’ll be trying is a 7s facts game. This was found on Games 4 Learning‘s page. Like most of the other games, you need 2 dice. The twist on this game is that when the 2 dice are rolled the student adds the numbers together and THEN multiplies the sum by 7. 7s are tricky for my students so I plan on using this multiple times over the next few months.

A final game that I love to use isn’t something I found on Teachers Pay Teachers because it’s a game most of us grew up playing with a twist. I love to have my students play multiplication war. All you need is a deck of cards and groups of 2 (you can have larger groups but that takes some more planning.) Just like normal war, the students each have half the deck and flip over a card at the same time. The first person to multiply the 2 cards and say the answer gets the pair of cards. The person who ends up with all of the cards wins the game. I have my students take out the Jokers and tell them that all of the face cards equal 10. That’s because we only have to memorize facts up to 10, but if you want to go higher you can make the Jack an 11 or the Queen a 12. This game is the easiest by far and can get pretty intense. Last year my 4th graders got into some heated arguments over who said the answer first.

The best way for students to learn is by having them not know they are learning! By playing these games, they get to practice their facts while having fun. They get so caught up in the games that they don’t even realize they’re doing math. I LOVE all of these activities and plan to use them every day for as long as we can! The best part about all of these is that they’re all FREE!! Who doesn’t love that!?

For more of my day to day school life and the activities we do, go follow me on instagram @lifeoftherookieteacher!

Youtube in the Classroom

Happy Thursday!!

I feel like I say this every week but this week has been crazy!! I think it’s just that time of the year when there are so many things to do and so many tests to take.

This week in reading we’ve been working on finding the theme in the story. Holy cow this is hard for them!! We’ve done many practices that show how finding the theme in a story is like finding the lesson learned (moral) in the story. Every day, when I teach it, they seem to get what’s going on but then the next day I ask, “what does it mean to find the theme in a story?” and crickets….so then I have to go back and reteach it again.

I’m a HUGE fan of using Youtube in my classroom. I think that using videos, especially ones that other teachers post, are a huge helper for my students. They get to hear what I’ve been teaching from another person’s perspective AND they get to practice with examples. One video we did as a class yesterday was a video using 4 different songs that they’re familiar with and finding the theme in that song (The video is called Finding Theme with Songs). We talked about how most songs are centered around a theme. We listened to Let it Go, Hakuna Matata, Happy, and You’ve Got a Friend in Me (all songs they are pretty familiar with!) They had so much fun. The video shows a tiny clip of the chorus in each song and then pauses to have them find the theme. I’d pause the video and they’d discuss with their table groups. I

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thought for sure this video did the trick and they knew what theme was but then 5 hours later during our small group time I asked what theme was and they couldn’t tell me. *face palm* Today we are doing one more activity that involves watching Dr. Seuss’s the Sneetches and trying to find the theme of that story. My fingers are crossed that today is FINALLY the day they get it!

In math we’ve been starting work with geometry (while also still working on those multiplication facts!) This is probably my absolute favorite thing to teach just because I get to use my favorite math songs off of Youtube! (Like I said, HUGE Youtube fan!)

We learned about polygons, quadrilaterals, and perimeter. Today we are tackling area. I wanted to share my favorite math songs site because it is amazing! My kids love listening and watching these songs and they’re super catchy so they remember different math concepts that we learn! If you haven’t heard of it go to Youtube and search NumberRock, if you have heard of it you know how amazing it is! I started using it last year with my 4th graders for fun (I thought they’d find it cheesy) and they fell in love with it. It helped them master long division, different types of lines (my FAVORITE SONG!), angles (this is a fan favorite), fractions, and many many more different topics! This week we’ve had a song for every topic we’ve covered!

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Using these songs and videos help reenforce these ideas with my kiddos. They can see it in a fun way and not have to hear my boring voice drone on and on all day long. If you are not a Youtube user in your classroom, I highly recommend it!

 

Multiplication Sundaes!!

I LOVE this idea!! As most people know, 3rd grade is prime time for learning multiplication facts. My students have been slowly learning different rules throughout the year and it is officially time to start taking some timed tests.

I always found timed tests boring, stressful, and questioned the point of taking them when I was younger. I hated sitting in my desk while the clock ticked away trying to complete a whole sheet of math problems while my teacher stared through my soul. We would turn in the sheets and be rewarded with yet ANOTHER timed test. Knowing that this was now a part of my curriculum, I needed a change.

Doing one of my practicums in college, one of my cooperating teachers in a 3rd grade classroom shared with me the idea of building a sundae. For each fact a student passes, they get to add another feature onto their paper sundae. They got to post them on their lockers for the school to see. I thought it was a great idea and so much more fun since they got something more exciting out of it. When I came to 3rd grade I searched and searched for a similar idea.

I went on TPT and found a variety of different examples to use. Most, however have facts to 12 to build a sundae and my students only need to pass facts 0-10. I eventually found 2 different sundae fact packages that I purchased and combined into one full package.

I went onto Jennifer Robinson-Preparing Lifelong Learners page and found my sundae format.

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I LOVED this!!! I also combined this sundae with the package I found on Third in Hollywood’s page. This is where I got all of my timed tests and test tracking sheets.

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What I have done is I’ve created a folder for my students that includes a multiplication table, a “track my progress” sheet, a reminder on what they can add to their sundae when they pass, and a black and white sundae to color in their folders.

Finally, my favorite part of this, is they get to make a colored paper sundae in the back of my classroom on our math bulletin board. I give them each a tile to build their sundae on and I use their “code names” so no one knows who’s passed what and who still hasn’t passed certain facts. I’ve only been doing this for the past week and my students BEG me to take another timed test so they can pass and add to their sundaes. That makes me so happy because that was NOT me when I had to take mine!!

To make it even more exciting, I have told them that when everyone passes all of the facts, we will have an actual ice cream sundae party in the classroom and I will bring in all of the features they used to build their paper ones. When I told them this one they completely lost it!!

I am SO excited to see their progress over the next few months as they work their way to earning their sundae party. We’re off to an amazing start!!