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4 Tips for Teaching Multi-Digit Multiplication

Are you teaching multiplication? The standard, or traditional, multiplication algorithm can be tricky for students to master. There are many steps involved in the process and it is really easy to make a mistake! Here are 4 quick tips to help.

1. Color Code
Make learning the steps to the algorithm easier by color coding notes. Models are great for students to look back at when working independently. This is part of the notes that I use with students. 
Traditional Multiplication
2. Use Lined Paper
Lined paper is a lifesaver when teaching the traditional algorithm. Simply hold the paper sideways and it creates columns. Place one digit in a column to help students line up the digits correctly.
3. Make an Estimate
Begin solving multi-digit multiplication problems with an estimate. Ask students to find a ballpark estimate by using friendly numbers or numbers that end in zeroes. This helps students to determine if their product makes sense. Here is an example: 
When finished students compare the place value of the product to the estimate to see if the place value makes sense. If you want to hear more about this strategy check out this video.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice
The best way for students to master the algorithm is to practice. I like to vary the way that students practice. I use pencil and paper practice, digital interactive lessons, and task cards. This video shows one of my digital lessons in action.

One of my go-to center activities for multiplication involves dice. Roll It is literally the quickest and easiest center to set up and it can be used for differentiated instruction, too. Would you like to try it?

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    Teachers Love

    These are great and my student loves them! These Boom Cards are perfect for my students to provide extra assignments to continue reinforcing the skills they are working on in their general ed class (virtually). I wish I had the skills to create them myself!
    Stephanie R.

    Volume Boom Cards
    Stress-Free Teaching
    2020-09-22T20:19:10-04:00
    These are great and my student loves them! These Boom Cards are perfect for my students to provide extra assignments to continue reinforcing the skills they are working on in their general ed class (virtually). I wish I had the skills to create them myself! Stephanie R. Volume Boom Cards

    Teachers Love

    I love the way the graphic organizers are scaffolded so that students work on each step of a RACES answer. I'm a tutor who works with students with language LDs and this approach has been fantastic for them. Having the editable graphic organizers makes it easy for me to keep creating new and different pages for students who need to extra practice on a particular part of the RACES answer. Thank you so much!
    Kate M.

    Stress-Free Teaching
    2020-09-22T20:24:32-04:00
    I love the way the graphic organizers are scaffolded so that students work on each step of a RACES answer. I'm a tutor who works with students with language LDs and this approach has been fantastic for them. Having the editable graphic organizers makes it easy for me to keep creating new and different pages for students who need to extra practice on a particular part of the RACES answer. Thank you so much! Kate M. RACES Writing Strategy for Written Responses

    Teachers Love

    These are AMAZING!! Highly engaging for my students, constantly spiraling, and also gives me the information I need to see what we need to work on. Thank you so much!!
    Kristi R.

    Stress-Free Teaching
    2020-09-22T20:25:15-04:00
    These are AMAZING!! Highly engaging for my students, constantly spiraling, and also gives me the information I need to see what we need to work on. Thank you so much!! Kristi R. 5th Grade Math Spiral Review

    Teachers Love

    Amazing resource! Students loved working on this to show their parents during fall conferences. Their faces lit up as they went through the slides and read aloud their goals for the trimester and what they were proud of.
    Jessica S.

    Student Led Conference Digital Portfolio
    Stress-Free Teaching
    2020-09-24T19:42:58-04:00
    Amazing resource! Students loved working on this to show their parents during fall conferences. Their faces lit up as they went through the slides and read aloud their goals for the trimester and what they were proud of. Jessica S. Student Led Conference Digital Portfolio
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    Stress-Free Teaching
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