Multiplication Fun- AHOY MATEYS

We all have students on campus who struggle learning their multiplication facts.  I'm all about teaching it with hands-on and engaging ways.  However, when we get down to it, students need to know their basic facts with automaticity.  This happens as a result of learning, repetition and practice.  

By the time students reach fourth grade, it is expected that they have a fluent recall of basic facts in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  This gives them the foundation to proceed to higher-level math computation and problem solving.  Students might know the strategy to determine the answer but lack the automaticity and fluency of the facts. 

Mastering the basic skills is necessary in order to advance in math. Please do not think I want students to be drilled.  Drilling without understanding is harmful.  We all know that math facts are best learned when we understand them and use them in different situations. 

How can we make learning our math facts fun?

Multiply Like a Pirate is a fun way to learn multiplication.  Simply print the cards.  Laminate them and place on a metal clasp ring.  Students master each set and then move their name tag along a bulletin board.  Since it is "Pirate-themed," allow students to visit a treasure box as a reward for completing each set. 
 Each set is labeled and unmixed.  However, you can create an additional set with mixed facts. 
Additional Options: Allow students to use dry erase markers to write the facts on each card.  Another option would be to allow students to practice the cards with a buddy partner.  Have the student of the day flash the cards to the class as a review each morning.  The possibilities are endless.
 Here is a look at the bulletin board.  Each set of multiplication cards are named.  When students master that set, their name goes under that bulletin board header.  Jolly of Deep Waters is a creative name for the first set. 
As students complete each level, they add a sticker to their parrot.  When they complete all levels, have a Pirate Day. 

Note:*There are many controversial studies regarding the topic of timing math facts.  Automaticity mentioned above is about practice and repetition- not memorization.  How you determine a student has reached mastery of each set is up to you and your school's expectations. 

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