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Multiplication Fluency - Part 2

Jan 12, 2017

By Suchita Desai - Owner/Center Director @ Mathnasium of Gilbert

Terminology - In multiplication, a multiplicand and a multiplier are multiplied to find a product. Multiplication is represented by the "x" sign.

For example, in the following equation, 9 is the multiplicand, 4 is the multiplier, and 36 is the product.

9 x 4 = 36

NOTE: Sometimes the multiplicand and the multiplier are both also called factors.

1) Concept learning - 

Multiplication as repeated addition:  Multiplication means you have certain number of groups, all of the same size. It can then be solved by means of repeated addition. The easiest way to get across this concept to a beginning learner is use repeated addition for 0's and 1's.

For example, see the following equation set up as multiplication as well as repeated addition for 0’s.

0 + 0 = 0 x 2 = 0

0 + 0 + 0 + 0 = 0 x 4 = 0

0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 = 0 x 6 = 0

Once they get the idea, it is fairly intuitive for most students to grasp the same concept using different numbers; the next step would be to introduce the idea of skip counting or counting bys.

Skip counting or counting bys: It means counting forwards or backwards by a number other than 1. This is also a fairly simple way to begin the young learner understand the concept of multiplication. 

For example, skip counting by 3 is: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15…

2) Strategy learning - 

Commutative property of Multiplication: Commutative means to commute or move around. In terms of multiplication, this means that the multiplication product for any two numbers remains the same even if the orders of those two numbers are switched. A picture of arrays depicting the same helps the student visualize the commutative property of multiplication and often times is helpful to recall the higher number multiplication facts faster (e.g. for 6 through 12 times tables)

Pointing a pattern: For some multipliers, it helps to point out a pattern to the student.



For example ,

Magic of 1's - Product is the same as multiplicand.

Magic of 2’s - Starting at 2, Say a number, Skip a number…

Magic of 5's - Product always ends in 5 for odd multiplicands or 0 for even multiplicands

Magic of 10's - Product would be the same as a zero at the end of multiplicand.

Doubles: For some multipliers, it helps to point out the doubles pattern to the student.

For example, 2’s are – 2, 4, 6, 8, 10… and 4, being a double of 2, 4’s are – 4, 8, 12, 16, 20…

Similarly, 8, being a double of 4, 8’s are – 8, 16, 24, 32, 40…

3) Memorization - Once the student understands the concept of multiplication and is able to use various strategies to recall multiplication facts, you can use a variety of fun games like multiplication wrap ups or flash cards on a regular basis for practice. This can tremendously help your child recall the multiplication facts effortlessly, when they are working on more complex concepts of long division, operations with fractions and decimals, algebra and so on.

As always, we are here to help at Mathnasium of Gilbert. Give us a call at (480) 782-7987 or email us at with any question you have.