Hello there, my teachybloggy friends! I have something new to share this evening that I really hope you can use in your own classrooms.
We have done extensive work with multiplication facts using charts this year. We have identified patterns, located facts we already know, highlighted the chart for ease of use, everything I could think of. It was going so well until...
We began multi-digit multiplication problems.
To backtrack a bit: all of my ELL students are doing pretty well on their basic multiplication facts Some of them know all of their facts...but others are still acquiring those difficult-to-remember ones. We do math minutes and play games to help memorize the facts, but we still need the charts.
Especially with the multi-digit problems. This past week, we've been working on the lattice method of multiplication (do you use this? I love it and so do my students!). I've noticed that some of my students are so focused on trying to solve these more complex problems they are now completely confusing themselves on their charts.
I've been watching how they utilize our current chart closely (it's just a typical chart on white paper from our math series). They always start in the top column and work their way down. But they are losing their place with their finger as they try to line up the second factor and find the product.
And they've now resorted to drawing light pencil lines. But now their charts have zillions of messy lines that are becoming distracting.
So I decided to make this color-coded chart to help them track their place with more ease. I made the colors switch vertically, since that is where most of my students start out when using the chart. I'm going to place them in a sheet protector, or maybe laminate them (my little laminator is crying because I haven't used it in an age!!). I thought that would take care of the pencil marks and hopefully make it easier to see the product in the end. I know it will use a bit of ink, but I hardly ever print out colored worksheets for my guys, so I don't mind.
If you would like to download this file, you can find a direct link to it in the graphic below...it is free in my Teacher's Notebook Shop...
What kinds of things do you do for those students who struggle with acquiring multiplication facts? This is a problem I face every year and I would love to learn from your expertise!