# Teachers' tricks for multiplication

## Start with multiplication as repeated addition

**repeated addition**and your child might talk about

**arrays**and tell you that they've been counting and drawing dots in maths.

Here's why: 4 x 4 Is four lots of 4, so written as an array of 4:

This shows the children what four lots of 4 really looks like. They can count in 4s, or to begin with just count all of the items, to get the answer.

**repeated addition using a number line**. For example, if the calculation is 3 x 4 they could start on zero and make leaps of 3 four times to get to their answer.

## Remind them that multiplication can be done in any order

## Insist on multiplication tables

In

**Key Stage 1**,

**children learn to count in 2s, 5s and 10s**. They may do this using a number line or a 100-number square.

Once they've mastered counting in sequences children learn the

**2, 5 and 10 times table**and they should be confident with these by the

**end of Year 2**. Make sure you test them as often as you can, but only for short bursts at a time; little and often is better than long sessions learning tables which will bore and tire them (and you!) out.

**In Year 3, children learn their 3, 4 and 8 times tables**.

By the

**end of Year 4, they should know all their tables up to 12x12**.

Print out a colour-coded

**multiplication square**to help your child spot number patterns and visualise times tables.

## Turn multiplication into story problems

In

**Key Stage 1**children might face a

**multiplication word problem**like:

Every day at lunch Jayden has 5 grapes in his lunch box. How many grapes does he eat at school during the week?

Here the children would have to consider that there are 5 days in the school week and there are 5 grapes each day. Therefore the calculation must be: 5 x 5 =. They could then draw an array of 5 lots of 5 grapes and count in 5s (or count each grape if needed) to get to the answer.

In

**Key Stage 2**a

**multiplication word problem**might be:

A hat costs £4 and a scarf costs £2. Josie buys 4 hats and 6 scarfs. How much money does she spend altogether? Here they have to think of two separate multiplication calculations and work out that, once completed, the answers need to be added together.

## Know the language of multiplication

**Practise multiplication vocabulary**by asking questions in various ways, for example:

- What is 8 multiplied by 9?
- Give me three multiples of 5.
- What is the product of 3 and 7? (This means: 'What is 3 multiplied by 7?')
- What is 5 times 4?
- Is 7 a factor of 14? (The answer is yes, because 7 can be multiplied by the whole number 2, to make 14.)

## Learning multiplication facts helps with multiplying in different units

They need to be aware of basic multiplication facts associated with money and measures, for example:

- There are twenty 5ps in £1 / ten 10ps in £1 / five 20ps in £1 / two 50ps in £1
- 100ml goes in 1 litres 10 times / 100g goes into 1 kg ten times / 10cm goes into 1 metres ten times
- There are four lots of 250g in one kilogram / 250ml in one litre / 25 cm in one metre

## Practise formal methods of multiplication

In

**Year 3**, children will learn to multiply a two-digit number by a one-digit number. They may learn this using the grid method. In

**Year 4**they need to multiply two-digit and three-digit numbers by a one-digit number. In

**Years 5 and 6**they need to learn to multiply numbers of up to four digits by a two-digit number using long multiplication.

## Use multiplication skills as a tool in KS2 maths

- To work out percentages, fractions and decimals
- To work out areas of shapes
- To solve complex word problems, often with two or three steps, sometimes using a calculator.

- What is 2/8 of 104?
- The area of a rectangle is 36cm². What could its width and length be?
- I have 5 cups. I put 450ml of water into each one. How much water have I poured out in litres?

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