Memorizing Multiplication facts is something students need to do sooner or later. But what happens when nothing works? I want to share a few activities I did with a 3rd grader who was beyond overwhelmed when faced with memorizing numbers that made no sense to her.
Using counters to provide a visual cue and sticky notes with the numerals to be memorized was a great combination of tools to accomplish this task!
The activities below are the next step I took after teaching my student how to skip count. You can read how I approached that concept with her in my post “Skip Counting: Making it Make Sense”.
Activities Using Counters and Sticky Notes
Setting it up: Using any counters you have, make rows with 2 counters each on the far-left of your cookie sheet. Place a small sticky note at the far-right end of each row. Have your student skip count by 2s and write the number of counters in each sticky note.
Activity #1: The Disappearing Game
1) Tell your students that in this game, the sticky notes will begin to disappear, one at a time. Their challenge is to remember the numbers that are disappearing until the last one is gone.
2) Have your students read the complete set of numbers. Then, remove the first sticky note and ask them to read the numbers again, including the number they know is gone. Keep going until all the sticky notes are gone and your students memorized the sequence.
If your students forget a number in the sequence, here are a couple of things you can do:
More Support – Have your students use the counters to get them back on track. They can count each counter or skip count by 2s from the beginning.
Less Support – Point out that each number is 2 counters bigger than the previous number. So when they cannot produce the next number in the sequence, mentally add 2 to the last number.
Activity #2: The Missing Number Game
1) Tell your students that in this game sticky notes will disappear one at a time. Their challenge is to tell you what number went missing.
2) Remove a sticky note from the tray without your students seeing it. Ask your students to tell you which number is missing.
Here are two ideas to differentiate the game:
More Support – Put each sticky note back as your students tell you the missing number.
Less Support – Keep the sticky notes out until they are all gone. Have your students tell you all the numbers that are missing each time you remove a sticky note.
Activity #3: The Shuffle Un-Shuffle Game
1) Remove the sticky notes from the tray and shuffle them.
2) Have your students un-shuffle the cards by placing them next to the correct row in the tray.
More Support – Allow your students to browse through the sticky notes. They can look for the first number, place it next to the first row, look for the second number, place it next to the second row, and so on.
Less Support – Have your students place the sticky notes next to the correct row by saying the number sequence in their minds until they find the right place for the number they are holding.
Was this post helpful? If you need activities to help your students skip count, make sure to check “Skip Counting: Making it Make Sense”.
👉 This Math Homework packet is Common Core aligned, printed on one double-sided page, with space on the page for student answers. It reviews several skills each week.
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👉 My Math Puzzles packets are Common Core aligned, review several skills on each page, and are a great activity for Math Centers!
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