Teaching 5th Grade Math two years ago, I learned quickly the importance of memorizing multiplication facts. How can I teach children to find the Least Common Multiple if they don’t know their multiples?
When I began teaching K-6 Intervention this year, I asked each of the upper grade teams to create an intervention group for me of kids that needed to memorize their multiplication facts. I worked with those groups about one week a month. As the year went on, some students graduated out and new students were added.
I started the year with 18 6th grade students that couldn’t pass a simple mixed multiplication timed test. By the end of the year, they all passed. I really just couldn’t let these kids go to middle school without their facts!
Now that we’ve had this intervention in 3rd through 6th grade, I’m hoping it won’t be as needed next year.
I was honest with my groups. They knew we were working on a third grade skill. I made sure though that there was a system in place so they knew they were making progress and could feel successful.
|Surfing to Success / Super Surfer Multiplication Wall|
When I started my multiplication groups, each child decorated an index card with their name and placed it on the Surfing to Success Wall.
I explained that their goal was to memorize their multiplication facts and that they would keep coming back to me through out the year until they reached that goal. The first day, I had them take the 0s, 1s and 2s test and introduced my multiplication game.
|Timed Test Cubbies|
After having taken 6 tests the first few days, everyone had come to one that they didn’t pass. I gave the students a surf board to cut out and hang up for each test they passed. Each child at least passed the 0s so no one felt left out.
Then, I taught them how to set a goal and work towards it. In the beginning I would have them write their goal and three ways they would work to reach their goal. As students became comfortable with the routines and other games that I introduced, they didn’t need to write their goal down. I would put a G for goal on my record sheet so I could make sure they stuck with a goal until they passed the test.
Each time they came there was a time for them to practice in a way they choose and a time to take a test. Each time they’d pass the test, they’d earn a new surf board and set a new goal. If they had incorrect answers, I’d make a sticky note for them to remind them what they needed to study.
As time went on, students would request to take a test when they walked in the door because they had practiced at home. Some motivated students earned all of their Surf Boards quickly. Other students came to me many times before they had it down.
Some of the students I work with in intervention don’t have a lot of moments in class where they get to feel successful. Once you’ve fallen below grade level, everything in class can feel so difficult. I loved seeing 3rd -6th graders get so excited to earn a Surf Board. They learned the importance of setting a goal and working towards it. As the goals became more challenging, they learned to persevere.
This system was really rewarding for me. I got to be the bearer of great news and celebrate the small steps. I got to see kids that were behavior problems in their homeroom walk in and get right to work. They knew what they needed to do and they knew they could achieve their goals with a little practice.
When I started teaching, if you told me that one of my favorite things would be helping some of the most challenging 6th graders in the school learn to multiply, I probably would have laughed. You would have been right though.
Everything I mentioned is in my Super Surfer Multiplication Packet.
There are games, flash cards, tests, a reward system, record sheets and more. Last year, our goal was to Multiply from 0-12. Next year, our school will focus on only 0-10. Of course, each page had to be changed to accommodate the new goals. I know some people have different goals so I decided to bundle the two versions into one. Whether your goal is 0-12 or 0-10, you’ll find everything you need in this download.
Having used it for a year, I though of a couple bonus pages I wanted that I included at the end of the packet for you as well.