I want my students to master their math facts which means they need lots of multiplication and division fact practice. While this does have a heavy emphasis on memorization, the automaticity of basic math facts is necessary in order for students to complete higher-level math work accurately and quickly.
There is a natural progression of arithmetic work from third grade to fourth grade. The curriculum and concepts switch from understanding equal groups to double-digit multiplication and long division. It is easy to see when students master basic math facts they are better suited to complete these problems and I want to give my students as much multiplication and division fact practice to help ease this transition and allow students’ brain space for holding more complex math ideas.
So how do I help students master basic multiplication and division facts? Of course, I start with a conceptual understanding of multiplication and division. We draw lots of pictures, make jumps on a number line, work on repeated addition and subtraction, and talk about the importance of understanding multiplication and division as inverse operations.
After that, it is time for some memorization. Without further ado, here are some multiplication and division fact practice resources that I love in my classroom.
Patterns on a Multiplication Chart
Why I love this resource: This resource is great because students are able to fill in the multiplication chart for one factor at a time. From there students look at their products and search for patterns. Each page provides a guided search for patterns experience to help students discover patterns on their own.
Understanding patterns helps students be able to check their products in the future. For example, once they know products of 2 are always even if they multiply by two and get an odd answer, they know they made a mistake. Looking at the multiplication chart in this way lets students see the multiples of each number. This is a great strategy to point out if your students are using skip counting to multiply.
Practice worksheets organized by factors or divisors to Master Basic Math Facts
Why I love this resource: When I teach the meaning of multiplication and division my lessons separate facts based on factors and divisors and build on complexity. These worksheets allow students to practice each set of facts as isolated skills.
This helps reinforce patterns for each fact. I love these particular resources because there are four practice sheets for each divisor and factor. Each one is unique so it is engaging for students as they work on them as class work, in centers, or as homework.
Two Truths and a Lie Multiplication and Division to Master Basic Math Facts
Why I love this resource:
I love using these task cards as a way to start my guided math sessions. Just like the previous resource, these are also separated by factors and divisors to target specific patterns with 4 cards for each set.
Students are able to think critically about each number sentence and evaluate which number sentence is the lie or incorrect from there. We usually discuss how to make the fact true. These cards also work great to play scoot or as an interactive hunt for task cards around the room. No matter how you use them, they are great practice!
Zoo problem: Multiplication and Division fact game to Master Basic Math Facts and Practice Word Problems
Why I love this resource: This game works great for a math center or math activity. Students move across the game board solving basic multiplication and division facts. Some of the spots are marked with a “zoo problem” that requires students to read a word problem and decide if they need multiplication or division to solve for it. This word problem practice is a great way for students to think critically about different word problems and continue to use their basic facts.
Find an Answer Who: Interactive Scavenger Hunt Activity to Master Basic Math Facts
Why I love this resource: Students love this activity and it naturally adds movement and collaboration to basic fact and conceptual practice.
And it’s FREE!
During this activity students receive multiplication or division equation name tags. Students will wear their new “name” and walk around the room. Other students will use the answer from students’ equations to solve for various multiplication and division practice problems.
Students have a recording sheet that requires them to find an answer from other students’ name tags that meet specific criteria. For example, one of the criteria might be “has an answer that is even.” Students will circulate the room and look at other students’ name tags to find a multiplication or division product that has an answer that is even.
It is a perfect mix of fact practice and conceptual practice. Once they solve the basic fact, there’s another problem that relates to the meaning of multiplication or division. For example, they might need to show their work with skip counting or drawing an array to solve the original problem. In my TpT store, you can buy this activity separately for multiplication and for division. However, you can grab a combination of the two for free.
Which resource for multiplication and division fact practice to try first?
These are just a few of my favorite resources that can support your students as they master their basic facts, and I listed them in the order I usually use them, but grab whichever one speaks to you the most!
We know that when students are fluent with their math facts, more advanced math problems become easier and faster for students to solve. Repeated exposure and practice is the best way to help students master their facts.