One of the struggles with teaching upper elementary math is that many of our students have not mastered their multiplication and division facts. This makes everything even more of a struggle for those students, especially when they get to 5th grade.
Through a combination of fact drills, games, and teaching actual strategies versus just memorization, I am usually able to get even my most struggling students to at least master through their 8s. (and we all know with that 9s hand trick, they are usually set if we can get them to 8).
On this post, I want to share with you (yes, for free!) all the goodies I send home with my students to practice their multiplication and division math facts at home. Pick and choose what you want, or use them all!
I picked up these simple (and cheap) flashcards at the Dollar Tree. Another option is to have the students make their own (I recommend they make flashcards for only the facts they struggle with).
Markerboard and Dry Erase Marker
Another staple in our math facts take home kits are markerboards and dry erase markers. Again, I picked these up from the Dollar Tree, so obviously they are not the best and have to be replaced each year (you get what you pay for 😉 ).
The students use these to practice solving their math facts using one of the strategies they have learned.
Multiplication and Division Strategies Posters
I have found that this item is what is typically lacking in math facts take home kits, but it is so important. If your students haven’t mastered their multiplication and division math facts by 5th grade, chances are that flashcards and even daily practice isn’t going to make that much of dent. Your students either need a conceptual understanding of the operations or they need strategies (or both!)
These four strategies (four for multiplication and four for division) are the most common and the most familiar to students at this point in their school lives. Ideally we really want them to eventually move to the most effective and efficient strategy (usually the last strategy of the four on the download (using related facts)), but sometimes we need to build up their conceptual understanding before we can get them there.
These strategies can be placed on a ring or left as a page. One of my suggested daily activities (more about my suggested schedule in the last section of this post) is to practice their “I Don’t Know Yet” math facts using one or more of the strategies.
Multiplication Facts Tricks Flipbook
In addition to the strategies, I also like to include my multiplication facts tricks flipbook. This works really well for students who conceptually understand multiplication, but struggle with memorization.
Want more flipbooks for math? Click here to see all of my flipbooks for 4th and 5th grade math.
Dice and Card Games for Practice
Dice and a deck of cards are two more resources in our take home kits. These are usually my students’ favorites because they use them to play games with their family members.
I also include two suggested games for dice and two games for cards.
Math Facts and Multiplication Table Charts
A multiplication tables chart is optional but I like to include it for the students to check themselves when they are practicing their flashcards and when they are playing games. I prefer to use a multiplication table chart because it helps the students further see the connection between multiplication and division.
I don’t always include this in my take home kits, but sometimes I will also send home separate multiplication facts printables and division facts printables. They work great for parents who want to quiz their students and have one piece of paper to do so from.
Here are some general suggestions for using these math facts take home kits.
1.) If you have lots of students who struggle, embed regular practice in your math instruction, even if it is just 5 minutes.
2.) If you have more students who struggle than you can realistically make take home kits for, create a rotation schedule and allow the students to check out the kits. I would make enough so the students can have one every other week.
3.) I also include a suggested schedule for daily at home activities using the take home kits. I have included it in the download, but you may want to create your own based on you and your students’ needs.
4.) Implement some type of accountability to ensure the kits are being used and are working. I actually do weekly quick timed quizzes with my entire class. The students work at their own pace, so a student may be on the 4s for several weeks while another student is on 9s.
5.) If you have students who struggle with both multiplication and division, start with multiplication. If students have mastered their multiplication facts, they can usually transfer that over to division, but not typically vice-versa.
Is there anything you include in your multiplication or division take home kits that I have not? Let me know in the comments!
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