Multiplication Made Easier!

Performing 2-digit multiplication is tough stuff that requires a lot of practice and repetition (and repetition and repetition)! My state is a Common Core state, so this year I have taught the range of methods, including the box method, partial products method, lattice method, and the traditional algorithm. Some students catch on quickly and easily adapt to the range of methods, while others can't quite figure out what one method has to do with the next. The common algorithm was introduced last, and is the preferred strategy for its efficiency (not to mention, the parents are thrilled that we finally introduced a method that they are able to help their children with!!)

As students in my district grow older and move into higher grades, they are expected to know the traditional algorithm very well. I did a lot of searching, and I was not able to find an adequate graphic organizer that I felt would help my strugglers achieve. Several of my students were really struggling to learn the steps and perform them in the correct order. I realized that my strugglers were typically visual and hands-on learners, so I developed a graphic organizer to help with executing the algorithm.

Please note that this organizer is not a strategy in itself, but rather a method that can be used to execute the traditional algorithm. The beauty of this organizer is that it uses both shapes and colors to assist students with performing the steps in order.

I am constantly saying "Circles go with circles" or "Squares go with squares," which cues my students to look for the next step within that particular shape.

If you can see in picture above, I use colors on the shapes as well.  I introduced using colors on my anchor chart as I introduced the process in general. The colors in the packet are different than I used on my anchor chart. In the packet I used red around all of the circles and blue around all of the squares, but you get the idea!

Next year, I will make my anchor chart using the same colors as in my packet . . . (note to self - get your act together!)

I LOVE these C-Line Pocket charts that you can purchase from teacher stores or even Wal-Mart. You just tuck the page inside the pocket chart, and VOILA! No need to laminate! You will notice a times table chart in another pocket. I find that it's easy for my students to use because they can write and erase without worry of making mistakes.

I had a difficult time finding worksheets without regrouping. I feel that learning the process of solving 2-digit multiplication is a very important step for learners. The standard algorithm is difficult enough for beginners to conquer without having to worry about regrouping right away.

Once students are comfortable with multiplying without regrouping, they are ready to work on regrouping. Hopefully regrouping goes more smoothly after spending time solving problems without regrouping, and that students are now accustomed to the process of 2-digit multiplication.  

Use as many or as few worksheets as your students require. This packet makes it easy to differentiate based on the unique needs of your learners. My students needed extra practice and LOTS of repetition, so five different multiplication with regrouping worksheets are included.

This packet comes with three different sized graphic organizers.  The first, and largest organizer takes up a full page. The picture below shows the page with four organizers, and another organizer page contains nine blank organizers.  These pages are perfect for you (or your students) to make up problems! My students love to make worksheets for each other and be the "teacher".

The sizes, colors, and worksheets make scaffolding a snap!

After students learn to solve the multiplication problems with and without regrouping, the students will be ready to tackle problems without the graphic organizer. Two worksheets on graph paper are included to help them transition to independence.

I have a Division packet coming out very soon that will continue this concept - check back for the complete package!

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