Sunday, December 30, 2018

Multiplication Your Students Can Do

3rd grade seems to be the designated "master your Multiplication facts" grade. A 3rd grade teacher recently came to me with the request ... could I find some way her students could practice their facts in a different way? I immediately had wheels turning in my head. 

First ... a little background.

When my oldest was in 3rd grade, she, too, had to master her facts. It was challenging! She really did not like practicing paper flashcards. She felt so defeated because the stack for the "I don't know" always seemed to be bigger than the stack for the "I know". Yes, practice helps, but the feeling of defeat showed on her face and she fought practicing with us. At the time, we had a Kindle, so I found an app that she could try. She liked it and more importantly, would practice ... independently! Practicing digitally prevented her from actually seeing the "I don't know" pile and once we found this method, she was the second one in her class to master all the facts. (She also gained confidence and would use her paper flashcards, too.)

I don't tell you this story to show off my daughter - math has always been quite a struggle. I tell you this because what happened was we did was we found what worked FOR HER. It wasn't the method that her teacher gave her ... it wasn't the what had worked for me as a kid ... or what worked for other kids in her class ... it worked for her.

Back to today - to the 3rd grade teacher and her request. 

There are plenty of apps out there. Good ones. But we have Chromebooks that are a few years old and I wanted to ensure there wouldn't be a cost associated. I turned to one of my favorite resources ... This is not only a website but also an add-on for Google Sheets. I built flashcard sets for each number and then combined sets to make a 0-5 set a 6-12 set and finally a set for all 0-12.

Flippity really fits the bill for this because you never have to worry about losing cards or digging them out of a bookbag. All you do is bookmark this drawing (LINK) and you are set. This link can be shared to the parents and now there is instant ability to practice at home, too. (Our elementary students do not take their chromebooks home.) 

Keep in mind, I made one copy of the provided template for each number and all of the options are available from it. I only needed a Google account and to know my multiplication facts. 😄Simple!

Here is the power behind this type of studying method:
  • share the link to the parents so they can study at home
  • there are multiple ways to study - let your students find what works for them!
    • Flashcards - traditional question on front, answer on back
    • List - straight list of all facts in this set, both questions and answers
    • Practice - a way to test yourself; gives some stats as well as review of missed questions at the end
    • Matching - fun way to match question and answers
    • Word Cloud - all the questions show, but when you hover, you see the answer
    • More ... printable options for additional practice methods
  • there is even an option to be able to hear the facts
    • just click the 🔈icon on the right
  • encourage students to use the randomizer so the facts don't go in order

I hope this helps - I can attest to using it with my middle daughter. She loves it! She even asks to do - I added it as a link on her iPad. 

And that 3rd grade teacher that initiated this project? I shared it with her students and they happily worked on it ... at their own level, at their own speed, on the way(s) they liked, and even let me know they enjoyed it! One student even worked through the 0-12 deck on the Practice and made it all the way through without an error! She was extremely excited & was positively beaming when she was telling me about it.

I can't ask for more. 💖

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