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Introducing Multiplication

Updated: Mar 12, 2023

When a student has developed a foundational understanding of addition and can start to independently solve addition questions. we want students to start thinking about repeated addition questions. Using hands on counters are amazing for this!

For the remainder of my post I'm going to share a pretend-dialogue where we can transfer those addition skills to repeated addition skills to ultimately become multiplication skills.

Let's play ice cream truck!

Modelling Count Three Times

Parent: "Hi I would like to order a single scoop of chocolate ice cream please... and could I also get a double scoop of vanilla ice cream"

Child: (makes the ice cream order with pom-poms) Here you go!

Parent: "Thank you! Wow! I have one scoop of chocolate ice cream and two scoops of vanilla... that means one plus two is three. I have three scoops of ice cream all together!"

Overtime, transition to the child answering: How many scoops of ice cream all together and slowly introduce larger numbers where the sum is under 20.

Repeated Addition & Multiplication

Parent: "Hi! I would like to order three ice cream cones and can I have two scoops of ice cream on each cone! Thank you!"

Child: (makes the ice cream order) Here you go!

Parent: "Wow! Thank you! These look delicious! If I have two scoops of ice cream on all three cones, I can count them up: 1,2, ... 3,4, ... 5,6... I have 6 scoops of ice cream! two plus two plus two is six!

Overtime, show the child that you can skip count (2, 4, 6, ...) to solve these types of questions and you can call them multiplication questions. Number lines or hundreds charts are great to support independence at this stage.

Continue Learning

Skip counting as a strategy will become imperative as we shift from concrete learning tools to more abstract strategies.

Arrays, drawn and found in your home and community are also really great ways to talk about multiplication.

Notice the array: I see two muffins in one direction and three muffins in the other direction. Thus I can skip count 2, 4, 6 or I can skip count 3, 6.

Lastly, if your child is struggling with multiplication, check in and see if they are ready for it. Maybe they need more practice at a foundational numeracy skill or reintroduce physical manipulatives. Lastly, thank you for reading our blog post! At Latch Onto Learning, we want to see every child be successful at reading and math!

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