Let's face it! Sometimes memorizing isolated facts doesn't work for students. I noticed many of my fifth-graders still didn't know their multiplication facts by heart.
How many times have we asked a student a fast fact only to watch them stare into space (for as long as we'd give them) waiting for the answer to POP magically into their head?
It's frustrating for everyone involved. If we ask students to memorize patterns in multiples rather than isolated facts, it gives them a tool to turn to when they're stuck.
If students know the multiplication chart, they can recreate a portion of it to figure out their answer. If they memorize the pattern of the chart, they'll have faster recall of facts.
THE GREAT SHORT RACES is a way to motivate, track, and assess student progress with multiplication.
Please feel free to add any ideas you have, but here's the easiest way I've found to organize.
1. Each day, students take a speed drill.
(Make a bunch of copies in the beginning, cut them into half sheets, organize with pocket chart, folders, or whatever works best for your class, and have students take the level they need. ONE TIME PREP!)
2. The students have 30 seconds to whisper their ideas for the answers, and 30 seconds to write down the multiples at each level.
3. Each student begins at a level 2, writing the multiples of 2 up to 15. (EASY, but it builds confidence.) If they can correctly fill in the multiples in 30 seconds, they move on to the next level.
4. The organization of this is SIMPLE. I grade the races and have a student put them on their desk the next day. If they passed, they go on to the next level. If they didn't, they fix or finish as part of the morning work.
5. Assessment is just as easy. Students can keep track by individual or class sticker charts, and you can keep a copy in your notebook. I've included a sample in the file.
This document comes with:
Quizzes for levels 2-15 (You may have someone who wants a real challenge!)
Assessment chart samples