Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Multiplication Sundaes!

Memorizing multiplication and division facts is such an important part of 3rd grade Math!  With everything else I do with my students in Math, I aim for higher level thinking, digging deeper, etc. But when it comes to multiplication and division facts, we just need to MEMORIZE!  We use lots of different strategies to help memorize facts, but the best (and most fun) motivation to memorize? Multiplication Sundaes!!!

multiplication sundaes

Each fact (2s, 5s, 10s, etc.) is a part of the sundae.  Students have to pass the quiz to earn that part of the sundae.  We set a date for the Multiplication Sundae party, usually towards the end of the year.  Whatever they've earned on their paper sundae, they get to have in their real sundae!  At first they don't believe that we won't just give everything to everyone, but once they realize I'm not bluffing, they're so excited to start passing those quizzes! 

multiplication fact quizzes

We practice learning the facts in an order that is easiest to trickiest, not numerical order.  For each fact, there are two different quizzes.  After the first test, different students are taking quizzes on different numbers, so I call out each number, and students come to get their quiz. The Quiz A and B options are great when students don't pass their quiz the first time. 

I give them one minute and then all pencils are put away.  To save time and increase ownership, I have students take out markers to correct their tests.  I'll read off the answers for one quiz at a time, and it really does pretty quickly.  By the time I get to the last few answers, it's awesome to see the excitement as students can tell they're about to pass!  We've talked about being sensitive about cheering since not every classmate has passed their test, but it's inevitable for a "Yesss!" to slip out here and there! :)

multiplication sundae tracking page

There are some different ways to display sundaes.  In the past, I've hung everyone's sundae on the wall, which makes for a fun display, and an extra bit of motivation.  However, the way my classroom is set up now, I don't have any wall space that kids can reach.  (My room used to be a middle school science room...I've got counters for days!) I'm thinking of some other options - taped to cabinet doors, maybe? - but for now they keep their sundae in the math section of their Data Binders.  I do like that their parents can see the sundaes weekly and know what facts to help with at home.

multiplication sundae parent letters

I have letters to send home to parents when we start the sundaes explaining the process.  When it's time for the party, I have families sign up to bring in everything we need. Since we do our parties in the spring, it's GREAT to be able to go out to the park next to our school where ice cream drips aren't a big deal. :)  In my Multiplication Sundae packet, there are editable letters to help you organize each step of the process.  

There are tons of options available in this packet.  You can choose if you want your students to memorize fact up to 10 or 12.  There are also division quizzes for every fact, so if you want, you can have your kids pass BOTH multiplication and division before they get the next part of their sundae.