Multiplication War (Day 1)

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SWBAT solve multiplication problems with fluency and accuracy.

Big Idea

Hands-on learning can help students to engage with multiplication.


5 minutes

What are we doing with groups when we multiply? What do we know about multipclation? What are things that are challenging about multiplication? Turn and talk to your partner about these questions. 

I use turn and talk to begin discussions because it opens up student conversation around the topic. Instead of me talking 'at' my students, I like to engage them in a conversation and some inquiry around the topic. Additionally, it keeps all kids engaged who might otherwise lose interest when the teacher is doing all of the talking.

This activity is aimed at building fluency in solving problems, so we will spend the majority of the time engaged in hands-on activities solving problems. 


45 minutes

Each partnership will have a deck of playing cards, just like I have here. Face cards are 12’s, and the rest are worth the numbers shown. You will each pull a card and then record your multiplication problem and solve it (MP1). Whoever gets the problem right first gets to keep those cards (MP6). The player who has the most cards when the cards run out is the winner. You will start a new game as soon as you run our of cards- and remember to keep track of how many games you win! 


In this activity students are forced to think quickly about the relationships, strategies and tools they have to solve multiplication problems. They have to recognize on their own that in different situations different strategies may be useful. While we have been doing a lot of work building a conceptual understanding of multiplication through models and other strategies, students are now shifting toward solving problems more fluently. I watch my groups closely to make sure that the abilities of both partners is appropriately matched. I don't want a more fluent students working with a student who really struggles, because I don't want anyone to get discouraged. 


5 minutes

Wow I saw some close games today, and I saw some great work in multiplication! Remember to rely on all that you know about multiplication facts to help you solve problems more quickly! I want each of you to write down on a post-it note what you did well today and what you want to work on tomorrow to improve at multiplication war. 

We will be playing this game again tomorrow so as I close I just want to highlight the students' hard work and encourage them in their abilities. I will use this quick exit ticket/self-reflection to see which students are working toward their goal tomorrow.