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# 6 Multiplication Strategies for Third Grade – Plus Fun Activities to Practice Them!

If you’re teaching third grade, there’s one thing you understand. And that’s how important it is for students to become fluent with multiplication. Today I’m sharing with you six multiplication strategies for third grade. These strategies are essential for developing an understanding of what it means to multiply. They are also tools students can use to help solve the trickier facts they don’t have memorized.

Let’s look at each multiplication strategy and discover fun activities to reinforce these strategies in the classroom.

## 1. Equal Groups

Understanding multiplication through equal groups is a fundamental concept for third graders. To practice this strategy, create a hands-on activity where students use counters or small objects to represent equal groups. For example, have students group 12 toy cars into 3 equal groups and write a multiplication sentence to match.

## 2. Arrays

Arrays provide a visual way for students to grasp multiplication. Encourage students to create arrays using colorful manipulatives like blocks or tiles. For a fun activity, challenge students to create an array garden by arranging flower cutouts in rows and columns, then write multiplication equations based on the array.

If your school has tiles or bricks that are arranged in arrays, you can go on an array hunt around your campus and look for them. Students can write down the multiplication equation each array represents and solve for the product. (Hint–windows often contain arrays!)

## 3. Fact Families

Fact families help students see the relationship between multiplication and division. Learning fact families is essential for a later understanding of division and for solving for unknowns in multiplication and division equations. Have students work in pairs to create fact family houses. Each house should have four numbers that form related multiplication and division facts. For instance, 2, 4, 8, and 2 (2×4=8, 4×2=8, 8÷2=4, 8÷4=2). Let students be creative and make their houses as fancy as they want. Use construction paper, markers, and stickers to make it even more engaging!

## 4. Tape Diagrams

Tape diagrams, also known as bar models or strip diagrams, are great tools for visualizing multiplication problems. Provide students with word problems and ask them to draw tape diagrams to represent the information. To make it enjoyable, challenge students to create a comic strip using tape diagrams to solve multiplication scenarios.

## 5. Skip Counting

Skip counting is a foundational skill that supports multiplication fluency. Using a number line, you can show equal-sized skips to solve multiplication equations. See the example below.

Here’s an activity to engage students in a skip-counting scavenger hunt around the classroom. Hide number cards in different locations, and as students find them, they must skip count to determine the missing numbers in the multiplication sequence.

Relating multiplication to repeated addition helps students understand the concept of multiplication as groups of equal values. To add a twist to repeated addition practice, turn it into a storytelling activity. Ask students to create a story where characters encounter repeated addition situations. For example, a squirrel, preparing for hibernation, is collecting acorns each day, with the story progressing by adding the daily collections to find the total number of acorns gathered.

## Multiplication Strategies Anchor Chart & Note Taking

Need an anchor chart to display these strategies?⭐You can use the anchor chart in this resource.⭐ There is a blank version included for note-taking! Print these at 90% scaled, trim off the margins, and then you can glue it in a math notebook. The anchor chart makes a great reference tool for a math interactive notebook!

By incorporating these creative and interactive activities into your lessons, you can make learning multiplication strategies a memorable experience for your third grade students.

Remember, a mix of hands-on tasks, visual aids, and collaborative activities can really enhance understanding and retention of these essential math concepts.