Multiplication is one of the basic four operations of mathematics. We learn to multiply in elementary school, but we have to apply multiplication throughout our life. It is extremely important to learn multiplication as it is an essential part of our daily life. From paying bills to buying groceries, multiplication has an application to almost everything around us. Let us see how multiplication can be made fun for children in elementary and middle school.
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Multiplication for Elementary Schoolchildren
Multiplication is the repetitive addition of numbers.
For example, 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 can be written as 4 x 2, and when we say it, “four times two.”
This can be shown to children with a fun activity. Let’s see how it’s done.
Step 1: Ask them to collect eight identical objects like pebbles, leaves, or balloons.
Step 2: Ask them to make a pair of these objects and count them again. This time, ask them to count the pairs as the addition of 2 and 2, done four times.
Step 3: We can now introduce the concept of multiplication to them by asking how many times 2 makes 4, how many times 2 makes 6, and so on.
The same activity can be repeated for objects grouped in numbers such as 3, 4,5, and so on, by making groups of 3, 4, 5, and so on, respectively.
When it comes to thinking about initial multiplication lessons in elementary school, we are instantly reminded of multiplication tables. Memorizing multiplication tables can be tough at times, but here are a few tips to help one memorize the tables for the numbers 5 and 9.
Tip for Memorizing the Multiplication Table of 5
The unit’s place for all the numbers is going to be either 5 or 0. If we start from the first value of the table, which is 5 x 1 = 5, then the units place will follow the pattern of 5,0,5,0, and so on.
Now the tens place will start from the second place in the table and will be in a series of 1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5. That’s how you can write the multiplication table of 5 without memorizing it.
Tip for Memorizing the Multiplication Table of 9
Write all the units digits in the table by counting backward from 9 to 0, that is, 9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2, and 1.
Write all the ten’s place starting from the second value in the table, counting from 1 to 9, that is, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, and 9.
Multiplication gets a little more complex as we move into middle school. It involves the multiplication of integers, fractions, and decimals. But here’s how you can teach multiplication easily to middle schoolchildren.
Multiplication for Middle School
Visualizing fractions or decimals in terms of real-world examples may not be so effective. But making children understand multiplication using a number line can be a solution to this problem.
This is because, on a number line, you can represent everything from integers and fractions to decimals.
We can associate multiplication on a number line with jumps. Yes, jumping from one number to another.
For example, 4 x -2 means starting from -2 and jumping four digits to the left two times.
Middle school also involves the repetitive multiplication of a number by itself, which is called an exponent. 5 x 5 x 5 can also be written as 5³. There are some tips to easily find squares of numbers ending with 5.
For example, 752 can be calculated as follows:
Write down 25 as the last two digits.
Multiply the tens digit with the next number in the sequence. For example, here you multiply 7 with 8. Write this result before 25, and this is your required output.
Note: This tip is only applicable to numbers ending with 5.
Math in middle school also involves the multiplication of two two-digit numbers, and here are some tricks to do this easily and save time.
i) Multiplication of the given number with 5n. (5, 25, 125, …)
Step 1: Add as many zeroes at the end of the given number, as there is a power of 5
Step 2: Divide the resultant number by 2 (power of 5), to get the result.
Multiply 84 by 125
Here 125 = 53. The power of 5 is 3.
Step 1: Now, add 3 zeros at the end of 84, and hence it becomes 84,000
Step 2: Now, divide 84,000 by 23. Hence, it becomes
Therefore, 84 ×125 is 10,500!
ii) In the multiplication of two numbers, if the sum of their unit digits is 10, and the remaining digits are the same in both numbers.
Step 1: Multiply the unit digits of the numbers
Step 2: Now multiply the digit (which are the same) with its consecutive number
Step 3: Finally, append the result obtained in step 1 to the right of the result obtained in Step 2.
Multiply 32 with 38
32 × 38
Here, the sum of the unit’s digits is 10 (2+8 = 10)
Step 1: Multiply unit digits: 2 × 8 = 16
Step 2: Multiply the digit 3 with its consecutive number 3 × (3+1) = 3 x 4 = 12
Step 3: Append 16 to the right side of 12. Hence, it becomes 1216.
Therefore, 32 × 38 is 1,216.
Multiplication can be fun and engaging. It can help improve computing skills and attention span. Apart from this, introducing multiplication to children at a young age teaches them to think logically and comprehend difficult concepts.3 Multiplication can be extremely important as it is as important for us as a paintbrush is for a painter.
For more interesting and fun techniques in math, explore Byju’s FutureSchool Blog.
- Heath, B. (n.d.). Number Sense Tricks. http://bryantheath.com/files/2018/04/Heath_NSTricks_revA.pdf
- Multiplication Tricks | List of Important Multiplication Tricks and Tips. (n.d.). Retrieved May 2, 2022, from https://byjus.com/maths/multiplication-tricks/
- USE AND IMPORTANCE OF MULTIPLICATION TABLE IN EVERY DAY LIFE – Stephi LaReine. (n.d.). Retrieved May 2, 2022, from https://www.stephilareine.com/2021/05/use-and-importance-of-multiplication-table-in-every-day-life.html