- Alex Box

# Multiplication - 3 ideas for depth over speed

Updated: May 16, 2021

Having long abandoned rote memorisation for learning multiplication facts, I'm always on the lookout for ways to better engage in this idea more holistically.

In particular, I'm looking for meaningful contexts that:

spark discussion

bring a slower, more mindful approach to learning multiplication

emphasise connections; both mathematical and social

Here are three ideas I'm tinkering with at the moment.

**1. Which One Doesn't Belong? (WODB?)**

You can read more about why __WODB is one of my favourite maths routines here.__

If the question is 'Which quadrant doesn't belong and why?', what would your response be?

Because of its open-ended nature, various arguments can be put forward, making it an accessible maths opener. Key concepts and language (e.g. multiplier, expression, parentheses) naturally emerge as contributors share their ideas with the group.

*Update (16-05-21):** Given my tendency toward 'trying to do too many things at once', I decided to sanity check this idea with the **#MTBoS** community. It wasn't long til Abigail replied, helping to progress this idea... **#pln** **#collaboration** **#collectivegenius** *

*I wanted to keep the expressions so am now playing around with a sequenced approach - start without the expressions, then add them on a second slide... *__PDF__

**2. Puzzles **

I've noticed that some puzzles can create an authentic context for multiplicative thinking. These __Mobile Puzzles__ call for thinking that draws on thinking in multiples, halves, doubles, through this puzzle which also requires algebraic reasoning to reach a solution. This is just #11 of 200 (!), sequenced according to difficulty. A great whole class or small group opener.

**3. **Math(s) Flips

I really love this innovative take on flashcards which spark discussion about much more than 'the answer'. __Berkeley Everett__ has created __a bunch of great maths visuals and printable resources__ to support sense-making and mathematical connections. Again, great for a whole class or small group discussion.

What activities have you discovered and are using to teach multiplication concepts?