The technique of learning has changed over the years. Children within the age group of 3-8 years have the best ability to grasp things easily. Kids need to be appropriately guided from the days of kindergarten. Therefore, their learning techniques need to be attractive so that they can learn while they play.
Mathematics is an important subject that is required in all walks of life. Simple Math like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division can be taught to kids at a very young age through multiple activities. This makes the kid eager to learn, and the basic of mathematics also gets imbibed in them from their early childhood.
Generally, kids learn basic numbers first, and later, addition, subtraction, etc. The jump from addition and subtraction to multiplication and division can be daunting for kids. It is better for them that we lay the foundation pillar for multiplication at this age so that they get to understand the basics of the subject. While teaching multiplication, the teachers have to ensure that the kids understand multiplication is nothing but repeated addition.
Some of the simple steps that Kindergarten teachers can follow to teach multiplications are as follows:
- You can teach the children that multiplication is actually repeated addition, that is, 2×6 means two groups of six, which is equivalent to 6+6.
- If there is any chance to teach the children through hands-on activities, grab the opportunity immediately.
- It would be best if you taught the student that one time of any number actually means the same number, like 1×2=2, 1×3=3, 1×10=10, etc. This also means the number is singular here.
- It would help if you made the students understand that any number multiplied by zero becomes zero. For instance, 0x1=0, 0x8=0, etc.
- You can use a 100 grid to show that skip counting ensures the same result as that of repeated addition.
- You can help the children to identify the multiples of the number. The great way to start with multiples is with 10.
- It is also essential to make the children understand that the order in which the numbers are placed does not change the result. Therefore, multiplication is commutative. For example, 1×2=2 is the same as 2×1=2.
Fun multiplication activities
Activities of multiplication are an ideal way to indulge your child in game-based studies. This will make the subject more interesting, and whatever the child will learn stays forever. Many pieces of research have shown that when different techniques of teaching are combined, it helps to heighten proficiency in the subject, in this case, multiplication.
There are various activities that you can choose to use in your classroom for effective teaching of multiplication. Given below are some examples of multiplication activities.
1. Pass the ball
This lesson is fun, interactive, and easy to play inside the classrooms. All you need is a beach ball and some enthusiastic learners.
- Permanent marker/ stickers to write on
- An inflatable beach ball
- Music tape
Steps to play the activity:
- When the ball is inflated, write simple multiplication questions on each color segment.
- Now, take the students to the playground and make them stand in a big circle. You can do it within your class also with small groups of them
- Next, the teacher will play the music, and the children pass the ball to the one on their right till the music stops.
- When the music stops, the child with the inflated ball may choose any color on the ball and read the question on it.
- The entire class has to then tell the answer in unison.
- After this, the ball will be passed on with music being played and will carry on like this.
- Three or four groups like this can make the circle, and at a particular time, the group telling the highest number of answers wins.
The technique here is to relate the numbers with the color on the ball. And, as the rest of the children in class tell the result loudly, the child finds it easier to remember also. For example, color-coded grids can also be used. An example with the pie chart above. You can think of the pie as the ball.
2. Multiply with the eggs
Using egg cartons and toy eggs can be a fun way to learn multiplication. The teacher needs to bring the egg cartons/ egg boxes from the house and toy eggs can be used in order to avoid the game becoming messy.
- Egg box/cartons
- Permanent marker/stickers
- Toy eggs
Steps to play the activities:
- First, you need to cut the lid from the egg carton/box
- Write some simple numbers to be multiplied like 3×2, 1×4, etc. in the depression of the egg box/carton
- On the toy eggs, write the answers like 6, 4, etc.
- The children need to place the toy egg with the correct answer on the depression of the egg box.
3. Multiply with building blocks
Colorful building blocks can be used in multiplication activities in the classroom. The activity will be engaging and simple.
- Building blocks of different colors
Steps to play the activities:
- First of all, you need to separate blocks with 2, 3, 4, or more heads. Group these blocks separately.
- Now, give a multiplication problem to the child. For example, 2X4
- Instruct the child to pick 2 blocks having 4 heads each. Then ask them to count the total heads on both the blocks.
- Thus they will relate their answer “8” with the eight heads of the blocks.
This activity will give them a practical approach to solving multiplication problems. First, start by giving simple problems and once they get a strong hang of it, then try it with little bigger numbers.
4. Multiply with audio-visual effects
Researchers have seen that we tend to remember the lyrics of songs easily as it is strung by music. Therefore combining studies with music helps the children remember more effectively. Through this activity, the children can be taught tables easily.
- Big LED screen
- Rhymes’ music only
Steps to play the activities:
- Then, music on any popular rhymes that the children can relate to should be started in the background.
- The child has to say the tables in the rhyme tune, like 1×1=1, and the display on the screen will also have one frog. Similarly, for 1×2=2, the children can sing the tune of rhyme in unison, and there will be two frogs on the screen.
- This audio and visual way of learning will be very effective, and the student can remember the tables very well in this way.
5. Partners of Cards
This will be quite similar to using memory cards. To the concept of memory cards, you can add a bit more fun activity and make it more interesting.
- Small blank cards
- Colored Sketch pens
Steps for the activities:
- Prepare two stacks of an equal number of cards. One stack will have problems like 3×2, and 2×4 written on them (question cards), and another stack will have answers to those problems like 6, 8, etc (answer cards).
- In the class, divide the children into two groups of equal numbers. One group will be “Q”, and the other, “A”.
- Distribute the question cards among the Q group and the answers cards among the A group.
- Now ask each child to come out front and read out the question on their card. As they do so, ask what the answer to that will be.
- When you get the right answer, ask which child from the A group has that number on their card.
- So, these two children from Q and A will be partners.
How will these activities help the kindergarteners?
Learning something only from the book and practicing it on paper may not always impact the little minds in the same way as it would if they are actively involved in the process. When the kids participate in the games, it will make them remember the math problems in a more interesting way. The audio-visual activities will help them relate to the multiplication process easily. So, when they participate in the activities, and the teachers encourage them positively, they are sure to find it fun and exciting.
Children love nothing more than playing. So, taking the opportunity of making them learn through play activities can yield positive results, no doubt. Teachers need to plan a learning session in a way that would help the child not only memorize but understand the concepts by heart also. This is where activities come in handy.
Children should not be bounded only to books to acquire knowledge. There are many things out there that can be used to gain simple knowledge. This will make studies interesting. The common games played by the children can also be used to learn multiplication. These interactive ways enlighten the kids from a young age and tinkle their nerve cells which help them in the future.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,