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MathBait™ Multiplication

All Mixed Up

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Use multiplication rods to examine patterns and organization. In this warm up, students consider how they might design a multiplication table.


Resource Type

Warm Up

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If you have already completed Napier's Bones from MathBait™ Multiplication Part 4, this is a great time to pull them out. If not, for this warm up students will begin by creating multiplication rods.

Provide students with 10 strips of paper (about 1 by 6 inches). On the top of each strip, write out the numbers from 1 to 10. Next, write the multiples of the value listed on strip. In essence, students are creating a multiplication table they can rearrange into different orders.

Multiplication strips

Allow students to play with their strips. What order would they place the table in? Ordering our strips from smallest to greatest has some benefits, but are there other arrangements that are interesting? For instance, placing the even numbers next to each other allows us to more easily see our skip and skip-skip counting patterns. A similar instance helps us to see the skip and skip-skip counting patterns with 3, 6, and 9. Encourage students to stagger their strips; what if we don't line everything up?

The goal of this activity is simply for students to play with multiplication strips and look for patterns. In creating the strips they are practicing their multiplication and skip counting. In playing, they find patterns, consider the table from a new perspective, and gain familiarity with multiples through exposure. There is no right or wrong answer or way to play.

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