From multiplication flashcards to timed tests, Multiplication clubs promote fluency with math facts. I want to help you set up Multiplication Clubs in your classroom to help your students learn their multiplication tables.
I have taught 2nd, 3rd and 5th grade. I remember moving from 3rd to 5th mid-year shocked that my new group of 5th graders didn’t know their multiplication facts. Multiplying fractions, decimals, and large numbers required so much more mental energy with the extra steps of skip counting and finger using. If I could go back, I would start the clubs with them on day one.
How to get started with Multiplication Clubs
Find or collect your timed test. For the last two years, I have used the Multiplication Clubs resource from Grade 3 in AZ. You can find that here. I love the colors, font, and large numbers from 0 to 12. The colors match my classroom theme perfectly. This year, I plan to use my Boho Rainbow Multiplication Clubs instead. I printed everything out. Put the timed test and flashcards in for copies. Printed the heading and large numbers then cut them out and hot glued them on the wall. If you want something free, you can search a site like Math Drills and find the tests you need. Make sure you stay consistent with the number of questions and get one for each factor 1 to 12.
How to Store Multiplication Test and Flash Cards
In previous years, I used one drawer in a filing cabinet. I organized by factors. In each section, I stored flash cards and timed test for easy access. I loved this system because I never ran out of copies. I could easily see when I was low and put in for copies ahead of time. So simple.
Then 2020 happened and I need to switch between two classrooms. All of my items must fit on a small rolling cart that I purchased from Michaels. Not ideal. I adapted by searching my closest for an extra-large binder. Adding 12 sheet protectors to serve the same purpose as my hanging file folders. I keep my recording sheets in the front pocket and the timed test in the remaining 12 sheet protectors.
I dropped the printed flashcards and just cut up index cards for easy storage. Students write the facts they are studying one per card. The equation on the front and product with skip counting on the back. Students keep their cards in a bag or envelop on their desk shields for easy access.
How to Use Multiplication Clubs in your Classroom
Start by sending a letter home to parents, including it in your classroom newsletter or posting about the clubs online via email or classroom sites like Class Dojo. Keep parents in the loop so they can reinforce at home.
Choose a day of the week that you want to consistently test on. The whole process takes about five minutes. I test on Thursday because Friday is too busy with spelling test and behavior rewards.
The first week is easy because everyone starts with the ones. Pass them all out. I have students write their names on the back so they don’t waste their seconds when they start the test. When I say go, they flip it over and have 90 seconds to finish. If they finish before the timer, they quietly hold the test in the air for me to grab.
After week one, passing out the test can seem overwhelming but your recording sheet can help you. I tell the students to study for a minute or two before we begin. Then I look at each column and call all the students working on the one’s and then all the two’s until everyone has the test they need.
At the end of 90 seconds, I say stop and collect the other completed test. If a student didn’t finish they write “please study” so their parents know they are still working on that factor. They put the test in their binder and take it home.
Then I check the completed test only. As I check them I write and say great job. The student comes up to my table to grab their test and sign the number on the wall. The whole class celebrates them. I have a recording sheet with all the names on the left column and the top has a column for every factor 1 to 12. Next to the student’s name and under the correct factor, I write the date. Then I pass out index cards to the students that need to make new flashcards while the other students study the set they still need to practice.
Benefits of Multiplication Clubs
Intentional practice and documentation will help your students in the long run.
- The display in our classroom highlights the importance of memorizing math tables and fluency.
- The flashcards on students’ desks serve as a great early finisher activity.
- The recording sheet with specific dates helps me communicate easy action steps for parents.
- The whole process is fun and makes students motivated and excited to learn their multiplication tables.