**questions**from 3rd grade teachers whether they should teach

**multiplication facts through 9**(Common Core State Standard 3.OA.7; By the end of Grade 3, know from memory all products of two one-digit numbers), or

**push**

**ahead**and work on products involving

**factors of 10, 11 and 12.**

Most 3rd grade teachers will tell you how

**difficult**it is for students to achieve

**complete fluency**by the end of the year, so piling on more facts is the

**last**thing they want to do!

However, working on strategies to learn double digit multiplication facts is a

**fantastic opportunity**to illustrate, and reinforce

**key learnings**from 3rd grade.

It is

**essential**for 3rd graders to learn how to multiply a single digit by a

**multiple of 10**as quickly as possible. Aside from being a great preview to the work they will be doing in 4th and 5th grade with base ten, they catch on quickly and this one skill

**will take them far**in the world of multiplication. Think about it; 12 x 5 becomes (10 x 5) + (2 x 5). Students can quickly go from paper and pencil to

**mental math**. After doing this enough times, the answer becomes memorized.

3rd graders already need to

**conceptually understand**the

**distributive property of multiplication**(Common Core State Standard 3.OA.5). By decomposing 2-digit numbers to multiply easily, they will be using the distributive property

**over and over**again.

Finally, there is one

**secret math move**I always show 3rd graders once they are confident multiplying by 10. I write 5 x 18 on the board and ask them to solve it different ways. Providing a student doesn't think of this strategy, I write: 10 x 18 = 180 and half of 180 is 90. All of the

**oohhhs**and

**aaaahhhs**are music to my ears!

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