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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