Differentiating Multiplication Activities for 2-3 digits

One of the biggest struggles I have in teaching math is trying to reach and extend all of my students.  The often have a large pool of students who already have a strong understanding of what I am teaching and are ready for more.  To add to the need is the pressure from the STAR tests we give throughout the year.  Students are expected to make growth on these tests based on where they began.  For example, if a student scores in the 4th grade 3rd month on this test in math, they should grow from there at the same rate as everyone else.  Kind of a daunting task when it takes the full 60 minutes to teach the 3rd grade skills!  I find that these high achievers reason well on these tests, but they cannot do the math problems as a 4th, 5th, etc would be expected.  Thus the dilemma!

Thank heavens for the Math Coach's Corner!  I follow her on Facebook and search her blog posts when I get stuck or need to be inspired.  Her Facebook posts are so timely!  She just KNOWS the timing for every grade level and what they may be teaching and will repost great ideas.  The posts have also helped me gain some insight into what has come before my 3rd graders reach me and what they will see in the years to come.

Enough of the blah, blah, blah!

It is time to go back to some previous skills that my kids might have gotten a little rusty with during the course of moving on to new standards.  While I was teaching the standard to teach multiples of 10 and 100 by single digit numbers, I saw this post.

I had this moment of clarity!  If my kids can multiply 20 times 6 fluently, they are ready to try 24 times 6! And maybe even 326 x 6!  We have used both the Partial Products and the Area Models.  I was amazed how well they did!  Many of my students looked at solving them as puzzles and challenges.  What a great attitude!  

We had some free time this week, and I permitted the kids to choose some free choice on IXL and spotted one of my kids multiplying 23 x 9 by adding 23 nine times.  That's a great strategy if you HAVE to!  So glad they have many bags of tricks to pull from, but I realized that their multiplying muscle isn't as strong as the ADDING one.  We need more opportunities....FUN ones...to build in the reflex to find opportunities to multiply!
So, I've put together this bundle to meet my kids needs.  Multiplying by Multiples of 10, 2-digit by 1, and 3-digit by 1.

I will probably start by playing a quick game of SCOOT with the first set.  That should be a great warm-up.  They love the freedom of getting up and moving, on a conquest to defeat the task cards!  It truly doesn't matter if we do ALL 28!  It's a warm up.  Setting a timer for 7 minutes, maybe.  Next, we will review using the Area Model.  Perhaps a week later, we'll play another game, but I will scramble sets 1 & 2 together.  I think 28 is way too many problems if we are building fluency!  I will probably put the 3rd set out as challenge cards for early finishers.

Now, I really like my Answer Sheets!  I made quite a few versions, and I think I will let my kids choose.  Having the area model ready to go will minimized time drawing pictures and getting to the task at hand.  I have the 2 square and 3 square model, and two different sized blank ones.

Hope you all have a great week!!

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