The Multiplication Station has received a big update and I am so excited about it! This latest version focuses on conceptual understanding in order to develop fact fluency. Knowing the multiplication facts is definitely a big goal, but UNDERSTANDING multiplication is even more important for fact retention. If you have purchased The Multiplication Station in the past, the video below will give you a quick overview of what has changed. Prefer to read about the changes instead? I’ve included a written version down below.
ORDER OF FACTS
As I mentioned in the video, I’ve created a document to tell you more about the order that the facts are taught in this program. If you’d like to read more about that, please see THIS LINK.
- If you have purchased The Multiplication Station in the past, the new version is now available for you. Simply go to your “My Purchases” section on TpT, find the Multiplication Station, and re-download. The new version is in a file folder creatively called “NEW VERSION” :).
- If you purchased The Multiplication Station as part of a bundle, the new version is also ready and waiting for you. Simply find the bundle in your “My Purchases” section and re-download.
- If you have not purchased The Multiplication Station in the past, but would like to check it out you can find it using the links below. I’ve included the station, as well as two other bundles where it can be found:
Multiplication Station Changes – For those who prefer to read (This is the same content as the video above)
Just as your teaching evolves over the years, I believe that it’s very important that my resources evolve as well. This year I am making it my goal to learn everything I can about multiplication and pass that along to you so that you can do your very best work in the classroom. For me, part of this process has been updating the Multiplication Station so that it reflects current best practice.
First things first, the new updated version is available to anyone who has ever bought The Multiplication Station. If you go to your “My Purchases” section on TpT, and scroll down to find The Multiplication Station, you’ll be able to re-download it. I am leaving the old version in that file for the next month or so, but the new version is there as well for you to download.
Now, if you just recently put in the work of setting up this station in your classroom, you might be frustrated to hear that there is a new version available. For this, I apologize, but don’t feel like you have to use the new version right away. The old version has worked for thousands of teachers, and I’m confident that it will work for you too. What you might do instead is continue to use the old version, but take some ideas from the new version to guide your number talks or mini lessons in the classroom.
The purpose of this video is to tell you about the big changes that have been made to the station, so let’s get started.
First of all- I have made a minor tweak to the order that the facts are taught. In the new version we begin with 2’s, 10’s, and 5’s and THEN incorporate 1’s and 0’s. The reason for this is that most students already know the x2 facts from working with addition doubles, so this is an easy way to begin. The 10’s are taught next and then the 5’s are taught as half of the related 10’s fact. THEN we work on 1’s and 0’s. 1’s and 0’s can be somewhat abstract when we talk about “0 groups” or “groups of 0” so by this time students have a good undertstanding of multiplication and are able to comprehend the abstract nature of the 0’s and 1’s. In the blog post that this video is located, I’m linking to the full “suggested order of facts” document that will outline the order exactly.
I have also taken out the 11’s and 12’s facts. Instead, the final level focuses on facts beyond 10×10 and how we can use what we know to solve ANY problem using strategies that work well with 11 and 12 facts.
The second big change is, in my opinion, the most important one. Strategic thinking has always been a goal of the multiplication station, but in this latest version, conceptual understanding is KEY. In fact, I’ve taken out any “tricks” that appeared in the old version, such as the 9’s trick or the “just add a 0” trick for the x10 facts – and replaced those with strategies that promote conceptual understanding. So for example, rather than using a “trick” for the 9’s that only works up to 9×9, I’ve replaced that with the strategy of using the related 10’s fact and then just subtracting one group. This enables students to solve ANY 9’s problem and does not limit them to only the basic facts.
In every level, students are encouraged to make connections between facts. I want your students to SEE that 5×5 is just 4×5 plus one more group of 5. This has been done using a lot of arrays, and a lot of connection making.
The next big change that I’ve made is to the problem solving component. In a lot of the research I’ve been reading lately, problem solving is stressed NOT as something that you do after learning, but as a sense-making activity that should happen BEFORE and DURING learning. In this newest version, you will find a problem solving activity at the beginning of most levels. These are designed as problem strings, where students begin with one problem and build on it by adding or subtracting groups.
Another change is empowering students to work with facts beyond 10×10. Throughout the program, students are shown how the strategies that they are using can be used for ANY problem, not only 1-digit problems. For example, can the 9’s strategy be used for a problem like 9×25? Sure! Just multiply 10×25 to make 250 and then subtract a group of 25 to make 225. I want to empower your students. I want them to know that when they possess tools and strategies, they can solve anything that they encounter.
The biggest mindset shift that comes with this new version of the Multiplication Station is the shift from “learning the multiplication facts” to really understanding multiplication. Knowing the facts is wonderful, but if it’s not backed by a solid understanding, fact retention will be more difficult. Let’s make that shift from wanting our students to just know their facts, to wanting our students to become strategic mathematicians – fact fluency will be a bi-product of an excellent understanding.
That’s it for the major changes. I am so excited about this latest version of The Multiplication Station. I hope that as you look through it, you are just as excited as I am about the conceptual nature of the program.
Thank you so much for your time. Have a great day!