Multiplication: The Two Times Tables


Nicholas and I are entering the wonderful world of multiplication! So far this year we’ve worked on adding and subtracting with carrying and borrowing and place value. We were meant to have begun multiplication last year but somehow it got missed. He understands the basic concept– multiplication as extended addition– but we’ve never really explicitly studied it.

Skip counting is a good way to begin a study of multiplication, and counting by twos is always fun. You can count pairs of feet, pairs of mittens, pairs of animals lining up to get on Noah’s Ark (a great way to combine the two times tables with the Old Testament main lesson block!). We’ve added a practical component as well, hand washing and hanging pairs of socks on the line, then counting them by two.

There are many, many rhymes and verses that lend themselves to counting by two. Of course, there’s the old cheerleader favorite
Two, four, six, eight,
Who do we appreciate?

and the nursery rhyme:
One, two, buckle my shoe.
Three, four, shut the door.
Five, six, pick up sticks.
Seven, eight, lay them straight.
Nine, ten, a big fat hen!

And tossing a ball or a beanbag back and forth while counting off by twos is always fun, as is shouting out the two times table while marching along.

We haven’t made the multiplication wheel yet, but here is a picture of the one Katie Grace made when she was in second grade.

If you’re looking for more information or details on multiplication clocks, you can check out these links:
Klassrumskul (In German)
Video on making a wooden multiplication clock
And here’s a video that goes into detail on creating multiplication circles

I’m not a huge fan of worksheets, but I do like the skip counting chart shown here. It might be a good main lesson book page or a nice poster to make for the wall with a watercolor painting as a background.

For a child who likes large motor activities, you could draw out a giant number line with sidewalk chalk and hop like a kangaroo by twos. I’m hoping we can do this tomorrow, and if I do I’ll be sure to come back and add a picture. Along the same lines, you can create a hopscotch grid that counts by two and have your child hop up and down the grid.

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