If you’ve ever taught multiplication, you know how hard it can be to help students build fluency with their facts. All of our students process the concept of multiplication differently, and therefore will build their fluency and understanding at different rates. For some students, you can never have enough worksheets because they are finished before you even have a moment to put out the next. For other students, one worksheet is overwhelming and their confidence plummets when they see their peers running up to the finished work bin with three sheets in hand.

ENOUGH! I needed my students to participate in more meaningful learning in a comparison-free environment, all while being differentiated enough to meet my wide range of learners. Can you say, “TALL ORDER?!?”

Well, I got right to work. A few ideas came right to mind, but it wasn’t enough of a variety to engage all of my kiddos. I then thought back to my six years of teaching math centers in first grade. Were there any that I could possibly modify to use with multiplication? Even if I could, would my students turn their nose up at them because they were too babyish?

I stared sifting through all of my first grade binders (I know we all still have our lesson plans from our student teaching, so let’s stop pretending to be surprised that I have my binders from last year! Haha!)

It turns out that there are LOADS of activities that were perfectly suited to my multiplication needs.

I put a bunch of them together and began introducing them to my students. We made a board that showed which centers were independent, those that required a small group, and those that could be played either way. We also created some references materials that students could bring with them to their center. For example, each student created their own book of multiples, where they colored in a hundreds chart to help them recognize patterns in skip counting {i.e. multiplication}.

As a class, we also made a list of Multiplication Strategies to help us remember when we were stuck. We posted the list on our math wall, but I also made a smaller version for students to take with them to their center if they want. Just click on the image below or {here} to nab this **FREEBIE** for yourself!

It has been really fun for me to watch students start to gain confidence in their skills and start to challenge themselves to not bring a reference with them.

In addition to several board games and computer games/apps that my students also have access to during centers, here are my TOP 10 MULTIPLICATION CENTER IDEAS. Hope ya like ’em!

**1.**

__ARRAY SKYLINES__

**2.**

__LEGO ARRAYS__**3.**

__ARRAY CAPTURE__**4.**

__MULTIPLICATION INVESTIGATION__**5.**

__DOMINOES__**6.**

__FACT FAMILY BONDS__**7.**(otherwise known as WAR)

__FLIP & COMPARE__

**8.**

__BUMP!__**all time favorites!**

**9.**

__KABOOM!__

The game is relatively simple. Write different multiplication sentences (4 x 5) at the bottom of each popsicle stick. For every 10-15 sentences you write, write the word KABOOM! on one popsicle stick. (I like to put between 30-40 sticks in, plus 3-4 Kaboom sticks.) You can easily tailor this game to any level, simply by varying the multiplication sentences. The set above is for working with factors 2-6. I also have sets that only work on 1-3, and others that focus on 7-9 and 10-12.

Put all of the popsicle sticks in face down so students can’t see what is written on them. Here’s how to play:

1. Fist student pulls out a popsicle stick.

2. If a multiplication sentence is written on it, they read the sentence and then provide their answer. If their answer is correct (determined either by a reference sheet or their peers) they get to keep the popsicle stuck. If they answer it incorrectly, the stick must go back in the cup.

3. The students continue around the circle, selecting one popsicle stick at a time and answering their question.

4. Any student who pulls a KABOOM! stick has to place all of popsicle sticks they have accumulated back into the cup, leaving them with zero. (It may sound harsh, but it happens OFTEN, so all students will at some point get “Kaboomed!”

5. The game **NEVER ENDS** because eventually someone will get a Kaboom! and their popsicle sticks will go back into the cup to keep the game going.

**10. PLACE MAT ARRAYS**

I picked these square place mats up for $1 each, and it has proven to be a great investment. For some of my kiddos who learn through movement, this activity has been a great help! I typically let one or two students work out in the hallway with these mats and let them create giant arrays. They are responsible for writing their multiplication sentences on white boards, and they love taking pictures of their work with an iPad or camera. It’s a great intro to multiplication, as well as a great way for students to start recognizing multiple factors for a single product!

You can find many of these activities over at my TpT Store, or by clicking on the images below.

I hope you enjoyed your tour through some of my favorite centers! Please feel free to share any of yours in the comments below 🙂 I’m always looking for new ideas. Thank you for stopping by!

Kathleen Wright says

So glad you linked up on the Liebster Blogger page, Jillian! That's how I found this great post! I'm a kindergarten teacher and we don't teach multiplication… yet… but I'm passing your page link on to the third-sixth grade teachers I know. You have a great variety of strategies here! Thanks. See you around, Kathleen Kidpeople Classroom

Vanessa Edwards says

Just entered my email on your side bar widget that says "follow by email" and it says that you don't have follow by email embedded. ): Is there another option?

Lovin this Multiplication Center Pack! And thanks for the freebie! Off to your TPT store. Thanks again

jcstarr says

Hi Vanessa! I am in the process of switching over to WordPress, so some options will be limited for the time being. You can always reach me at StarrSpangledPlanner@gmail.com if you need anything 🙂 I'm so glad you love the Multiplication Center Pack! Thank you so much for your kind words and support!

Unknown says

Thank you so much for sharing your resources. It looks like the transparent counters you use for BUMP! are stackable. Can you tell me where you bought those?

jcstarr says

You are so very welcome! I purchased the stackable counters at Lakeshore Learning (available online and in stores!)

Rosa Escalante says

AMAZING ideas! thanks so much, I just know my kiddos will enjoy all of these activities! Can't wait to begin!

HEATHER EDMONDS says

This is really great! I LOVE your fun & MEANINGFUL practice ideas!! Especially those little array cities. 🙂 How creative!

Robin Goodwin says

You have some awesome and creative ideas for math! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

Lynda W says

What year group is this for?

jcstarr says

I used these for my third graders, but I would imagine you could use some of them for second graders needing enrichment, or fourth graders needing some review.

Pindaric says

Hi I brought and downloaded this multiplication pack but when i print it only parts of each page print , do you know why this might be? For example array capture only prints the border ? really want to use this resource any help much appreciated .