Our first round of parent-teacher conferences wrapped up last week, and this is usually about the time many of my routines and procedures get locked into place. A good feeling for me as I thrive on routines, which keep me focused and productive. Some people are great at being more spontaneous, but I prefer to have a plan…even if I change it at the last minute! LOL #contradictions
Math Charts to the Rescue!
One plan I’m pretty consistent with because it’s just so effective is providing math charts for my students to reference during our lessons. My basic go-to charts are a multiplication table and a hundreds chart. I print them back-to-back both to save paper and make it easier for my not-so-organized kiddos to find them.
When I created my multiplication table, I deliberately left out the zeros. It will (hopefully!) make more sense by the end of this post why I do that, but suffice it to say that it makes things easier the more you use such charts. For example, when I’m using my multiplication tables to have students learn multiples, having a big, fat zero at the start of a row/column confuses them. If I ask them to tell me the first five multiples of six, I’m likely to get a few students who think the first multiple is zero. Not good. So I left it off my table and haven’t regretted it.
Multiple Uses Makes Sense
So why do I think these charts are so valuable? Well, here’s just a sampling of the math skills/concepts that can be taught using them…
- Addition/Subtraction/Multiplication/Division – obviously when kids don’t have their basic facts memorized, using these charts is both a lifesaver and a huge time saver!
- Factors and Multiples – can’t even imagine trying to teach these concepts without my charts.
- Sequencing and Patterns – kids love to find number patterns, and these charts can really help them visualize those patterns when you use math manipulatives. Since I laminate my charts, other possibilities include a wet-erase marker and/or highlighter tape.
- Fractions – help students understand how to find equivalent fractions and/or reduce fractions with a multiplication chart. Not sure how to do that? Check out this video for ideas!
- Decimals – here’s another great little video showing how one teacher uses a multiplication chart to help his students convert fractions to decimals.
Hopefully you have some math charts you can use with your own students. If not, click on the link below to grab my free math charts and get started! Happy teaching!