Have you ever tried skip-counting as a multiplication strategy? As we have journeyed through the previous multiplication strategies of number lines, multiplication arrays, and repeated addition roots- it’s time to include skip counting. Why? This strategy not only makes multiplication manageable but also adds a rhythmic flair to the process. Our students love it when we integrate rhythm and rhyme, so this will be a hit with them!
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What is Skip Counting?
Skip counting is essentially counting forward by numbers other than one. It’s like taking giant leaps up the number ladder rather than going step by step. Many students are introduced to this concept early on, even before they encounter formal multiplication, making it a familiar and fun strategy.
- For 4 x 3, you’d skip count by fours: 4, 8, 12. Voilà! Three leaps and you have your answer.
Tips for Teachers on Using Skip Counting:
- Incorporate Music and Rhythm:
- Create or find catchy songs that help students skip count by different numbers. Not only does this make learning enjoyable, but it also aids memory retention.
- Use Hands and Fingers:
- For skip counting by smaller numbers, students can use their fingers to keep track of counts. It’s a tactile way to engage with the process.
- Challenge Students with Different Start Points:
- Instead of always starting from zero, challenge students to skip count from other numbers. This deepens their understanding and reinforces flexibility in the strategy.
- Create Visual Aids:
- Design number charts or posters that highlight number patterns. This offers students a visual representation of the leaps they’re taking.
- Connect to Real-Life Scenarios:
- Pose practical questions like, “If you save 5 dollars every week, how much will you have after 4 weeks?” This shows the real-world application of skip counting.
Skip Counting Activities for Math Centers
This multiplication strategy can be used throughout your multiplication unit starting with twos:
Skip counting is a great activity to place in your math centers or stations. Kids love hands-on activities and this one is perfect for engagement during math center practice. It’s easy to differentiate practice since this resource includes skip-counting activities from 2 up to 12. Plus, these skip-counting activities can be brought out later to review and work on multiplication fact fluency throughout the school year.
Using fun methods like skip counting, third graders can understand multiplication much better. Just like singing a catchy song or clapping to a beat, skip counting makes multiplication feel like a game. This way, kids aren’t afraid of multiplying numbers. Instead, they look forward to the fun activity and enjoy learning.
And there we have it – our journey through the core multiplication strategies is complete. From repeated addition to multiplication arrays, number lines, and finally, skip counting, we’ve equipped our toolkit with versatile strategies to make multiplication an adventure, not an obstacle. Knowing that you have different strategies can help you differentiate instruction as well as practice activities. That’s a win for you and your students!
Multiplication Resources used in this blog series:
The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives.Robert John Meehan
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