# Traditional Multiplication Help for Struggling Students

If you're struggling with multiplication, you're not alone. Learning the multiplication table is a challenge that most students tackle in 3rd grade, although you'll build the foundations for this skill in 2nd grade. Read on for help with traditional multiplication!

### Visualizing Multiplication Problems

Multiplying means adding together a certain number of equal-sized groups, which is something we do frequently in everyday life. For example, if you play a sport like football, basketball or soccer, you know that scoring a goal or a basket earns you a certain number of points. You can use multiplication to figure out how many points you'll have if you score a given number of times.

In basketball, each regular basket is worth two points, so your total number of points is equal to the number of baskets you make times two. If you make five baskets, you'll have ten points because 5 x 2 = 10. If you have trouble understanding this concept, keep in mind that 5 x 2 is the same thing as 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2, which also equals ten.

You can even use money to visualize multiplication. For example, you know that a nickel is equal to five cents. If you have three nickels, you'll have 15¢ because 3 x 5 = 15. Once again, this is the same as saying that 5 + 5 + 5 = 15.

### Memorizing Multiplication Facts

Even if you understand the concept behind multiplication, it can still be tricky to memorize all of your times tables. The key is to practice, practice and practice some more. Here are a few methods that can help.

#### Flashcards

Although flashcards aren't terribly exciting, they are usually quite effective. It helps if you divide them into small batches of 5-10 cards, and then memorize each batch before moving on to the next one. Once you've memorized your second batch, you can mix it with the first batch and review them all together before moving on to the third batch. You can also decorate the cards with different colors or patterns to make them more memorable.

#### Games and Activities

Another way to practice your multiplication tables is by playing games. For instance, you can roll two dice and multiply the numbers together. The player who correctly finds the product of the numbers he or she rolled gets that number of points. Since you'll have to keep score, this game will help you practice your addition skills, too.

Another fun multiplication activity you can try involves blocks. Gather some small blocks and stack them to build a square or rectangular wall. Then, measure the height and the length of the wall in blocks, and multiply these two numbers together to find the total number of blocks in the wall. You can count the number of blocks to verify that your answer is correct.

Next, adjust the size of the wall by removing a row of blocks from the top or the side. Then, recount the number of blocks that make up the wall's length and height, and find the new product. Continue to experiment by adding or removing rows of blocks and finding the product for each new shape.

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