Students’ fact fluency is a pain point year after year and with nearly every grade level, it seems. Getting students to master their multiplication and division facts can be a challenge. A great way to build fact fluency with multiplication and division is through playing games. Through repetitive and engaging practice, students build their recognition of math facts through ongoing play. I use games both in whole group settings, but also within my small groups. Students’ fact mastery is built through intentional, ongoing exposure and specific strategies. Ongoing practice through multiplication fact games and division fact games helps speed up students’ recall. Here are 5 of my favorite multiplication and division fact fluency games.
Multiplication & Division 5 in a Row
5 in a Row is a fast-paced fluency game that kids literally BEG to play! Students get a printed game card but the game runs through Powerpoint. With just a few clicks, the slides are randomized so the game changes each time you play. Students think critically to decide which number to cover. The first student to get 5 numbers in a row covered is the winner. Just click ESC to go through shown expressions to check students’ work.
The Multiplication & Division 5 in a Row bundle is chunked into many different multiplication & division fact fluency games. By working within specific number bands, students build fluency with those facts before moving on to the next. Begin with the multiplication fact fluency game for 0-5. Students quickly build their speed and confidence with the corresponding multiplication facts since many include 0 and 1. Through the repetitive nature of the multiplication facts, students memorize the products by playing. Then, turn to playing the division fact fluency game for 0-5. Students quickly build connections between multiplication & division as they work to solve the given division problem. After students have built confidence and fluency with multiplication and division facts for 0-5, transition to playing versions with 6-10 as digits. Many of the most difficult multiplication facts to learn are within this band, so I like to spend extra time playing this version. Once students are feeling comfortable with facts for 6-10, we transition to playing the version with all facts.
All along the way, we talk about various strategies for quickly solving unknown facts such as skip counting and using related facts. 5 in a Row has made a huge difference in my students multiplication & division fact fluency and I continue to play it year after year! I’ve received great feedback that it’s been a well-loved and effective addition to many teachers’ classrooms! You can check out my Multiplication & Division 5 in a Row on TpT. For more on 5 in a Row and how it builds fact fluency, check out my 5 in a Row post.
Bump is one of my favorite multiplication fact fluency games! I first heard about it several years back and always enjoyed playing a few seasonal versions I found on TpT. When students went home in March of 2020, I started looking for engaging ways I could get my 3rd graders to work on their multiplication facts. I used a website for daily practice, but, frankly, many of them just didn’t enjoy it and didn’t do it. So I searched for a way to make it more fun! Digital Multiplication Bump was my solution! At the time, I started playing with my kids on Zoom one at a time. As they got used to playing a two-person game within Google Slides, I started having them play together. It was a great way to bring kids together on Zoom. It also helped them work on their multiplication facts in a way that excited them.
In the years since, I’ve continued to have my students play Multiplication Bump digitally. By assigning it to them on Google Classroom, they always have it available to them, even at home. We talk about it being a great way they can practice their multiplication facts at home by playing with an adult or someone else available. Because the dice are built into Google Slides, all they need to play is their device! I love that once we introduce it and play it in class, it becomes an easy at-home reinforcement option too!
My Free Digital Multiplication Bump uses a digital, traditional 6-sided dice. I find this version is a great introduction to the game, and really helps students work on mastering their first sets of multiplication facts. You can head to TpT to download my Free Digital Multiplication Bump and get a feel for how it’s played.
I also have 2 other versions: Multiplication Facts to 10 and Multiplication Facts to 12 using a 10-sided and 12-sided dice, respectively. Each version contains 15 different games: one for each factor 1-10 and then 5 roll twice game boards. Because every product is not included on the game board, the variety of roll twice versions help change up the play. You can assign the large, inclusive file to students and direct them which slide to play, giving them access to all of the versions at any time. Or, you can assign the versions one at a time as they are introduced. You can get my Multiplication Bump Facts to 10 and Multiplication Bump Facts to 12 from TpT.
I love to use Checkers to play games in the classroom. I use the red spaces to write things on- in this case it’s multiplication or division facts. Then that’s the color that’s played on. When students land on a space, they say and solve that fact. This gives students an opportunity to both solve and listen to a variety of facts. I have a couple different styles of Checkers from Dollar Tree over the years purchased, keeping this super affordable. They fold up and are relatively small boards. I like to put the board and game pieces into a slider plastic bag and then they’re ready for use. You can also buy Checkers games on Amazon. It’s a fun way to bring in outside games kids know into class with an educational use.
Multiplication Roll & Cover
Roll & Cover is a simple game that is similar to Bump. Playing is easy! Students roll 2 dice and multiply the numbers together. Then, they cover the product. Play continues until the whole board is covered. Partners can play against each other by having copies of the same board, or differing boards. I have 10 games for 6-sided dice to download for free.
Just fill out the form below and you’ll get the link in your inbox. The games require no assembly! Just print, add dic, and play!
Multiplication with Dominoes
Multiplication with dominoes is so easy and it’s so easy to change up the rules. Here’s how I play:
- Each student takes out 6 dominoes.
- 1 domino from the remaining is placed in the middle as the starter. The product of both sides of the domino is stated by either player.
- Player 1 tries to place his domino alongside the starter by matching a number. If he can, the product of the domino is given. Otherwise, Player 1 draws a new domino to see if it can be played. If it cannot, play discontinues and it’s Player 2’s turn.
- Player 2 tries to place his domino alongside the starter or the second, if present, domino. If he can, the product of the domino is given. Otherwise, Player 2 draws a new domino to see if it can be played. If it cannot, play discontinues and it’s Player 1’s turn.
- Play continues until one player has played all of his dominos. If there are no dominos left to be played, the player with the few dominos remaining is the winner.
If you’re just getting started in your multiplication and division units, you might read more on Introducing Multiplication and Working with Division.
Do you have multiplication & division fact fluency games you’ve played in your classroom? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below! It’s always such a hit when we can incorporate games into our days!