Colors Multiplied

Multiplication can be a difficult math skill to accomplish. Many students never master the quick recall of multiplication or division facts. Usually, teaching multiplication and division fact families is done in a rote manor. Writing, reciting, and quizzing on the facts until they are ingrained. Unfortunately, this method is not always effective, especially for someone with a strong visual ‘learning style’. An amazing new teaching technique created by a tutor in Little Rock, Arkansas, is fun, easy, and creative, using multi-sensory learning techniques.

Using a method of skip-counting, and color-coding. The student can more readily recall the multiplication and division facts. The student’s memory is triggered by color and counting, which is done through a visual recall. Here are the simple steps:

1) Have your student skip-count by 2-7, in a series. Then have them repeat the process in reverse. It should look similar to this for instance for learning the multiplication & division facts of “3”.

0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36

36, 33, 30, 27, 24, 21, 15, 12, 9, 6, 3, 0

2) Next, have the student trace each number again beginning with the multiplies of “3” from 0-36, then again from 36-0 as seen on the above lines. All of these numbers should be the same color. An example is below: (Color-coded BLUE)

0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36

36, 33, 30, 27, 24, 21, 15, 12, 9, 6, 3, 0

3) After your student has completed these steps for the multiples of 2-7, have them color-code the multiples on a separate number chart for each of the fact families. You should make the chart in lines of 1-10, 11-20, 21-30; etc. until 144 which is 12×12. Your chart will look like this:

1 2 (3) 4 5 (6) 7 8 9 10 for “3” it would be 3×1 to 3×12

11 (12) 13 14 (15) 16 17 (18) 19 20

(21) 22 23 (24) 25 26 (27) 28 29 (30) This should be done for each fact family from 2-7.

31 32 (33) 34 35 (36) 37 38 39 40

41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60

61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70

71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80

81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90

91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100

101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110

111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120

121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130

131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140

141 142 143 144

4) Now, when doing verbal quizzing it should be worded like this: “If 3×3 is 9, what is 3×4, and 4 is one more than 3?” Follow this question with another one similar, but using different factors: “If 7×3 is 21, what is 6×3, when 6 is one less than 7?” Continue with this form of quizzing until the student has been asked each one in the fact family. Continue doing this with each fact family 2-7.

5) Once the student can complete the skip-counting list, color-code the number chart, and recite the correct answers for verbal quizzing for all the multiples in the fact families of 2-7, the student is ready to move on to the fact families 8-12.

6) Repeat the previous steps above now, for the facts of 8-12. After the student can complete the skip-counting list, color-code the number chart, and recite the correct answers for verbal quizzing of the fact families for 8-12. Then it is time for a Review.

7) The First Step of the Review Process will consist of the student completing an independent skip-count for the factors of 1- 2, then 12-1, for each of the fact families 1-12, however, it should be requested in a random order. For example, ask your student to do a skip-count list for the multiples of 6, then 4, then 7, then 2, then 9, then 8, then 12, then 5, then 3, then 11, and finally 10. This should be done until the student is confident with the multiples of each fact family.

8) Have the student to now complete the second step of the Review, by creating an appropriately color-coded number chart of the multiples for each fact family, from 2 – 12. Remember that the skip-counting lists should ALWAYS use the same color-coded as its color-coded number chart. Just as above, the “3’s” will always be in BLUE.

Divided Colors

Just as above use the same color-code for the fact families of division that were used for multiplication. Now, the student will create fraction skip-counts, such as these for the division facts of “6”: (Color-coded RED)

6/1, 12/2, 18/3, 24/4, 30/5, 36/6, 42/7, 48/8, 44/9, 60/10, 66/11, 72/12 (RED)

72/12, 66/11, 60/10, 54/9, 48/8, 42/7, 36/6, 30/5, 24/4, 18/3, 12/2, 6/1 (RED)

Moving along, just as done previously with the multiplication facts, the student should complete these fraction skip-counts, for all the facts for 2-7. Next do the verbal quizzing in this manner, “If 48/6 is 8, then what is 54/6?” Continue again, just as above with each dividend, until the student has mastered each fact. Once successful with these, the student can move on to the facts for 8-12. Remember to always use the same color-code for each fact family, for both dividing and multiplying.

Now, begin Review of Division. Have the student complete a fraction skip-count for each of the fact families between 2-12, in random order. Reinforce these facts, by now requesting, a skip-counting list of the multiples for each of the fact families 2-12.

Final Review

To begin practice for final review, have the student complete fact-family lists for each number between 2-12. This is what it should look like:

3×2=6, 2×3=6, 6/2=3, 6/3=2 (Color-Coded Blue)

6×4=24, 4×6=24, 24/6=4, 24/4=6 (Color-Coded Red)

The instructor may ask for color-coding to reinforce a visual recall if necessary. A Final Review should be a written and oral quiz for all of the multiplication and division facts for each fact family. The student should continue the exercise steps above until mastering this final quiz at 100%.

Good Luck!