multiplication fact strategies for 3rd grade

Mastering Multiplication Math Facts

At the end of second grade my son started learning his multiplication facts along with a few division facts. He had been using a free math site his 2nd grade teacher recommended called Xtra Math and after finishing addition and subtraction facts, moved on to multiplication. Though the site was effective in teaching him math facts, it stressed him out to the point of tears.

Xtra Math has this feature that makes you “Race the Teacher.” If you don’t answer the problem correctly in about two seconds, you get dinged. He hated that portion of the questions but you had to complete it before the site said that you were done.

I like using math gaming apps to get my son to practice his math facts. He will only play each game twice so we need a lot of sites to keep him engaged. That really motivates me to find more fun math sites for him.

What is your favorite math site or game to learn multiplication facts?


Fun and FREE Multiplication Games

Here’s a few that he likes:

Grand Prix: Race other kids in a car racing game that is fueled by how quickly and accurately you can solve multiplication math fact problems. You can also race the computer, and adjust the questions to focus on a particular math fact set.

Meteor Multiplication: Shoot down meteors by correctly solving multiplication problems. You shoot from the product, and have to identify the two factors.

Fun 4 the Brain: This is a self timed multiplication (or other math facts) quiz.

X Factor: Shoot the ball marked with a factor to hit another ball with a factor to get to product that’s on the page.

Alien Lunch: Serve the aliens lunch as quickly as possible by giving them the correct lunch. They have the problem on their plate and you have four food choices with the answer.

Math Blox Game: This is a fun game to work on a particular math fact family. Solve problems as fast as you can to explode the blocks so they don’t stack up.


Tricks and Tips to Learn Multiplication Facts

I have used different strategies to get all three of my kids to master their multiplication facts. My oldest liked singing skip counting songs. Well, maybe “like” is too strong a word, but these songs were very effective for her in learning both multiplication and division facts.

Skip Counting Songs to Learn Multiplication (and Division)

Here’s a sample for learning the 8 facts:

Times 8 — This is best song.  Sing to the tune of “She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain”

8, 16, 24, 32….40!

48, 56, 64….72!

8 times 10 equals 80, 8 times 11 equals 88, and 8 times 12 is 96…. Hurrah!  Hurrah!


Logical Reasoning to Figure Out Multiplication Facts

My middle daughter’s 3rd grade class put their heads together to come up with these strategies to reason out their multiplication math facts.

Multiplication Tricks

x 1:  it’s just the number itself.  10 x 1 = 10

x 0:  it’s always zero.  This is the only multiplier that always has the same answer.  anything x 0= 0

x 10:  just add a zero to the number.  2 x 10 = 20

x 2:  double the number.  4 x 2=8 (i.e. 4 + 4= 8)

x 5:  count by 5′s.  The answer always ends in either 5 or 0.  5 x 5= 25

x 9: hand trick.

x 3:  count by 3′s

x 4:  double, double

x 8:  double double double


The 9’s Multiplication Trick


8 x 8 Math Fact Rhyme

Her teacher taught the class this rhyme that has enabled her 4 year-old brother to master this one math fact (8  x 8):

I ate and I ate until I threw up on the floor,

so 8 times 8 is 64!


Non Electronic Toys to Learn Multiplication Facts

Multiplication Math Wraps, $13

My oldest liked the tactile quality of wrapping the string around the math fact question into a pattern. Did you get it right? You can flip the key over and the string pattern needs to match up.

math wraps learning toy

 Multiplication Machine, $13

My son prefers this keyboard like game to learn math facts. Sometimes he just likes to play with it to make patterns by pressing in the keys .


multiplication machine math fact toy

multiplication fact strategies for 3rd grade

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Great post with many great tips and links! Thank you!
    RockerMom recently posted…The Week of The Happiness PatrolMy Profile

  2. Always looking for fun math apps. Just signed up for xtra math. Thanks as always!
    michelle recently posted…a tribute to the treesMy Profile

  3. Lots of fun way to learn math facts. I think the bottom line is that every child has a preferred learning style and needs to find what works for her. For me, old fashion memorization of tables has never let me down. So many children today have no strategy in place for learning math facts. In one school system that I worked in math facts were never really taught by any method. The facts were merely presented.

    • Hi Barbara,
      Great point as always! Yes, you are right. Have many different strategies, games and tools since all kids learn differently (and enjoy variety). It will help in making math fact mastery less painful for parents too as they help their kids at home! Or at least, I am finding that as my son and I work on multiplication! He’s much more likely to “try out this new multiplication game” and another and another versus grinding through the same thing every day.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Johnson and Johnson Twitter Party with PrizesMy Profile

  4. Great round-up of resources! I hate when there is a portion of an educational game that you *have* to do even though it doesn’t necessarily lead to better understanding of what is being taught. Pinned this to my math board 🙂
    maryanne recently posted…LEGO Themed Birthday PartyMy Profile

    • Hi MaryAnne,
      Thanks so much for sharing! I am with you! Some games are more fun that others and different ones appeal to different kids. My oldest LOVED that multiplication race car game where you can race other anonymous kids or the computer. My son prefers the shooting games or just really trying out new games. He likes variety but my other kid loved consistency.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Johnson and Johnson Twitter Party with PrizesMy Profile

  5. We actually did it musically. He learned his math facts by listening to the Multiplication Facts CD for hours! But now, he’s at the top of his class and competing with the fifth graders. Thanks for sharing and linking up with Countdown in Style! Don’t forget to come back on Friday to see if you were featured!

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  6. Brittnei

    I don’t remember how I learned any of this as a child, so I will be able to use all the types of things I can get to accumulate in order to try with my kids. I definitely pinned this for later. Thank you for sharing with us at Countdown in Style! Don’t forget to stop by Friday to see if you are featured! 🙂
    Brittnei recently posted…Countdown in Style- Week 6My Profile

  7. Great post, Mia – pinning to my math board. I heard good things about Timez Attack, but you have to pay for it beyond the very basics. Sadly, with Common Core multiplication was moved out of second grade, but my daughter is still very interested in it and mostly learning it by multiplying things in her head and staring at the multiplication table in the end of her notebook 🙂 I think she is doing rather well for middle second grade.
    Natalie recently posted…Start Your Year With More Math at HomeMy Profile

  8. Will tuck this away for the time my son is ready to multiply! Thanks for sharing at After School!

  9. Wonderful tips and resources! I shared this as part of a Math Round Up today.

  10. Great math apps list!! So glad to see that he is making progress with these apps. Do any of them emphasize multiplication through grouping…or mostly testing of memorization? I’m looking for a few more of this type to add to our list.

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