Saturday, September 7, 2013

Spark Student Motivation: Memorizing Multiplication Facts

Let's get our students and each other motivated! Happy Saturday!
 I'm going to share how I motivate my students to memorize their multiplication facts! Our curriculum briefly touches on multiplication facts, but we all know how crucial it is for our students to memorize their facts! I try to explain to parents that the concepts just get harder each year and if they have to stop and count on their fingers every time they have to multiply then they will be slowed down or get frustrated.
As an incentive to my students to memorize their multiplication facts, I offer a multiplication graduation!
At Meet the Teacher, I give every student a multiplication ring to practice their multiplication facts in the car, at home, at the dinner table, outside, everywhere! They also get a plastic page protector with a practice test and dry eraser marker so they can practice at home over and over again.
They're excited to pick up these goodies and take them home to use!

Each student starts on their 2s and practices the level they're on.

I also send home a parent letter explaining my program and a door hanger for students to hang while practicing their facts to ensure they're not "disturbed". They love running home to use these door hangers! A parent sent me a picture of her daughter's door and said she couldn't wait to get home to hang her sign and study! (SCORE!)
 We take our timed tests everyday and students keep track of their progress on this multipurpose chart. (I have always used stickers and this year thought of using gems-so sparkly!)
 After they pass all of their facts, their picture will displayed on the graduation board.

As soon as one student graduates, it MOTIVATES everyone to study harder so they can graduate too!
They dress in my old cap & gown, I play Pomp and Circumstance, and they receive a diploma.
(It's very official!)

I sweetened the deal this year by offering 100 tickets for my weekly drawing to the first student who graduated! Second student will get 50 tickets and third will get 25 tickets.
I found this graduation hat on clearance this summer-I'm using it to collect congratulatory notes for each graduate as a keepsake! (I bought two-you will have a chance to win at the end of this post).
My multiplication timed tests aren't for a grade, but an incentive to get students to memorize their facts. I offer them a graduation up until winter break. After winter break, I don't have timed tests, hopefully encouraging them to start studying right away!
It's a just a couple of minutes a day and it really reinforces their memorization of their facts
AND it motivates them!
I have used this incentive since my for 17 years and have found it very successful and motivating and would like to give one away so you can motivate your students too! The graduation hat will be mailed!
Graduation Hat to Hold Notes
All you have to do is Pin to Win! Pin from my blog or TPT, copy the URL and paste in the comments. Winner will be announced tomorrow. Be sure to include your email if you're not a blogger.
I hope you had a wonderful week! Please link up any lessons, ideas, tips, tricks, incentives, ANYTHING you do or plan to do to get your students motivated or excited!
Don't forget to grab my button and link back to this post!
Check out all the wonderful ideas from my friends who link up and don't forget to leave some love by commenting....we LOVE comments!


  1. This looks great! I've been looking for ways to motivate my students to learn their facts.

  2. Love this! :) Here is my pin:


  3. I love your program. Here is my pin:

    Confessions of a 3rd Grade Teacher

  4. This is a great idea! I struggle with how to help my kiddos really know their facts and this sounds wonderful!

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
    Find me on Facebook

  5. Love this...let's hope a little motivation works with my 4th graders

  6. Love this! I've got my mom on the hunt for my cap and gown. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I really like your gem instead of sticker idea. Must steal it!

    Teaching Powered by Caffeine

  8. Awesome idea! I bet they love getting to put on the cap and gown:)!

  9. I love that you made such a big deal about it! I keep telling my 6th graders, you HAVE to have your facts memorized! There is not getting around it!

    Hodges Herald

  10. I love this idea - especially the graduation. I don't teach math this year, but I'm going to share this with my wonderful teaching partner.

    Have a great weekend!

    Fit to be Fourth
    Follow me on Bloglovin

  11. Really really REALLY great idea. I pinned it!

  12. I know I have told you before how much I love this idea!! I have to share it with our 4th grade math teacher! :) Your communication with parents and home involvement is so inspiring!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  13. I love this idea. What a great way to motivate your students to learn their facts. Makes me wish I had a cap and gown (I guess my wedding gown won't work!). I like that you have a time limit - I bet that helps them get started and seeing that one student has already made it - priceless!! Seriously, you have the best ideas!!

  14. Such a neat way to motivate your kiddos to remember their math facts. I can see myself doing this with addition to help motivate my kiddos! Also LOVE that you have your cap and gown saved...I wish I would have thought of that but I think mine is long gone! :)

    Thanks for hosting such a fabulous linky!

    Learning to the Core

    1. Thanks for such an amazing opportunity-your things are fabulous!

  15. Love this idea of motivation the kiddos with their multiplication facts! I usually try all sorts of "bribery" but I love the graduation idea!!

  16. I LOVE this idea. I need to but these goodies if I don't win!!!

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  17. What a great motivation strategy! I needed some new ideas for the multiplication facts. Here's my pin:

  18. The graduation idea is so cute!

  19. How fun!! I really like the door hangers, and I love that you make it a big to-do when a student "graduates!" :) Here is my pin.

    Miss White's Classroom

  20. I love that you do the graduation "ceremony" - you're so cute!! :) I bet your kids love it too!!
    ideas by jivey
    Follow me on Facebook!

  21. I love this!!!


    I am also going to write a post to link back. Hopefully I can get to it today.

    Ms. Chae Charges In

  23. I love this idea! So many of my 4th graders do not have mastery of their multiplication facts.


  24. I'm definitely planning to get my students to work on facts later this year when we get into multiplication. Coming from 5th grade it is definitely helpful when the kids know them. Love your practice rings and graduation!

    Here's my pin!

    Sweet Rhyme – Pure Reason
    Follow my blog with Bloglovin

  25. This would go along great with what I do for facts! I need something to take it a little further!! Thank you!

  26. What a great idea for a linky! My brain is swimming for something to share for next weekend!

    Second Grade Signpost

  27. This is similar to what we do for addition facts but I never thought of using my cap and gown when they graduate! Totally stealing that! And for other primary teachers, you can totally adapt this idea for addition, subtraction or sight words! I truly believe that there are something's kids just need to know to make theses harder concepts easier to work with!

  28. Please excuse the grammar errors - my fingers and eyes are apparently taking a day off!!

  29. Love this idea, Joanne! I agree that it is SO IMPORTANT to get those facts to be automatic. This is a great motivator!!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  30. Oh- this would make my life so much easier. Love it. Thanks for the ideas. Heather

  31. What a cute alternative to the usual tracking systems like building an ice cream sundae! This is so much more interactive and interesting, I love it!

    I love your idea to have them graduate!!

  33. As always, you are so CREATIVE! I love everything about this post. Thank you for sharing what you use to motivate your kids to learn their multiplication facts in your class. I will definitely be sharing this with my colleagues and be running out to get some sparkly gems for my class. XO
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

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