# 7 Ways to Practice Multiplication Facts in Middle School

One thing I quickly noticed when I started teaching was that my students arrived with varying levels of readiness. Some were ready to rock and roll with new concepts, while others needed a bit of help laying that foundation with their math facts. Let’s not forget how middle schoolers are hyper-aware of how their peers perceive them, making math class a delicate balance. Over the years, I’ve come up with some creative ways to help my middle schoolers practice their multiplication facts, setting them up for success! Today, I’m excited to share these strategies with you to help your own middle schoolers thrive!

## Why Is Math Fact Fluency Important?

It’s amazing how many middle schoolers still struggle with their math facts. This can make teaching other concepts so much more challenging. Think about it. Mastering common denominators in fractions, simplifying them, factoring, understanding exponents, tackling ratios and proportions, and even solving algebraic equations all become way harder if those basic multiplication facts aren’t solid.

I’ve often heard math fact fluency compared to decoding words when reading. If you’re spending all your time decoding each word, you lose the thread of the story. It’s the same with math. When students have to stop and look up a fact on a chart, the steps of the process they’re working on take a back seat. They’re hitting a speed bump every time they need to find a fact, slowing down their overall progress.

Imagine trying to solve a complex algebraic equation but having to pause repeatedly to figure out basic multiplication facts. It disrupts their train of thought. It can also make the whole problem-solving process feel disjointed and frustrating. When students have those facts at their fingertips, they can focus on understanding and applying new concepts without getting bogged down by the basics.

That’s why it’s so important to build a strong foundation early on and keep reinforcing those skills. The confidence our students gain from knowing their math facts fluently carries over into more advanced topics. This makes them more enthusiastic and successful in their math journey.

## 7 Activities Middle Schoolers Can Use to Practice Their Multiplication Facts

Over the years, I’ve discovered some fantastic activities that make practicing multiplication facts engaging and enjoyable for my students. Here are seven creative and effective ways to help your middle schoolers master those important multiplication facts. Let’s dive in!

### 1. Multiplication War

Using a deck of cards, my students play a game similar to the traditional card game War. Students play this game with a partner. Each student flips two cards and multiplies the numbers. The student with the highest product wins the round.

To keep things exciting and if we have the time, I often turn this into a mini-tournament. The winners of each round face off until we have a champion. It’s a fun and competitive way to reinforce multiplication facts. My students love the mix of strategy and luck. Plus, it’s great to see them get so engaged and enthusiastic about practicing their math skills!

### 2. Math Fact Jenga

For this activity, I write multiplication problems on Jenga blocks. Each time a student pulls a block, they have to solve the multiplication problem before adding it to the top of the tower. It’s a fantastic way to add a physical and hands-on element to math practice. Students really get into it. The focus on carefully considering their moves while also practicing their multiplication facts is amazing! It’s both fun and challenging. Plus, they often don’t even realize how much they’re practicing because they’re so focused on keeping the tower from toppling!

### 3. Online Websites

Two of my favorite digital tools for practicing multiplication facts are IXL and Blooket. Both of these platforms offer interactive and game-like experiences that keep my students engaged and motivated. They can earn points for an overall score, which helps increase that engagement!

IXL is fantastic because it provides personalized feedback and tracks progress. This allows students to work on their multiplication facts at their own pace. It includes points and levels, which turn practice into a fun challenge. My students love seeing their scores improve and aiming for new personal bests.

Blooket, on the other hand, brings a lively, competitive element to learning. It’s similar to playing a video game but with educational content. The games are fast-paced, and students earn rewards and power-ups as they answer multiplication questions correctly. There are pre-made sets of questions you can choose for your students to work through, or you can easily create your own! This game-like feel makes practicing multiplication facts exciting and something they look forward to.

Both IXL and Blooket transform traditional math practice into an interactive experience. They receive instant feedback, which keeps them motivated with points and rewards. It’s amazing to see how these tools make learning multiplication facts so much more enjoyable and effective!

And. . . don’t forget about my digital math games membership. For only \$5 per month, ALL of your students can play the math games on the site. There are games for practicing math facts and much more. You can find out more about these digital math activities on my website.

### 4. Real-Life Applications

One of the best ways to make multiplication facts stick is to show our students how they’re used in real-life scenarios. This helps them see the why behind needing to know their facts. I love planning projects that require them to use their multiplication skills in practical and relevant ways.

For example, we might dive into a cooking project where my students have to multiply ingredients for a recipe to serve a different number of people. They might need to increase the recipe, or they might need to practice their division skills by decreasing the recipe. This practices their math skills but also makes the connection to real-world tasks they might encounter at home.

Another favorite is budgeting exercises. I have students plan a simple event, like a classroom party, where they need to multiply costs for supplies, food, and decorations. They quickly see how important quick multiplication is when staying within a budget.

These real-world applications make the practice more engaging and show them how valuable their multiplication skills are outside of the classroom. By making these connections, students see the relevance of what they’re learning and are more motivated to master their multiplication facts!

### 5. Musical Multiplication Facts

I don’t know about your middle schoolers, but my middle schoolers love their music! They’re always walking around with their Airpods or headphones on. So, why not use that to our advantage?

I look for ways to add music to our practice sessions to pique their interest and create buy-in. There are tons of songs and raps out there designed to help students memorize multiplication facts. We sometimes have math jam-out sessions where we listen to fun multiplication songs that get everyone at least nodding their heads, if not singing as well.

I also challenge my students to create their own catchy tunes for different multiplication tables. They can rap or sing their facts. Then, they can perform for the class. It’s amazing to see how creative they get, and the repetition through music helps the facts stick.

This approach makes learning multiplication facts more enjoyable while using something they already love—music. It’s a fun way to practice, and it turns memorization into a lively and interactive activity. Hearing them sing their multiplication facts in the hallways is proof of how effective it can be! That can be our secret, though, because they’d deny it if we pointed it out!

### 6. Multiplication Fact Art

Combining creativity with math is a fantastic way to engage middle schoolers. One of my favorite activities is having my students create artwork that includes multiplication facts.

I have them design posters in which each section highlights a different multiplication table with colorful illustrations. They can use markers, colored pencils, or even computers to make their posters vibrant and eye-catching. In each section, they create how they visualize those facts.

Another fun project is having students create comic strips that tell a story using multiplication facts. They come up with characters and plots that require solving multiplication problems to advance the story. This makes math entertaining but also helps them see how multiplication is used in various contexts.

By turning multiplication practice into an art project, students can express their creativity while reinforcing their math skills. It’s a great way to make learning more enjoyable and memorable. Their amazing work also decorates the classroom!

### 7. Multiplication Facts Math Wheel

One of my favorite tools for helping students master their multiplication facts is the Multiplication Facts Math Wheel. Math wheels are fantastic visuals and hands-on resources that students can use as both a reference and a study aid.

Math Wheels are circular charts divided into sections. For the multiplication facts math wheel, each section represents a different multiplication fact from 1 to 10. Students fill in the multiplication facts for each number in the corresponding section, creating a comprehensive and colorful reference wheel.

#### How to Use the Math Wheel

In my classroom, I like to introduce the Math Wheel by completing one section each day. This gradual approach helps my students focus on mastering one set of facts at a time. Sometimes, if my students are ready, we might cover several sections in one day. The wheel includes a key and color-coded examples to help make different facts stand out, like using special colors for the numbers students have learned to count by. In this example, you see orange for the 5s and blue for the 10s. And. . . since doubles are special we made those pink! This color-coding helps make the facts more memorable.

#### Benefits for Middle Schoolers

The math wheel is incredibly beneficial for my middle schoolers for several reasons. The wheel’s visual layout helps my students see patterns and relationships between different multiplication facts. It’s a great way for visual learners to organize and retain information. Writing out the multiplication facts by hand helps reinforce the information. Students, in general, remember facts better when they write them down, especially in a structured and repetitive format like this.

The wheel includes visual elements like locks and keys or puzzle pieces where students can put the most challenging facts. These extra memory cues make it easier for them to recall difficult facts. I let my students plan out their color coding. They get to decide whether they want to write all the facts in each section or just add the new facts. This customization makes the wheel a personal and effective study tool for them.

My students truly enjoy the process of creating their wheels. They often take pride in their colorful and informative creations. By using the Multiplication Facts Math Wheel, my students practice their multiplication facts but also develop a deeper understanding of the relationships between numbers. Once complete, I have them place it in their binders or notebooks for quick access throughout the year!

Helping your middle schoolers learn their multiplication facts doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With creative activities like Multiplication War, Math Fact Jenga, and real-life applications, you can make learning fun and engaging. Using tools like the Multiplication Facts Math Wheel and resources like IXL and Blooket adds variety and keeps students motivated. With these approaches, your students will be on their way to mastering multiplication facts and building a strong foundation for future math success!

## More Resources for Multiplication Facts

If you happen to be on the move, take some time to listen to our podcast episode, Math Fact Fluency, with special guest Danna Rodebush! She shares some incredible information, tips, and strategies for mastering multiplication.

## Save for Later

Remember to save this post to your favorite math Pinterest board for ideas to use to help your students with their multiplication facts!

## Ellie

### 7 Ways to Practice Multiplication Facts in Middle School

Welcome to Cognitive Cardio Math! I’m Ellie, a wife, mom, grandma, and dog ‘mom,’ and I’ve spent just about my whole life in school! With nearly 30 years in education, I’ve taught:

• All subject areas in 4th and 5th grades
• Math, ELA, and science in 6th grade (middle school)

I’ve been creating resources for teachers since 2012 and have worked in the elearning industry for about five years as well!