Multiplication Mavens

I’m really old, but yet I can still remember learning my multiplication tables when I was in 3rd grade. Mrs. Lynch would have us listen to each times table as a song on her record player, and I could sing you those songs still today.  Combine her strategy with having us practice with flash cards, and needless to say, I memorized all of my facts by year’s end.

I carry some of that tradition to my own classroom, and I hope it is effective.  Students have been listening to and watching the Schoolhouse Rock! videos for each of the times tables through ten. Some tunes are catchier than others, but they are all cute. I can sing those, too, ha ha.

We continue to progress through our quizzes. We have a specific routine for quizzing that I learned from working with Laura Candler and her book Mastering Math Facts: Multiplication and Division. We are working as a team to conquer the 0-10’s tables this year, and so far, we have all mastered 0-3.

Recently I videotaped our routine to share with families at home.  Miss Sally (my mom) was nice enough to run the camera while we went about our business.  You can check out the video on the blog. [You can also check out the post that Laura Candler wrote about us on HER blog here: Mastering Math Facts in Action]  [OR, you can learn more about her program here: Multiplication File Cabinet]

To practice, students can be using flash cards, online games, oral practice, or our Fact Fluency program online.  The same program we use in the computer lab can also be accessed while at home.

Five minutes per night is really all it takes – but just imagine how much progress can be made if each student practiced for 10 minutes per night!!
What’s to Come:

:) This past Friday, we had our first round of Book Talks. Have your children done these before? All I could say was WOW. I recorded all of them, and then when I went to process the files at home, I realized that no audio was recorded! :( So, those that wished to, were re-recorded today at school. They were very forgiving! The first week is always the roughest, even after 7 years!!

:) We are chewing through pencils like they are Twizzlers. I grabbed some from the office, and bought some on my own, but it seems that we must be doing an awful lot of writing lately! If you have any pencils laying around the house, send them on in and we’ll put them to good use!

Smile Wide,

Mrs. Brooks


It just might be cold enough for ice to freeze on the ponds – Figure Eight, anyone??

  • Thank you for allowing me a peek into your classroom as your students learn their times tables! What an amazing group you have! Watching your class made me miss having my own classroom, so I hope you’ll continue to share more videos of what you are doing this year. Your students are so focused that I know they will all be coloring their ice cream sundaes completely and you’ll soon be enjoying a big ice cream party! Be sure to have a bowl for me! The best part is not the ice cream, though. The best part is knowing how learning these times tables will help your students become math wizards in the coming years! It’s hard for them to understand how important it is to learn their times tables, but we know that it’s the secret to future success in math. I think it’s wonderful that you are giving parents a glimpse into how the multiplication drills work because they can do the same thing at home. It’s easy! Best of luck to you all!

    • Suzy Brooks:

      Dear Laura,

      Thank you for your comment! We are actually working as a team towards earning a day of Camp Count-A-Lot. We are hoping that during Camp Count-A-Lot, we will be able to play math games, wear pajamas, work on blankets and sleeping bags, bring stuffed animals, make fun math crafts, and do fun math projects with food. In our class, we don’t normally celebrate anything with food – we usually celebrate with FUN instead. But sometimes, we get to work with candy. Thanks again for stopping by the blog and watching our video, we really appreciate it. We are big fans because we are actually learning our times tables! We like your system, it is working well for us.

      Suzy and her class of 23 Mathmagicians

  • Dear Suzy and Amazing Mathmagicians,
    Your Camp Count-A-Lot sounds like way more fun than ice cream! With ice cream, you eat it and end up with a tummy ache! But you will have special memories of your fun day that will last a long time. Be sure to take pictures to show me. I think I’ll have to pass this idea along to teachers in the new book! Celebrating with FUN sounds like the best way to celebrate!
    Laura Candler

  • Sarah H.:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I love seeing another class in action! My third grade class started our multiplication fact drills last week with our whiteboards and after watching how easy your class made the sheet protector method look, we are going to switch tomorrow. I also love how you used the red card to show readiness! Your Camp Count-a-Lot sounds like a blast! Good luck to your Mathmagicians on reaching their goals!

    • Suzy Brooks:

      Thanks for your comment, Sarah! How are those sheet protector drills working for you? I am curious to see the progress our students make after our Winter Break- March is such a big month for learning!! Keep us posted and good luck to your 3rd graders on reaching their goals, too!!

  • Wow, this was such a neat video! I love how everyone in class follows directions and roots each other on! Team 203 has mastered our X0, X1, X2, and X3 as well!! I wonder if the third grade team could have a big celebration once we all get there? Keep on practicing third graders!! We’ll keep correcting :)

    • Suzy Brooks:

      Hi Mrs. Lewis!

      Thanks for your comment – and we are all LOVING that oh-so-cool multiplication table you are putting up outside your classroom. What a neat way for your 3rd graders to share how arrays and multiplication are connected! Good luck on your quizzes!!!

      Love, your friend,
      Mrs. Brooks

  • Jack R.:

    hello Mrs.Brooks!I like that video. Right now for my times tables I am on the 6s,pretty good! See you twomorow, JACK

    PS a minute in a video feels ALOT longer then when you testing in the video !

  • Suzy Brooks:

    Hi Jack – I agree – it feels a lot shorter when you are working on those problems, than when you are watching the minute tick tick tick by…. :)

    I like the video, too :)

    See you tomorrow!

    Mrs. Brooks

  • ohioholly:

    Hi Suzy,
    I just watched the video of your class doing mulitplication the “laura candler” way. (I followed a link from her page.) I really liked the idea of the plastic sleeves with red on the back. I noticed some kids had them in a 3 ring binder. I was wondering … what else do they have in their binders? Thanks.

    • Suzy Brooks:

      Hi Holly,

      Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment! We keep all kinds of stuff in our binders – poems we like, lyrics to the songs we listen to, some reference worksheets we’ve done (like how many days are in each month of the year, etc.). If students have some down time, they like to decorate their poems to match the theme, so there’s always something they can do in there. We also use our binders as study carrels when we take tests. Every kid puts their binder up on the front-right side of their desk, so it kind of creates a bit of privacy on each desk. I hope this helps a little! Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Take care,

  • Hi!!
    My name is Jaime. Your wedsite is great!! It had many pictures and lots of fun things to look at!! Your wedsite is great!!

  • Anonymous:

    Hi! my name is Dana and Im from South korea I think your blog is great it’s really fun! please come to our blog to… our blog

  • Anonymous:

    Suzy, I love your blog, and I appreciate your video on multiplying. My question is this – do you add the scoop when the whole class has mastered that group (for instances, the 3s) or when you have taught the group?

  • Tammi:

    Suzy, I have a question about your class ice cream scoop. Do you add the scoop when the whole class has mastered the number (for instance, the 3s) or after you have taught it a certain number of times?

    • Suzy Brooks:

      Hi Tammi – thanks for leaving a comment, we appreciate it! We have added scoops each time the whole class finishes a particular level. I have students who have become experts at particular times tables, so they help those who are stuck at a certain level. It seems to help -but that 10′s table scoop seems so far away right now! This is the week where I hope to get more and more of my students ahead.

      Thanks again!

  • Tracy:

    Hi Suzy! This was wonderful!!
    I was wondering what the round things your students use when they go to the carpet are.


    • Suzy Brooks:

      Thanks, Tracy!

      Those are balance cushions — we buy them at our local Ocean State Job Lot store for between $9 and $13 – they keep changing the price. Some of them are bought by me, and some are owned by the students. We have had enough for the past few years so that each student has his/her own. If they own them, they bring them to 4th grade, where the 4th grade teachers have been nice enough to allow them.

      Originally designed to help my wigglers, I have found that we can all use a little help when it comes to balance, focus and core strength :) . I’m hoping to add a few exercise balls this year and see how that goes!

      Have a wonderful school year and thanks for stopping by!

      Take care,

  • Dana:

    This will make life so much easier and more efficient!! i want ti implement this immediately!! :) How often are they taking the timed tests?

    • Suzy Brooks:

      Hi Dana, Thanks for your comment! I try to do the tests 3 days a week, but some weeks it’s only once or twice.

      Good luck to you!

  • What do you have the students who have reached their nines? Other kids would still be testing until they get their nines … THANKS

    • Suzy Brooks:

      Hi Casey, Great question! Once kids make their way through the 0′s to the 10′s, then I give them mixed review sheets that they do during the same time. Each time they finish, they hope that their score is better. It helps build their speed.

      You’re welcome and good luck!!

  • Lorri:

    Love, love, love this! The sheet in their binder has ___x____=____ on it? They write in the first factor and then the teacher provides the this correct? Th goals party at the end of the year, please elaborate more on how this is handled individually as well as whole group. I understand they concept of sundaes for facts mastered, just wondering about facts not mastered, and students that don’t master the same as everyone else. Thanks!! I know what I’m doing in class tomorrow!!

    • Suzy Brooks:

      Hi Lorri,

      Thanks for your comment. The kids keep track of their individual progress on their Sundae Sheets. We keep track of class progress on the wall with the giant ice cream cone. If we earn all 10 stages, we’ll have a FULL day of Camp Count A Lot. If we only achieve half of them, then our Camp Count A Lot day will be only a half a day. Hopefully that makes sense. With those who struggle, we provide extra opportunities to take quizzes when they are already pulled out of class. That way, the test can be accommodated to their individual needs. Hope this helps! We just started again last week and the kids are super excited. I love their enthusiasm!
      Take care,