## Whole Class Multiplication Games

I love using whole class multiplication games to reinforce times table facts. Any way that you can find to reinforce times table facts in a fun way is ideal for helping your students learn those multiplication facts. Here are four of my favorite whole class multiplication games.

Around the World

One student stand up and is ‘on’. They stand behind the student next to them (who remains seated in their chair). The teacher calls out a multiplication question for the student who is on and the seated student they are standing behind. If the standing student calls the answer out correctly first, they move to stand behind the next student’s chair for the next question and so on, working their way around the other students in the class. If the seated student calls the correct answer out first, they are ‘on’ and they stand up and move to stand behind the next person’s chair for the next question and the standing student takes their seat. My students get super competitive and love to see how long they can be ‘on’ for.

Fizz Buzz

A classic! Choose two times table, i.e. 3x and 5x. Students sit in a circle and take turns to count from 1 to 50 (for example). However, on every multiple of 3, the student must say ‘Fizz’ instead of the number and on every multiple of 5, the student must say ‘buzz’ instead of the number. For every number that is a multiple of both 3 and 5, the student must say ‘Fizz Buzz!’.

Times Table Scavenger Hunt

On a piece of card, write a multiplication question. On another piece of card, write the answer as well as the next multiplication question. Continue until you have around 20-25 cards. Write the answer to question on the final card on the first card, so cards form a continuous loop. Place the cards around a large area  – outside is ideal for this. Students work in small groups of around 2 or 3. They work through the cards, solving the question and searching for the card with the next answer. Students write down the answers in order on a piece of paper. Assign different groups different starting cards, to stagger the movement around the cards.

Multiplication Bingo

Choose a times table, for example, the 3x table. Students choose 5 multiples of 3 (up to 12x 3) and write them on their mini whiteboards. The teacher calls out 3x multiplication questions from 1×3 through to 12×3. Students work out the answer and if they have the answer on their card they can cover with a counter or mark off with their pen. Continue calling the questions from the cards and students continue marking off the answers they have. When a student has all five numbers marked off, they shout out ‘BINGO’. If more than one student calls BINGO, the first student to call it wins! You can grab my Multiplication Bingo Cards here to play whole class bingo with.

They contain bingo cards for times table from the 2x through to 12x tables and includes 40 bingo cards per set – enough for each student in the class!

## Charlotte’s Web Novel Study Ideas

I love teaching novel studies. Using novels in the classroom develops students’ learning and skills in many ways. Reasons to teach novel studies include:

• Student exposure to plot structure and new vocabulary, which has an enormous impact on their own language development and writing skills
• Novel studies allow students to experience things they wouldn’t have done otherwise
• They help students to see events from others’ point of view
• They allow students to develop understanding and skills to make sense of different situations
• And, of course, for enjoyment and to promote their love of reading

One particular book that makes a fantastic novel study for elementary students is Charlottes’s Web by E. B. White. This story, in which a spider tries to save the life of a young pig on a farm, covers many important themes including friendship, determination, teamwork and growing up.

Some key activities that I like to use during the novel study include:

Character Studies

Character studies are a key element of a novel study. It is through the characters that the reader experiences the events of the story. I like to get my students to complete character profiles on the key characters including details on personality, relationships with others and how they change and develop as the story progresses. I also like my students to complete character comparisons and think about how different characters react to particular situations in the story.

Setting

I love getting my student to use their senses to describe settings within a novel. I ask my students to image they are on the farm in Charlotte’s Web. What can they see? What can they smell? What can they hear? Charlotte’s Web is great for evoking these senses. This a key opportunity to develop descriptive vocabulary. I have my students work in talk partners to describe the setting verbally before beginning their writing.

During the novel study, it is important to develop those key reading strategies. My students think about and make connections between the novel and themselves. the world and also other novels. Thinking about cause and effect of key events is also important during the novel study. We also work in summarizing the key events in the chapters within the novel.

This is where the students can really show their creativity and become fully immersed in the novel and really empathise with the characters. Some writing tasks I enjoy doing with Charlotte’s Web include letter writing to key characters, writing instructions on how to make a spider web, exploring dilemmas (should Wilbur continue with his escape or should he return to the barn?), describing how the characters show they are a good friend and writing a newspaper report on the writing in the web.

Vocabulary

In Charlotte’s Web, Wilbur learns many new words from Charlotte. This is a key opportunity for students to find out the definitions of new words they may not have come across before. This includes developing dictionary skills. I also like students to think about the words Charlotte has written in her web and why she has chosen those words to describe Wilbur.

Cross Curricular Activities

A novel study is great opportunity to learn new facts about the subject of the book. In Charlotte’s web, some of my favorite cross curricular tasks include researching the spider life cycle, creating fact files on how to look after a pet and learning about farm animals.

The above are some of the activities that I incorporate into a novel study of Charlotte’s Web. If you’d like to try the activities mentioned, I have saved you the time and effort of creating them with this useful Charlotte’s Web Novel Study Unit.

The unit includes full teaching instructions and ideas for implementing the activities. The novel study also includes activities on character, setting, vocabulary work, reading activities and summarizing.

The novel study also includes multiple choice comprehension quizzes on all chapters in the novel with answers included for you to assess your students’ understanding.

You can grab Charlotte’s Web Novel Study here!

## Math Story Books

I really enjoy using math story books to introduce tricky concepts in my lessons. My students find them engaging and they really help to bring concepts to life and put them into context. Here are three of my favorite math story book I like to use in the classroom.

How Big is a Million?

by Anna Milbourne

Skills: Value of large numbers

This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Pipkin the penguin and his quest to discover exactly how big one million is. On his way, he finds ten fish, one hundred penguins and one thousand snowflakes, each one individually illustrated to show students exactly how big these large numbers are. At the end he discovers one million stars, each one of them illustrated on a giant poster. I love using this book to help students grasp the value of large numbers and they find the poster at the end particularly fascinating.

One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab

by April Pulley Sayre and Jeffrey Sayre

Skills: Multiplication

I love using this book for investigations. One is a snail, two is a person, four is a dog… this book is all about feet! This book introduces the reader to different characters and their number of feet. It also introduces a number and the possible characters that it could be referring to, i.e. three is a snail and and a person, 20 is two crabs etc. I use this book to reinforce multiplication and addition facts. I give my students a number of feet, i.e. 18, and challenge them find all the different possible combinations of characters whose feet could total this number. Not only is this activity great for reinforcing multiplication and addition facts, it also helps student develop logical thinking and problem solving skills.

Spaghetti and Meatballs For All!

by Marilyn Burns

Skills: Area and Perimeter

Mr and Mrs Comfort have invited their family round for spaghetti and meatballs. All 32 of them! Mrs Comfort rents 8 tables to seat her family round, with four seats around each table. However, when the family begin to arrive they begin to push tables together to sit closer to each other, but not all the family will now fit! This book is great for using as a basis for investigating the possible arrangements of the tables, so all the family have a seat. Students can experiment with more than eight tables and find different combinations for the seating plan. It is great for demonstrating that shapes with the same area do not always have the same perimeter. I also like to use manipulatives of card squares to help students in their investigation.

Have you used Math story books in the classroom? I’d love to hear about your favorites!

## Five Top Tips for a Quiet Classroom

A quiet classroom is one of the key elements for successful learning. Certainly there are activities that require more noise than others, but in this post I am focusing on those situations that require focus and concentration from your students. Getting your class to work quietly can be tough but I hope that these ideas will give you some tips for getting your class quiet, focused and learning!

1) MODEL MODEL MODEL!