Did you learn the “traditional method” for multiplication when you were growing up? I was great at memorizing steps and managed to learn this strategy quickly. It wasn’t until I started teaching that I realized I didn’t exactly understand what I was really doing. Now, we use 3 strategies for multiplication with whole numbers that can help your students master this skill. Kids have various learning styles. Teaching them all 3 strategies will help them to find the one that works best for them.

### 3 Strategies for Multiplication with Whole Numbers

- Standard Algorithm
- Area Models
- Partial Products

### Get a Free Sample Mini-Lesson (Partial Products for 2×1 digit)

Click **here to get a free copy of my 2×1 partial products notes and practice page** used in the video below.

# Standard Algorithm

The Standard Algorithm is sometimes referred to as the “traditional method” for multiplication. Watch the video below to see examples of the standard algorithm. The following digit options are included: 2×1, 3×1, 2×2, and 3×2.

#### Why I Like This Method

It can be quick! If a student truly understands WHY they are performing each step, I think this is a great strategy for completing assignments efficiently.

#### Common Misconception

Students will forget to put a zero in the ones place of the product when they move on to multiply the tens digit in the second factor by the digits in the first factor.

# Area Models

Area Models break down the steps of the multiplication problem in a way that shows how each digit of each factor is multiplied by each digit of the other factor.

#### Why I Like This Method

It provides a helpful visual. It shows how every single digit is multiplied by the other digits and provides students with an opportunity to break down the steps clearly.

#### Common Misconception

Students may struggle with correctly multiply some of the multiples of 10, possibly forgetting a zero in the product.

# Partial Products

The Partial Products strategy is very similar to the area model, but without the visual layout of the rectangle.

#### Why I Like This Method

This strategy also allows students to see how every digit in both factors is multiplied by every digit in the other factor.

#### Common Misconception

Because this method lacks the visual of the area model, students may accidentally multiply the same digits twice or forget to multiply two of the digits.

Example: in 52 x 19, they may multiply 50 x 10 and 50 x 9, then look at the second factor and multiply 10 x 50 and 9 x 2. The key is to multiply the first digit of the first factor by the digits in the second factor (50 x 10 and 50 x 9). Then multiply the second digit of the first factor by the digits in the second factor (2 x 10 and (2 x 9).

# Need Help Teaching This Skill?

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# Looking for More Instructional Resources?

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