20 Super Fun Ways to Motivate Your 3rd Graders to Learn Their Times Tables
If you teach 3rd grade, then you know how tough it is to get 3rd-grade students interested in learning their times tables.
But we’ve got you covered!
In this blog post, you’ll learn 20 practical and creative ways to motivate your students to practice – while making multiplication drills a fun and engaging experience.
Whether you’re an experienced teacher or just starting out, these tips will help you connect with your students, personalize their learning experience, and ultimately help them master their times tables.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
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What Are Times Tables?
If you’re new to the world of teaching math, you might be wondering what times tables are.
Simply put, times tables are a set of multiplication facts that students must learn to do quick mental calculations. T
hese facts include numbers from 0 to 10 multiplied by numbers from 0 to 10, such as 2 x 2 = 4 and 5 x 7 = 35.
Knowing times tables is essential in building a strong foundation for further math concepts, such as division, fractions, and algebra.
In fact, times tables are used in our daily lives too, for example when shopping or cooking.
Once students master their times tables, it becomes a lot easier for them to learn other on-level concepts in math.
Why Students Need to Know Their Times Tables
Knowing times tables is super important because it sets the foundation for math success in many areas, like long division, fractions, and algebra.
Plus, when students have the ability to recall times tables easily, it boosts their confidence and helps them feel more comfortable with math.
Not to mention, knowing times tables is super helpful in real-life situations, like cooking and shopping!
Many teachers say that we’re past the time of rote memorization – that students need to build conceptual understanding first.
I say that having one doesn’t dismiss the need for the other.
Students need to have BOTH!
They need to know that 3 x 5 = 15, and they need to understand what that means.
In this other blog post, I dive deep into why students need to master their times tables, if you’re still not quite convinced that they do.
Multiplication facts are foundational.
Your students need to know their time tables.
Helping students master times tables is one of the best things you can do to set them up for success in math and beyond.
Now, let’s move onto ways we can motivate students to learn them!
20 Ways to Motivate Your Students for Times Table Practice
- Make it Fun!
Learning multiplication can be boring, but it doesn’t have to be! Use games, songs, and other interactive activities to make it fun and engaging.
- Set Goals and Celebrate Progress.
Create a chart or tracker where students can mark their progress and earn rewards for hitting certain milestones.
- Personalize Learning.
Every student is different, so tailor your lessons to their interests and strengths. This will help them feel more invested in the learning process.
- Create a Positive Learning Environment.
Celebrate successes and create a classroom culture that supports and motivates all students.
- Use Real-World Examples.
Help students understand the practical applications of multiplication and how it can be used in everyday life.
- Break It Down.
Don’t try to teach the whole times table at once. Instead, break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks.
- Use Visual Aids.
Charts, graphs, and other visual aids can help students understand and remember multiplication concepts more easily.
- Make It Relevant.
Use examples and scenarios that are relevant to your students’ lives and interests.
- Encourage Peer Teaching.
Pair students up to work together and teach each other different times tables.
- Use Technology.
There are many online resources and apps that can help students practice and master their times tables in a fun and engaging way.
- Encourage Practice.
Give students regular opportunities to practice their times tables, both in class and at home.
- Use Positive Reinforcement.
Praise and positive feedback can go a long way in motivating students to continue learning and improving.
- Make It a Challenge.
Set up friendly competitions or challenges to encourage students to push themselves and reach new levels of achievement.
- Mix It Up.
Vary your teaching methods and activities to keep students engaged and motivated.
- Use Humor.
Inject humor and levity into your lessons to help students relax and enjoy the learning process.
- Use Repetition.
Repetition is key to helping students remember times tables, so be sure to provide plenty of opportunities for practice.
- Connect with Parents.
Keep parents in the loop and enlist their help in encouraging their children to practice and master their times tables.
- Use Positive Self-Talk.
Encourage students to use positive self-talk and affirmations to help them stay motivated and focused.
- Make It Hands-On.
Provide opportunities for students to practice multiplication concepts through hands-on activities, such as manipulatives and games.
- Keep It Age-Appropriate.
Use teaching methods and examples that are appropriate for 3rd graders and their developmental stage.
Motive Students By Goal Setting With Them
A goal setting worksheet is a powerful tool that can help students track their progress and feel accomplished as they reach small, achievable goals.
This builds confidence and encourages them to keep going.
When students master their times tables, they have gained an essential understanding of multiplication that can help them easily learn other math concepts too.
They’ll be set up for success as they move on to more advanced topics in higher grade-level math.
So, let’s encourage our 3rd graders to set goals and track their progress as they master their times tables and become math superstars!
So, you have some ideas, tools, and tips… but now what?
Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.
On top of these 20 tips, we have a ton of other free content that you might find helpful as you help your 3rd graders master their math facts.
And as a bonus, here’s a FREE multiplication facts chart to help your students practice their times tables in a fun and visual way!
Practicing with charts is an effective way for students to memorize and conceptualize their times tables.
To grab the chart, just enter your name and email address here, and we’ll send it to your inbox.
Looking to learn more about this?
Here are some blog posts that share similar ideas and content.
- Yes, Your Students Need to Memorize Their Math Facts
- Why I Decided to Specialize in Math
- Math Fact Fluency: The Ultimate Guide for Teachers
Here are some other posts from my blog that teachers are loving right now.