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Activity and strategy

Learning Multiplication Facts in a Fun Way

A practical strategy for teaching multiplication and math skills to students who are blind or visually impaired using concrete manipulatives

Egg carton math:   Give each child an egg carton or a plastic container with some type of little objects. These could be pennies, beads, buttons, paper clips, raw macaroni, mini-pompoms, etc. When you say and write a problem, such as 3 x 4, the children need to display this problem using different sections of the egg carton/plastic container to hold each group.

Tip: l always told my students to think of the X in a multiplication problem as “groups of.” So 3 x 4 is “3 groups of 4.”

Using the egg carton, then, they would only use 3 compartments, and they would put 4 items in each of those 3 compartments, counting as they go. And also after the problem is set up, they can count by those 4’s: 4, 8, 12.

egg carton math


Then you could say, “4 x 3.” Now they need 4 groups of 3, so they’ll use 4 compartments and put 3 items in each, but they will still have 12. Count by those 3’s: 3, 6, 9, 12.  

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