Thursday, December 29, 2011

Multiplication Sundae Party

Every year it is a struggle to get all my students to master their multiplication facts.  My school requires that 3rd graders master their facts up to 12 x 12 (which is more than what the common core requires).  I spend all year working on this standard (not all the way through.  I do some here and there and keep reviewing).  This year I decided to bribe my students into learning their facts. 

We have always taken timed multiplication tests.  Their goal is 80% (they have 100 problems and five minutes).  As they master each fact they will earn something to go on a sundae.  My bulletin board is all set up for the new year for this incentive.  I have sent home letters explaining what I'm doing.  The children are excited and I am excited.  I hope this helps with getting the children to study at home.

Now only if I knew how to add some documents to this I could share the letter and chart with you easier!  If you want a copy, please let me know in the comments section and I will email it out to you.  I also have the excel document for each child to keep track of their progress. 

This is what the letter states:

Dear Families,

            Part of the third grade curriculum is learning multiplication facts 0-12.  Students will be taking timed tests a couple times a week starting in January.  There are 100 problems and the students have five minutes to complete the test.  Their goal is to correctly answer 80 of those questions.

            Here is the incentive plan I will use to encourage students to work hard on their multiplication facts:

            As students pass their timed tests, they will earn the following items for an ice cream party:

2s: a bowl

11s and 10s: a spoon

5s: whipped cream

3s: one scoop of ice cream

4s: a second scoop of ice cream

6s: cherry

7s: topping of choice

8s: hot fudge (homemade by your teacher-so good!)

9s: topping of choice

12s: topping of choice

We will spend about two months working to meet our goals.  The best way to study multiplication facts is with flashcards at home.  Flashcards can be purchased at Walmart, CVS, and Dollar Tree; or you can help your child make a set using index cards.  It is best to only study three at a time, until those three are mastered (then add 3 more as the previous 3 are mastered).  There are also several multiplication games you can play online and I have included websites where you can print worksheets.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.  Good Luck in your study efforts!



  1. I'm a new follower. I'm always on the look out for 3rd grade blogs, as this is my second year at this grade level & I'm so open to all kinds of ideas! Your sundae idea is awesome & I would LOVE a copy of your letter!

    I've only posted one document, but I used It can't be too hard if I managed to figure it out!

    Third Grade in the First State

  2. Just wanted to say I love the idea. I always tell my parents to keep flash cards in their car so when the kids get in on the way to school and home they can practice their math facts. I also encourage the students to practice during commercials while they are watching TV. Just some ideas if your parents ask for ways to fit in the extra practice.