Donut Math

Using construction paper, make a paper circle (approximately 12 inches in diameter) with the center cut out. On the circle, write the numerals 0 through 9 in random order. Punch a hole along the "donut" and thread string or a piece of yarn through the hole. Tie the ends of the yarn—making a donut necklace. Hang it on a hook over the chalkboard/dry-erase board. Write "* 4" in the center of the circle on the board. Give students practice coming to the board and writing the products along the outside of the circle. This same "donut" can be used for practicing any other math fact by simply erasing the answers on the outside of the circle and inner circle and writing in a different number or operation in the center of the circle.

It is recommended that the teacher have a set of a few donuts (each pre-made with 0 to 9 in random order, so that each one looks different). This is particularly useful for playing games. Competitive students enjoy having donut races. Hang a few of the donuts across the board, and write the multiple (x 4 or any other) in the center. Students race to write their answers on the outside of their donut.

Play games by rolling a die and multiplying the number on the die by four. Since students can only practice up to 4 x 6 with the use of one die, the same technique can be used by spinning a spinner that has numerals that go higher. An alternative is to have students first roll two dice of the same color together and add the numbers (for example, 6 + 3 = 9); then multiply that sum by 4 (or whatever math fact is being practiced). For a full review and practice of multiplication facts, after adding together the two dice of the same color, they can roll a third die of a different color and multiply those two numbers.

Use traditional flash cards that students make and color. Triangular flash cards are often best because the same cards can also be used to practice the division fact. For example, there will be a set of triangular flash cards for each of the multiples of 4. The number four will be written on one point of the triangle, and for each of the flash cards 0 to 9 is written on another point. The product for each is written on the third point. Students practice by covering with their hand each of the points of the triangle while reciting, for example: "4x3 = 12; 3 x 4 = 12; 12 divided by 3 = 4; 12 divided by 4 = 3."

Make tactile flash cards. This can be done with puff paint or by writing the facts in glue, sprinkling with sand or salt (preferably colored sand/salt), and shaking off the excess when dry. Students then use these flash cards by tracing the numerals with their finger while they say the fact out loud.

Use graph paper and make grids for each of the multiples of four. Students draw a horizontal line that is four boxes in width. They draw a vertical line from the same starting point down to the number of each of the multiples. Connect the lines to make a rectangle for each of the multiples of four and cut them out. Students can write the product in the center of each of the rectangles.

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