Star Patterns for Multiplication


Recommended usage: The author improved student mastery of multiplication by having students chant their multiplication patterns daily, using the star patterns to guide them.

Purpose: This activity shows that simple patterns exist in all the multiplication tables, and the patterns for the difficult multipliers correlate to easier multipliers.


Starting Point: 2s and 8s

Even Numbers

Learning to multiply by 2 is easy. Learning to multiply by 8 is hard. However, the 2s pattern may be used to guide the 8s patterns.

Set up: Draw a star on the board. Have a student recite the 2s times table. As they recite write only the last digits next to the star.

Practice chanting the 2s times table while circling the star with a pointer.

After the students can chant 2s consistently, direct them backwards around the star to learn their 8s times table.

If you have an overhead, you may use the moving graphics below to guide you.

Continuing: 4s and 6s


As above, direct students to recite 4s times tables. While they recite place only the last digits around the star.

Practice chanting, while circling the pointer around the points of the star.

After students are confident, circle counterclockwise to practice 6s.

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3s and 7s

Odd Numbers

Odd numbers will be slightly harder.

To start draw a star over a star preferably using two colors. One color will represent odds, the other evens.

Again, start by having students recite their 3s times tables. Write only the last digit around the points of the star (alternating odd and even.)

Have students practice chanting their 3s times tables while circling the pointer clockwise around the star.

After students are confident, use the same star going counterclockwise to practice 7s.


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