Multi-digit multiplication practice is often tiring and boring for the students, however, the practice is necessary. Many of you have been asking for 2-digit multiplication games. The truth is that I haven’t shared any because concepts like 2-digit multiplication that need the students to take time and do calculations are not offered for the best games. However, I have created some game-like activities that I use to motivate my students and add some excitement to solving two or more-digit multiplication problems.
As you might know by now I like to create low floor- high ceiling games that can be played by all students by providing visual help on the board or adding manipulatives. This is not possible with the activities below as they are mostly a motivation for practicing the multiplication algorithms. Make sure that your students understand the concept before trying these activities. The students can work in pairs and help each other or even in groups.
Game 1 – Four in a row
How to play
2-6 players or groups/pairs
The students use two 6 face dice or roll one dice twice. The first dice/roll will give them a number from the first column and the second dice roll will give them a number from the second row. They can use two different color dice, one for the first row and one for the other. They multiply the numbers they got. (They do this on their own draft paper or use the template above. The students need to have “prove” that they did the calculations. Also, with the students having their calculations organized on a paper you can easily review a few combinations for the whole class or check their work individually.) I allow the students to use any way they want to solve the problem, area model, partial products, traditional algorithm. If the students don’t find the answer on the grid they know that they need to check their work.
Once they get an answer from their dice combination they find it on the board/grid and mark it by coloring it. If it’s taken by another player they just wait for their next turn. The first player/team to get a 4 in a row vertically, horizontally, or diagonally wins. The players can both roll both for their numbers and then do the calculations at the same time instead of waiting for each other.
Some of the boards will have the numbers repeated to allow for more strategy. (the students can choose which of the same numbers to mark)
You can turn this game into a race of who will mark the most tiles in a given time, however, this version is better with pairs or teams.
Game 2 – Make a word
How to play
This game is very similar to the one above with the exception that instead of making four in a row you need to form a word. Every number that you mark on the grid gives you a letter. You collect the letters and when you have enough to make a word you win. The first player to make an actual word wins. You can decide that the word has to be 3 and more letters for a longer play. If more than one players make a word the biggest word wins.
This is a fun game to play with teams and pairs as well. The team gets to roll a number of times let’s say 12 and do the calculations. Then they try to make the longest word with their letters.
I hope that you find these games useful. I am sharing two games for each kind for now, and I will be adding more soon. I have included an empty template so that you can add your own numbers. You can play these games with more digits as well.
Below you will find the print file of the games (with different numbers) to print. You will also find empty templates to create your own.
Here is the free google slides version of the games. The students can do the calculations on paper or on slides. The google slides version uses a spinner instead of dice.
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