Graphic Multiple-Digit Multiplication

For some of our children, like my eight-year-old, multiple-digit multiplication can be quite a challenge. It isn’t the math facts that are a stumbling block, its the structure–the placement of products–that creates a problem. So, after multiple explanations of the WHYs and WHEREs with me watching like a hawk as she worked each problem, I decided we needed a different approach.  One that appealed to her visual learning style, but didn’t keep her stuck there–always needing the visual cues.


Graphic Multiplication is based on a two-step traditional method approach to multiple-digit multiplication.  Your students will find all of the products FIRST, and add SECOND. They will also CHECK their own work–immediate feedback to ensure success.


Graphic Multiplication has three stages, or levels of computation independence. You can see the variation between the three stages with these two sample problems.


Once your students have mastered STAGE ONE—the graphic organizers that identify the place value of each number and number’s location for each step—they should complete problems on the STAGE TWO graphic organizers that only have the initial prompts. This second set of sheets will test your students’ understanding of the organization of multi-digit multiplication problems. Finally, STAGE THREE sheets have no prompts—just a reminder to be cautious about number placement.

These graphic organizers can be used with whatever math program and multiplication problems your students are working on!


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