Last week, I talked about using Base 10 blocks to reinforce addition and subtraction concepts. Today, I would like to talk about how to use Base 10 blocks to reinforce multiplication skills.

When students first begin to multiply and divide with larger numbers, we often jump to using the algorithm too quickly. However, students really need time to develop these skills so that they have a solid foundation for the algorithms later. Today’s post will offer some ways a Base 10 model can be used to connect to the algorithm.

Like I mentioned last week, using Base 10 blocks to model multiplication is a great way to “see” a model and connect it to the algorithm at the same time. In the picture below, I model how Base 10 blocks can be used side-by-side with a multiplication area model to illustrate the connection between an area model for multiplication and its often confusing and hard-to-understand algorithm.

Specifically, the model shows how using Base 10 blocks to model two-digit by two-digit multiplication relates to the area model and the traditional algorithm.

**Sound Off!**What models do you use to teach multiplication?

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