### Multiplication Strategies

Are you a 2nd or 3rd grade teacher who is looking for multiplication strategies that will make learning multiplication easy to understand?  You've come to the right place.

I am a firm believer in teaching students several strategies before teaching them how to memorize their math facts.  Here are six different strategies you can use to teach your students how to multiply.  Once they learn and understand a few different strategies, they will have the strong mathematical foundation to learn their multiplication facts.

My students learn, practice, and apply their strategies in their interactive math notebooks.  Here you can see these six strategies that I teach to my students.  Under each strategy flip flap, the students apply the strategy to a multiplication problem of their own.  They use these strategy flip flap pages for referencing throughout the year.

Along with the strategies, I provide my students with plenty of independent practice.  In  my classroom I take one day for each strategy and one day for practicing each strategy.  Here you will see some of the independent activities that my students complete in their interactive math notebooks.

Here's a free interactive notebook resource for you to try out with your students.  Enjoy!

I hope you found these tips to be helpful.  Don't forget to pin the image above to your Pinterest board so you can reference this post in the future!

### 5 Ways Teachers Benefit By Using Instagram

Instagram is a social media platform that is growing quickly.  Launched in 2010, Instagram now has over 400 million users and growing!  Teachers have taken Instagram over by storm.  So, you may be asking, "What's the big deal?"  Personally and professionally speaking, Instagram has improved my teaching in so many ways that I decided to compile a list of 5 Ways Teachers Benefit By Using Instagram.

1.  Instagram is the world's largest and most positive teacher's lounge.

Think about a stereotypical teacher's lounge for a second.  What kind of conversations do you hear?  I'm willing to guess that they aren't all positive conversations.  You won't find these conversations on Instagram.  That is one reason I love Instagram.  It is filled with positive teachers who love to collaborate and share ideas.  Need I say more?

2.  Instagram provides free professional development right at your finger tips.

The need for spending tons of money and time on an out of town conference has decreased for me because of Instagram.  No longer am I taking an entire day or two away from my classroom to sit in a conference session to gather as much information as I can write down and process.  Now, I can get on Instagram from the comfort of my own couch, car, bed, waiting room, dance practice, bleachers, etc and gain insightful information for my classroom.  For this busy mom, this has been a game changer!  Don't get me wrong, there are still conferences out there that are well worth the time and money to attend but I am finding that I am gaining a ton of new information and ideas right from my phone.

3.  Instagram hashtags are your friend.

Hashtags are your friend.  Think of hashtags as a way to filter all the online content into a narrowed down topic of interest.  Hashtags can be thought of similar to a google search engine.  Not sure of what hashtags are popular on Instagram?  Look no further.  Here are some that I frequently use on my Instagram account.

#teachersfollowteachers
#teachersofinstagram
#iteachtoo
#teachersofthegram
#teachersoftpt
#teacherhumor
#teacherproblems
#iteach2nd
#iteachsecond
#iteach1st
#iteachfirst
#iteach3rd
#iteachthird

4.  Instagram will help build and grow your professional learning network (PLN).

I think about teaching as a collaborative effort.  Some of the best teachers have an amazing network of other amazing teachers to learn from.  As much as we love the teachers we work with, it's okay to want MORE.  Instagram is filled with teachers from around the world who are ready to collaborate and learn from you!  I have found tons of holiday party ideas, pen pals, lesson plans, art projects, snack recipes, teacher outfits, newsletter templates, parent teacher conference tips, and more!

5.  Instagram is teacher eye candy.

Teachers love visuals.  Door decorations.  Anchor charts.  Bulletin boards.  Classroom themes.  Funny memes.  The list could go on and on.  Here are a few of my favorite.
Are you on Instagram?  I'd love to connect with you!  You can find me @LuckyLittleLearners  Leave your Instagram handle in the comment section below!  I look forward to connecting and learning with you soon!
Do you want to learn 8 Instagram Hacks for Teachers?  Check out this post from Emily over at Education to the Core!

Don't forget to pin this image to your Pinterest boards so your teacher friends don't miss these posts!

### I Love Math Manipulatives

Welcome back to another month of the #2getherwearebetter monthly linky!  Ashley and I are excited to bring to you another month of great content.  This month we are coming together to share THINGS WE LOVE!  Being the math geek that I am, I couldn't resist sharing with you my favorite math tools to use in the classroom to enhance my math instruction!  Before I go any further, if you missed any of our previous months' topics, you can click on the links below to catch up...just make sure you come back!

Math Games and Strategies
Classroom Reveal
Bulletin Boards
Home Office
Communication with Families
School Schedule
2016 Plans & Goals

First up, large dice!  I love using large dice in my classroom because they catch my students' attention and are the perfect size for demonstration.  Any time you can bring something unique to your classroom, you captivate your students.  That's what it's all about, right?  You can grab these large dice off of Amazon.

It's no secret that I love using dice.  They are easy to store, don't take up much space, affordable, and come in a variety of different ways!  I especially love foam dice because they are quiet and don't bounce all over the place.  Some of my other favorite dice are place value, dot, digit, multi-sided, and blank dice.  Dice are great for making up a game on the go as well as an easy way to differentiate an activity with very little prep.  By the way, did you know you can use a small, affordable, plastic containers for your students' dice?  Why?  This helps with keeping the dice from rolling all over the floor or across the room.  Did I mention that the foam dice are nice and quiet, which works even better in these plastic containers.

Do you use spinners in your classroom?  These magnetic spinners work great to capture your students' attention and can be used for a variety of reasons!  Simply draw a pie shaped display on your markerboard, set the spinner in the middle, and spin away!  You can choose numbers, fractions, coins, math problems, shapes, names, and the list goes on and on!  You can grab your set of three spinners off of Amazon.

Last, who loves FREE stuff?!?!  I know I'm all about saving money when it comes to things for me to use in my classroom.  These containers are durable and free.  I have owned mine for the past 12 years and they are still in perfect condition.  Save your Smart Ones or Lean Cuisine containers from lunch.  Wash them out and you're good to go!  I have used them for paint, tissue paper squares, coins, pattern blocks, counters, and more!  I have even found them to be useful for interactive notebook activities!  Place your students' glue stick, scissors, and pencil in each container.   The student carries their dish to their working spot.  Then the place their scrap paper in the dish while they are cutting out their pieces.  When they are finished, they dump their dish of scraps into the garbage.  Voila!  No more classroom floor peppered with paper scraps!

If you follow me on Periscope @MrsAOlson, you know that I love to scope about math in my classroom.  I show teachers how I implement math tips, strategies, games, and anchor charts from my 2nd grade classroom with my 2nd grade students!   I also have the honor of scoping from the @iteachtvnetwork on Periscope.  My segment is called Math Motivation Mondays.  You can watch me live every Monday at 6:30 p.m. CST.  Here's a little glimpse into a scope about the math tools I have explained above!