Is there only one way to multiply numbers?

Of course you might know the standard method of multiplying numbers, but is that the only way to do it?

During our inquiry into multiplication, I asked my students this question. While some were able to connect multiplication to addition and division (Yay!) I pressed to see if they knew another way to actually multiply numbers. It is interesting that there are SO MANY different ways to multiply, but we only teach one “standard” method. I broke the students into expert groups and had them learn a different method to multiply numbers. I had found some youtube clips that explain the different ways and shared them with the groups. Here are some videos that explain some different ways that you can multiply:


1. Lattice Multiplication:

2. Grid Method

3. Russian Peasant Method

4. FOIL Method

5. Line Method


After they became experts, I had each group present to the class and teach this new method. The students were quite interested to learn the different ways to multiply. Finally, I asked them to reflect on their blogs about their favorite method. Do they still like the “standard” method? Is there a new method that they like even more? Many really liked the Russian Peasant method, as it is quite different from the others. How it works though… that will be the next inquiry for all of us! 

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