How to help your child with multiplication

Key stage 2 multiplication grid method short multiplication long multiplication

There are three formal written methods for multiplication used in Key Stage 2 : grid method, short multiplication and long multiplication.

What does multiplication looks like in each year group?

During year three, children may start to look at grid method using 2 digit numbers x 1 digit numbers e.g. 45 x 3.

Grid method is then consolidated in year four, using 2 and 3 digit numbers x 1 digit numbers e.g. 45 x 3 then 452 x 3.

Children may continue using grid method in year five but will move onto 4 digit numbers x 1 and 2 digit numbers e.g. 4673 x 3 then 2763 x 23. They may then try using short and long multiplication.

In year six, they will focus on using short and long multiplication using 4 digit numbers x 1 and 2 digit numbers e.g. 4673 x 3 then 2763 x 23.

Grid method

The first step to helping children when they are starting with a formal written method in multiplication is to ensure they are confident partitioning numbers as this is the initial stage of grid method. Children will need to know which column each digit is in in the place value chart and the value of each digit.

e.g. 3276 x 3

Place value chart:

Th (Thousands) H (Hundreds) T (Tens) O (Ones)
3 2 7 6

Therefore, 3276 is partitioned into 3000   200   70   6 and is entered into the grid below:

x 3000 200 70 6
3 9000 600 210 18

You then multiply each number in the top row by 3. Children will need to use their times tables knowledge to help them work out the answers which are written in the bottom row.

For more help with the method to mentally multiply these numbers, have a look at my mental maths series part 2 and part 3.

You then add all the answers together using column addition:

9000

0600

0210

+  18

9828

Short multiplication (used in years five and six when multiplying by 1 digit numbers):

3223

 x   3

9669      Multiply each number in the top row by 3.

Long multiplication (used in years five and six when multiplying by 2 digit numbers):

003223

00x  23

009669 

064460 

074129  

0111

Step 1: Multiply each number in the top row by 3.

Step 2: Then put a zero to the far right of the bottom row (as effectively you are multiplying this row by 20) then multiply each number in the top row by 2.

Step 3: Then add the two answer columns together.

For more information on private tutoring to help your child in Numeracy and/or Literacy, please see the Private Tutoring page.

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