Strategies To Visualize Multiplication
This could also be a good way to visualize division as the objects are actually being divided equally among the people.
I worked with some grade 5 students that were really struggling with math. They were so confused that they were unable to do the work given in class. We went right back to basic addition facts and how to do addition with larger numbers using some strategies that made sense to them. Once they felt confident with this, we moved on to simple multiplication questions. If multiplication is like repeated addition, it makes sense that they would need to have a solid understanding of addition before moving on to multiplication.
What multiplication strategy should I use?
The teacher gave them the traditional algorithm to use and this actually confused them because it wasn't explained. They tried to follow the example but didn't understand what was really happening. When we broke it down and used the strategies they had learned, they figured it out and then they were able to actually use the algorithm. One thing I did tell them was, if you don't get it, use the strategies you know. It may take more space, but it will get you to the right answer. They took this advice and they were able to get through the material.