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PAT Bank

Circles and Stars (grades 3-4)


Marilyn Burns
from the book "Math by all Means - Multiplication"




To practice facts and to learn a strategy to finding the product.

Materials and Preparation:

Paper, pencils, scissors, stapler, calculator, and 2 dice per group

Student Grouping:

4-6 students

The Play:

  1. Students make game booklets

  2. First student rolls dice. On page 1 the student will draw circles for whatever he rolled with one dice and stars in each of the circles for whatever he rolled with the other dice. For example, if a student rolled a 2 and a 3 he would draw two circles and three stars in each circle.

    Under the drawing the student will write - 2 circles with 3 stars = 6 in all (2 x 3 = 6)

  3. Then the next child takes a turn. Once each child has gone six times he/she will add all six products to get their score and record it on the last page in their book.

Comments or Variations:

Students may use calculators to add products. I usually will not give the calculators out until the whole group is done with their book. You could make it competitive by having each group get a group total and compare it with other groups in the class. I later refer to Circles and Stars as a strategy for finding the product with my students.