top of page

Circles and Stars (grades 3-4)


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


Subject: Multiplication


Objective: 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.

bottom of page