We know teachers love being resourceful when it comes to making and creating things for their classrooms. The pool noodle fractions project was a big hit, and we’ve seen lots of your photos and ideas for other ways to use pool noodles in the classroom. Well, we have a new one for you: pool noodle multiplication! It’s a hands-on, interactive way to practice multiplication. We hope you’ll love it as well.
We recommend making a noodle for each number on a standard multiplication table and then storing them all in one big bucket! You can usually find noodles at the dollar store, but we bought them in bulk on Amazon. Your students will love grabbling a noodle to practice their facts. Here’s how we made ’em!
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What You Need
- Pool noodles
- Poster board
What to Do
Create the base for your tube.
Using poster board, measure out a rectangle. We created a rectangle of about 73/4 inches by 14 inches, but you might have to adjust this according to the size of your pool noodle. You can easily figure out the right size by wrapping your pool noodle in the poster board before you make any cuts. Once you’ve measured your rectangle, cut it out.
Make circles for revealing the numbers.
For this, you’ll want to draw two lines down the middle of your rectangle, making a T shape. You’ll then want to create two circles, one on the top part of the T and one on the bottom. Use part of a pool noodle to help you trace the circles. Then fold and cut.
Write out your equations.
Here, you are just writing the first number, the x sign, and then = ?. The rest of the numbers (and answers) will be written directly on the noodle.
Attach the poster board to the noodle.
Wrap the poster board around the noodle and secure it with tape. Make sure that it’s not too loose or too tight. You want it to slide down the noodle easily. If you find out that your dimensions weren’t quite perfect, no worries. Just measure again and create a new one.
Finish your equations.
You’ll want to write a new number about every three inches, starting from one end of the noodle. After you’ve completed the equation, turn the pool noodle and fill in the correct answer. We found that it’s best to go one at a time and write as you go so everything aligns nicely. We liked writing the equations in numerical order so you can slide along, one at a time. But you can do it any way you want.
Create an entire noodle family.
We love the idea of this being a complete set of multiplication table facts, so we designated a new number for each noodle. You can also mix and match or do this with addition or subtraction. You just need to stay organized as you write your numbers out for each one!
If you tried pool noodle multiplication, we’d love to hear about it. Come and share in our WeAreTeachers Chat group on Facebook.
Plus, get more ideas for using pool noodles in the classroom.