Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2019

Academic Department


Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Peter R. Licona


All elementary school students can be described as developing learners, each with unique learning styles. The wide variety of ways that students learn presents upper elementary school educators with both opportunities and challenges related to how they should best teach multiplication to their students. Students often have difficulties conceptualizing and engaging with multiplication and thus may benefit from having multiple different strategies to choose from to support their learning of multiplication. When teachers provide students with various ways of learning multiplication, they recognize that not all students learn the same way and students should have options in how they learn. Some students may learn best from more traditional strategies, such as the use of algorithms, while some may benefit more from nontraditional strategies, such as the use of manipulatives as models. Teachers must aim to provide accessible learning opportunities for all students so that each student can choose the strategy/strategies that are the most beneficial for them. If all students are subjected to a singular approach, some students will learn, while others may struggle. In considering this, I planned and conducted a research project that investigated the various approaches to mathematics instruction, particularly multiplication, with the goal of compiling a toolkit of diverse strategies for teaching multiplication. In doing so, my research questions are as follows. Research Questions: 1. What strategies do mathematics educators employ to teach multiplication to their students? 2. How can a toolkit of strategies offer a set of resources for upper elementary school mathematics educators in meeting the diverse learning needs of students who are struggling to understand multiplication?


Senior thesis.