Origami Flash Cards

Here's an idea that goes along with the Multiplication Practice Sheets I created to help my students become more proficient at learning multiplication facts.

Start with a 4.25" square of xerox paper. (You can get four squares from one sheet of paper.) Fold it in half three times as shown below.

Folding instructions

After making the three folds, unfold the whole thing and refold it so that the diagonal folds are ridges and the 90 degree folds are valleys. Recreasing the folds, especially the diagonal ones, is critical to the successful completion of the next step.


Collapse the valleys inward as you bring the ridges on both sides together.


Lay the paper on its side and flatten it. This will result in the paper looking like a triangle made of two smaller triangles. (These directions may seem somewhat complex at first, but--trust me on this--once you've shown your students how to make one, they'll be able to bang out additional ones on their own.)


The last step is easy. Using a pencil--not a marker as it will bleed through the paper--write the multiplication facts for the family you are trying to learn, one per side. (If you turn the triangle sides like the page of a book, you find that there are four separate sides in all.)

The example below shows how to do this for the 4's family. Make sure that the factor on the left is the family factor.

Numbering the outside

When you've done all four outside triangles, refold the paper, and do the inside four triangles with the remaining facts.

Numbering the inside

How to Use

The Multiplication Practice Sheets provide practice at learning either the products or the factor needed to make a particular product. (We would do just one side a day which means the practice sheet is good for two days.)

Products Practice: One student covers the product at the top of the triangle with a thumb and shows the flash card to another student who says the product. The flash card holder then flips to another side, covers the product, and shows the card again. When finished, the card is turned inside out and the other half of the fact family is shown one-by-one. Students take turns being the game show host and the contestant.

Factors Practice: Similar to the way the products were studied but the host covers the factor on the right side with his thumb. (It takes a bit of practice before they can do this smoothly. The covering is easy. It's the moving to another side of the card and covering the factor before the contestant sees it that is a bit more difficult. Give them time. They'll get it.)

Multiplication Practice Sheets

The blackline masters for each of the fact families from 2 through 9--along with the instructions on how I used them--can be found in the download files section.

Questions? Send me an email.

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