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Here is a simple way to show children the principle of multiplication. In fact, this is easier than normal multiplication. it involves counting, paper, and a writing utensil.

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The first step is to draw the lines. For one factor, draw horizontal lines, for the other, draw vertical lines.

Anyway: my kid liked it. He is doing 2*N a lot a school and this illustrated that it is just 2 rows of N added together.

So thanks for the post... Sketch here https://www.getdropbox.com/browse2#/Public/grid_calc

Your method

doeswork (I use it), but at the same time I use phrases like "two lots of three", and quickly drop the grid as time-consuming and too intensive.