I LOVE teaching my 2nd graders the beginning of multiplication and division. They feel all grown up and like true mathematicians!! Their littles eyes light up and they act like they can now conquer the world. Nothing else matters as far they are concerned. Adding, subtracting, regrouping, borrowing...who needs that?! We can multiply and divide.
I think I enjoy teaching this to the kids because it is a nice break from borrowing and regrouping -- which is a gray hair creator for teachers. And if you asked 9 out of 10 second graders what they want to learn in 2nd grade they will say "times", which means multiplication.
We used Laura Numeroff books to get us started. First we read If You Give a Pig a Pancake and then make a list of all the things that we could put on top of a pancake and create their multiplication problem with a craftivity to match her books.
I've created templates for a variety of her books, math work mats to help work out the problems, and templates for students to write their very own word problems.
You can pick these up in my tpt store.
I hope y'all have a blessed week!