This is an old method I have found to be very useful and helpful for many. We eventually move onto arrays and other drawings but this is easy to understand and I think it is all about drawing the stars that they like {grin}. Concurrently as we work through the division concept and basic algorithm , we are working on repeated addition and how to represent that with circles and stars so we can multiply. Skip counting skills are helpful here as well. Because mulitiplication is repeated addition and we are learning that division is repeated subtraction we are working on the two . (Although, division like subtraction with regrouping is a bit more challenging this year. ) Using games, pictures, blocks, arrays and acting out these math concepts and skills assists in learning and deepening understanding. We played numerous games using dice or cards while recording our rolls on white boards and then onto worksheets.  Children are given two dice to roll. The 1st dice determines how many GROUPS ( circles) followed by the second dice for items in the group ( STARS). So if a child rolled a 5 first and then a 3 second that would be 5 groups of 3 or 5x3. Some children were also asked to write the corresponding addition sentence. ( 3+3+3+3+3 ) Children need to understand 'groups of' and how this relates to addition and multiplication. If needed you could use objects instead of stars if the children needed more concrete practice. We may do that ourselves ! 
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