Does your child struggle with the multiplication tables too?
Is reciting those rather boring ‘poems’ about so many times a certain number not helping to make the math facts stick in her brain? Don’t owrry here’s a suggestion to help your child.
In our best effort to help children as fast as we can, we often present them with a list of way to many facts to memorize all at once. By doing so we reduce the information to a shapeless ‘bulk’. Much like when we see a bag with many differently colored jelly beans: in our perception the colors blend together into one cluttered array of colors. We have no posibility of clearly seeing an individual red, yellow, or green one stand out to memorize. The beautiful numerical pattern that can help students to easily memorize the Math facts is drowning in the masses.
Every math fact is special and deserves individual attention, so stick to one or two new ones at a time. Believe me it’s going to save you time in the end.
We can change learning to multiply from being an abstract number activity into a fun and meaningful activity by making the connection with the real world. It is particularly important to use examples that are of direct interest to YOUR child.
If he loves to ride his bike tell him the multiplication table of two is all about bike riders and wheels: for every one bike rider there are two wheels etc. Probably he is already figuring out in his head how many wheels there are when there are four bike riders. You can cut out adds with bikes and riders to count, so your child can find some more multication facts herself. Or you can use pegs as people and poker fiches as wheels and gradually complete the 2 times table.
Check for understanding by asking questions:
- there are 7 people riding their bikes, how many wheels are there? Which Math fact did you use? (7 times 2 = 14)
- there are six wheels so how many people are there? What is the math fact you have just used? (3 times 2 = 6 or 6 divided by 2 = 3) – etc.
Dogs have four paws, hands have five fingers, guitars have six strings; be creative it can work as long as it appeals to your child, maybe he can come up with suitable objects. Make drawings, cut out and paste advertisements, use Lego’s, toys, counters, dice, etc.
Only after a math fact has been worked out in this way several times, can you start to use it on a flashcard. Flashcards are for quick retrieval of previously learned facts. They are not useful for learning something new without comprehending the basic concept.
More useful multiplication tables tricks are at: http://math.about.com/od/multiplication/a/Multiplication-Tricks.htm
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