Conquer the Multiplication Tables 2


On the double or the two times table

Your child’s brain is hardwired to recognize doubles: even before she has counted or added together the number on the two dices she will shout out “it’s a double!”

Using this innate ability will greatly help your child’s confidence in learning the multiplication tables. Find as many objects that you have two of: shoes and socks come in doubles, so do ear rings, pepper and salt shakers, etc.

Counting Doubles

Count out mentioning the doubles while you move each item you are talking about: “here is one shoe” and “it is doubled with this shoe”. Explain: “so now we see that two times one shoe is two shoes.”

Do the same with two, three, or four objects, like pencils or table ware and have your child providing the ‘doubles’. Does she see that two times 3 spoons is 6 spoons? Draw attention to any doubles you may see in traffic, the shop, at school. Ask your child if she can find more doubles and make a drawing to be displayed on your refrigerator and keep mentioning it.


The Doubles Game 1: Toys only

Bring out the good old Lego’s or any other small colored objects you may have lying around: two of each color. One of each color is for you and the other one of that color is for your child. Take turns in starting with putting a number of items on the table and ask the other player to provide the ‘doubles’. The items need to be placed on the table neatly next to each other in rows of two similar ones, to make it clear there are 2 of each.

Say the number sentences out loud. Just complete the number sentences when your child stops halfway without commenting it is not complete. Always provide the correct number sentence immediately after your child makes a mistake, without commenting it is a mistake. Come back to that hard one only a few minutes later.

Do this until your child is totally confident to say the number sentences independently. Go on to bigger numbers of items.

The Doubles Game 2: Add the grid

Fold a piece of paper into two columns and make horizontal folds or lines large enough to fit the items you are using. Consider tasty math manipulatives like smarties or cereal.  The number sentences to go with each round of doubles are only verbal and no numerals are written. 


The Doubles game 3: Here are the numbers

The same as Doubles Game 2, only add the numbers in the side line while you are saying the number lines. Do this till your child can say and write (always together) all the doubles till 10. 


The Learning

These activities might look childish at first, but please do not skip them. Visual memory helps conceptual understanding, which is the base for all math. Never go to the next stage before your child is really sure in a previous one. This might take several days to a few weeks, depending on her previous math level. It is better to err on the slow side: it will prove to be time well spent. 

Happy doubling!!