>Multiplication facts come into play so often they truly are basic. >Memorizing them is like knowing the command keys on your computer; yes you >can look them up every time you need one, but it's a heck of a lot more >efficient if you don't have to. > >Andy K >A. Karassowitsch
I guess maybe "basic" is relative. True, in relation to 98 x 57, "8 x 7 = 56" is basic in that it can facilitate the multiplication algorithm. And I agree that knowing these facts can certainly speed things along. But I feel that, in many classrooms, far too much time is spent on these "basic facts" and far too little is spent on understanding the operations and developing the concepts.
I would be curious to know how many students (at any level) know that 7 x 8 = 56, but also think that multiplication always "makes things bigger." To me, this latter "basic fact" is far more important than the former.