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Topic: Multiplication - and other useful facts
Replies: 1   Last Post: Feb 5, 1998 2:16 PM

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Steve Cottrell

Posts: 97
Registered: 12/6/04
Multiplication - and other useful facts
Posted: Feb 5, 1998 12:03 PM
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I recently listened again to a talk given at an ASCD National conference
by Iris Carl when she was NCTM President.

She is absolutely clear: NCTM has NEVER suggested that children
do not need to learn multiplication tables and other simple
computation facts. They do need them. We all use them.

My note:
However, there are those who would suggest that the Standards give
kids an excuse not to learn these facts and teachers and excuse not
to teach them. Unfortunate. Misunderstood.

There are those who think kids still need to do long division with 4
or 5 digit divisors just because that's "what we did in the good old
days." Unfortunate. Nonsense.

There are also those who suggest that the only way to learn these
facts is with isolated practice unrelated to anything the child is
actually doing. Unfortunate. That's not the best way to help
most children learn.

Most teachers will find greater success if they teach the facts
in a variety of contexts--as the Standards suggest. As an
example, an area model is one appropriate model for teaching
multiplication.... with whole numbers, with decimals, with
fractions, with algebraic expressions(much more
effective than FOIL).

Steve Cottrell
Mathematics Supervisor K-12
Davis School District
P.O. Box 588
Farmington, UT 84025-0588

Phone 801-451-1123
Fax 801-451-1333

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