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Topic: upper middle schoolers that haven't yet mastered multiplication facts

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Subject:   RE: upper middle schoolers that haven't yet mastered multiplication facts
Author: bluerabbit
Date: Jan 2 2005
Hi Bethy--
My husband and I taught upper elementary in a large urban area for a long time
and we both had the same problem. These kids are seriously behind and they need
more help than you can provide during school hours. A sobering letter home is a
good start. In a small town you might be able to enlist the help of kind souls
to hold a tutoring group for a couple of weeks. Provide them with flashcards,
games and internet practice sites. Drill games like multiplication baseball and
football can be fun.
It might also help to point out how few facts students actually have to
memorize, since 7 times 6 is the same as 6 times 7, everybody knows the ones,
twos and fives, and the nines do cool tricks.
For class, consider using crossword puzzle software to create cross-number
puzzles. Also, sometimes these kids can figure out things they use all the time
like money and sports.
As a previous practical poster pointed out (almost a tongue-twister--LOL)
some kids have trouble learning anything. They can learn times tables, but they
need a LOT more individual attention, especially after years of failure have
created tough defences. Have high school volunteers or visiting college students
help them to work with arrays and use a hundreds board to solve problems.
The previous hints about test-taking were also excellent.
Remember, if you help just one child you have changed the world. Maybe someone
else will catch another one later.
All my best,
Linda Armstrong

On Dec  6 2004, Bethy wrote:
> I'm about at wits end. I teach in a very small rural school (one
> school district) and we have a number of students who, at 7th and
> 8th grade, still don't know 75% or more of the multiplication facts.
> I'm not a proponent of rote memorization, but these students need
> some means of quickly retrieving/calculating this information. What
> does the research indicate? Does anyone know of an effective method
> for equipping these students with a procedure so that they can move
> ahead?

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