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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: Scottie
Date: Jan 26 2005
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?
Bethy, I highly recommend you become a proponent of rote memorization in this
case.  Not knowing the facts is going to slow your students down for the rest of
their math careers.  Here's what I do and what may help; first of all, allow
time during each math lesson to teach strategies (very important) for learning
the multiplication facts.  SMove on to timed tests when a strategy has been
learned.  Start easy with the 2's, then the 2's and 5's, 10's first. Make it
fun!  Offer an incentive by dividing your class into teams and making it
fun/competitive.  Offer prizes (go to local retailers or parents and ask for
coupons, donations.)  Don't be afraid to have them write the facts they miss on
the tests 10 times each for homework, five consecutive nights in a row.  This is
boring but never fails.  Be tough.  Take the time.  If you do, you'll be giving
them a great parting gift as they leave your room in June.  I have tests and
other things I can email you if you need them.  Scottie

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