Q&A #491

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Teaching multiplication

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From: Stephanie

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2004102020:21:28
Subject: Teaching my son multiplicatino when he was 8 years old with a little ease

Hi, I found a way to teach my son multiplication with a bit more ease using his fingers. This may not sound to appealing with many parents, but I found that it worked for my son. For example: I started with the 2's, 5's and 10's because as the rest of the posts state, they are very easy to retain. Our brains love to fill in gaps so if written or stated enough times, the brain takes over and the child retains the information. With the 2's I first counted by 2's.....2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and so on reaching 20. I did this 3 times with him until he was able to state this without my assistance [which was on the 4th try]. Once he mastered counting by 2's to 20 unassisted, we began counting by 2's using first the index finger moving to the thumb. Holding up finger #1 stated, "2" Holding finger #2 I stated "4"...my son began to smile as he watched the system, but he dare not attempt it. On the third try, my son began to imitate my gestures. By the 5th try, my son was able to count by twos while holding up his fingers (one at a time). If I asked him what 2 X 5 was, I would then ask him to hold up 5 fingers and count by two's. Holding up 5 fingers he counted by two's and arrived at 10. He was very elated after our numerous failed attempts to help him memorize his 2 tables by rote. So I then moved on to the 5's (he mastered that in one day). Next I moved on to the 10's (he mastered that in 2 days) For the 3's, 4', 6's, and 7's (at age 9 now not 8 anymore), we systematically put these tables on the finger system. I would have the 3 times tables in front of him with answers and we would both count by 3's together until he mastered the counting. I then introduced the finger system about 3 days after making sure he could count by 3's. Once he would count by 3's unassisted, I introduced the finger-system. He knew this was successful for the 2s, 5s, and 10s so he was eager to implement the 3s, 4,s, 6s, so on. This may not work for everyone. It worked for my son. Hopefully one of you can use this strategy to help your child master multiplication with as little stress as possible. Stephanie P.S. My great-niece learned Multiplication Facts better with memorization and practice. Each child is unique.

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