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Q&A #491

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Teaching multiplication

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From: Elly <ellfinn@earthlink.net>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2001031119:04:20
Subject: Re: teaching

On 14 Jan 99 16:06:34 -0500 (EST), Jean wrote:
>	
>When you're teaching your son the multiplication tables you need to
>keep one thing in mind...what are they?  What is the point of
teaching
>kids to memorize numbers?  You must explain what their purpose is. 
>Use real life examples.  take for example...if you have 2 cups of
>water and 1/2 cup of sugar and you multiply them...what do you
have???
>NOTHING....explain to your son that all multiplying is...is
>grouping...use objects... example...what are three groups of four
>apples?   apple apple apple apple
>          
>          apple apple apple apple
>        
>           apple apple apple apple
>  answer =12
> 

  I am beginning to teach my second grade daughter the concept of
multiplication.  The kids scare each other by standing in the
playground and telling each other third grade is too hard because they
will have multiplication.  So I tell her mult. is just having some
number x times.  If it's 6 times five, it means you have 5, 6 times. 
We add them in the car when we are driving from place to place.  I
know it is not the memorization of facts she will be required to learn
later, but I want to take the scare out of it. We also make little
piles of things like dominoes or goldfish crackers.  I will use flash
cards later. 
  I am also teaching her fractions the same way.  I learned with my
older children that instead of saying "divide whatever into 5 equal
parts", to say "divide it among 5 children so it is FAIR"--they'll put
it in equal parts, by golly!  Then you can call the parts one fifth,
one sixth, etc.  
  I would not use that cup of sugar example because you CAN multiply
1/2 by 2, and it won't be long before he has to.   



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