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Q&A #494

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Multiplication tables

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From: Mike Stuart <mikstu87@hotmail.com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2004032723:45:51
Subject: Re: MULTIPLICATION TABLES


I'm not positive what you mean by a "multiplication table" but you can
have your granddaughter make an 11x11 table on MSExcel.  You can
likely get a reproducible table from a teacher, also.

Make this grindingly dull activity into a game.  Time your
granddaughter--how many can you do in a minute?--and graph the
results.  Set a tangible payoff, paired with a lot of praise and
support, at a level she can reach with some effort but readily.

Keep raising the bar until she can do them all in 2 minutes or so. 
Get a red star stamp for $6.

Some Prisoners of Praise folks will disagree.  I use this with low
achieving high school students (Yes, they still need to learn the
times tables in high school).

As you are doing this, employ some hands-on things.  Get some graph
paper and ask your granddaughter to show you 3x8, for example.  Then
ask her to show you other ways to make 24.  You have a start on the
notions of factors and of area.  Also prime numbers--you can only make
a 13 on graph paper by 1x13 or 13x1.  There's your commutative
property.

It is never too soon to start kids on this.  They may not exactly get
it, but the exposure is the thing.

Good luck.

Mike Stuart who has been teaching math for 31 years and enjoys it more
now than I did in 1972

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