Teacher2Teacher Q&A #494

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Multiplication tables

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From: Mike Stuart

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2004032722:45:51
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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