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Q&A #494

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Multiplication tables

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From: Leonito A. Fabian

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2013010203:08:24
Subject: Re: Multiplcation Tables

Hello Katie and to all fellow mathematics teachers, I like to share a concern on how the 9 X 9 multiplication table is being taught to our grade school students by many of our fellow math teachers. The traditional method of learning the table is by memorization. Most teachers simply ask their students to memorize the multiplication facts and nothing more. Though memorizing it is not totally wrong but teaching the children to learn it through other ways may help eliminate the difficulty a child undergoes in plain memorizing the facts. There are several ways to teach the multiplication facts starting from making each child to understand that learning the facts is not difficult but rather easy. This will eliminate the fear that may be built up in the child's mind. Here is how I do it. 1. NEVER IMPRESS IN THE CHILD'S MIND THAT LEARNING THE 9 X 9 MULTIPLICATION TABLE IS DIFFICULT. 2. DO NOT ANYMORE ASK THE CHILD TO MEMORIZE/STUDY TABLES FOR 1, 2, 3, 4 AND 5 AS THEY ARE TAUGHT 'SKIP COUNTING'. 3. PICTURE TO THE CHILD THAT THE TABLE IS REDUCED TO A QUARTER ITS ORIGINAL SIZE. 4. MAKE THE CHILD UNDERSTAND THE 'COMMUTATIVE PROPERTY' OF MULTIPLICATION. LET HIM UNDERSTAND THAT 6 X 7 IS THE SAME AS 7 X 6, AND 8 X 9 TO 9 X 8, ETC. 5. EXPLAIN THAT THE REMAINING TABLES 6, 7, 8 AND 9 IS AFTER ALL REDUCED AGAIN TO HALF. FROM 81 FACTS TO 36 TO 16 AND FINALLY TO 10 FACTS. 6. TRULY, ONLY THE FOLLOWING FACTS MUST BE STUDIED AND MEMORIZED: 6X6, 6X7, 6X8, 6X9, 7X7, 7X8, 7X9, 8X8,8X9 AND 9X9. 7. SO, WE NOW REALIZE THAT ONLY TEN (10) MULTIPLICATION FACTS ARE NEEDED TO BE STUDIED/UNDERSTOOD/MEMORIZED. THEREFORE WE NEED NOT TERRORIZE THE STUDENTS BY ASKING THEM TO PLAINLY MEMORIZE THE WHOLE TABLE OF MULTIPLICATION. 8. FROM HERE, I TEACH THEM FINGER MULTIPLICATION, OR USING REFERENCE NUMBER 10, AND THE 'FOLD AND READ'TECHNIQUE. 9. I HOPE AND AM LOOKING FORWARD THAT THIS LITTLE IDEA OF MAKING OUR STUDENTS LEARN THE MULTIPLICATION TABLE BE SHARED TO THEM AT THE EARLY STAGE OF THEIR LIVES.

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