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Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Multiplication with your ten fingers

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From: Jo

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2001022619:49:27
Subject: Multiplication with your ten fingers

I work with At-Risk students that have been taught to use their fingers and dot math. When I ask them to reduce common fractions like 20/24 many do not know the factors and then cannot simplify. When I ask 8th graders to add mentally 43 + 19 they want to add on their fingers 3 + 9 or touch something 3 times, let along not knowing another strategy for adding 19. I used to think chisanbop was a neat idea along with other strategies to getting the immediate answers. The problem becomes when the student becomes dependent on the strategy which At-Risk students often do. I believe that should develop a good sense of patterns and number sense, with a lot of concrete activities that will lead to good recall of the basic facts and not hinder further higher math computations. Knowing the multiplication facts and the meaning of fractions would help alot of people be able to use fractions.

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