Q&A #18562

Memorization of math facts

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From: ---
To: Teacher2Teacher Service
Date: May 18, 2007 at 06:46:44
Subject: Memorization of math facts

My 8 year old son is finishing up 2nd grade and doesn't know the majority of
his addition facts. He still uses his fingers to count. He gets extremely
anxious when it comes time to practice his math facts. He has difficulty
simply memorizing number facts. He is a bright and perceptive child, but he
is more of an abstract thinker.  He sees numbers as just right or wrong and
that makes him anxious and he shuts down. I have tried flashcards, but he is
not interested.  I have used a yard stick for him to see the relationship
between numbers up and down, and that helps, but he still can't take the leap
to memorize the facts. He started using a calculator to quiz himself, which
seemed to help a little (he loves gadgets and machines). I've tried doing a
"problem of the day", so he doesn't get overwhelmed with too many facts at
once, but by the next day, he says he "forgot" what we had worked on the day
before. I am concerned that he will be lost in 3rd grade when they really
start doing multiplication and division.  It is starting to effect his self
esteem and he says that "everyone else thinks it's so easy, and I feel like
I'm in first grade."  What can I do?

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