Teacher2Teacher Q&A #540

Teaching multiplication to SED/SLD middle schoolers

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From: Cindy (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Sep 08, 1998 at 22:08:00
Subject: Re: Teaching multiplication to SED/SLD middle schoolers

I teach my students this trick for learning the multiplication tables from 6 x 6 to 9 x 9. (They have to memorize the tables from 1's to 5's). Make a fist with each hand. Each fist represents 5. On one hand, stick out 3 fingers. You now have 8 (fist of 5 plus 3 fingers = 8). On the other hand, stick out 1 finger. You now have 6 (fist of 5 plus 1 finger = 6). The multiplication problem you have just modeled is 8 x 6. Here's how to read the answers from your fingers: Count the number of fingers sticking out (3 + 1 = 4). That represents 40. Count the number of fingers tucked under each fist (2 and 4). 2 x 4 = 8. So, 8 x 6 = 40 + 8 or 48. The only 'tricky' ones are 6 x 7 and 6 x 6. For 6 x 7 you get 3 fingers up (30) and (4 x 3 = 12) fingers down. For 6 x 6 you get 2 fingers up (20) and (4 x 4 = 16) fingers down. -Cindy, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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