By Darlene R. Yost on June 12 2018 12:38:19

Students usually begin learning basic multiplication by second grade. This skill will be essential as kids advance in class and study advanced concepts like algebra. Many teachers recommend using times tables to learn how to multiply because they allow students to begin with small numbers and work their way up. The grid-like structures make it easy to visualize how numbers increase as they are multiplied. They are also efficient. You can complete most times tables worksheets in one or two minutes, and students can track their performance to see how they improve over time.

Skip counting is counting at intervals of whichever number you choose. For example, if I was to skip count by 7 I would count, 7, 14, 21… and so on. Using this method you can do single digit multiplication with ease. Say the teacher asks you to multiply 4 x 7 = __. You simply skip count 7’s, 4 times, 7, 14, 21, 28. The answer to 4 x 7 = 28.

That still leaves the problem of memorizing a string of numbers, and here’s where the magic is. Teach children to skip count to the tune of a simple song. Have you ever wondered why children can learn the lyrics to songs so easily? It is because music can be used as a Mnemonic device, that is a strategy to assist with memorization. If you can associate the numbers with the sounds in a song, the children will not only learn them faster, but retain them much longer than they would memorizing them exclusively through repetition.

Use flashcards. Make multiplication cards for each number set. Although this may seem tedious, the process of making the cards will actually help you to learn them. Once you’ve made them, spend some time each day studying until you know them all. Focus on one number set at a time. When you go through the cards, put the ones you get wrong back into the pile so you see them multiple times.

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