By Brenda J. Church on May 16 2018 05:10:02

Fortunately for me, a wonderful 3rd grade teacher gave us the solution. It helped that he was male, and my 8-year-old daughter had a major crush on him. She ate up every word that man said, so when he taught her to skip count to some familiar tunes she came home singing her math just for fun.

I have seen a lot of kids quickly pass off their 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s. These tables have an obvious pattern and are much easier to learn. Then there is a serious slow down as kids hit the 3’s, 4’s, and 6’s. By the time they get to the 7’s, 8’s, and 9’s they’ve decided that multiplication is way too hard, and math isn’t their thing.

Learn one table at a time. Select one multiplication table to learn at a time. Start with the simple tables such as 2s, 10s, 5s, and 11s. By the time you learn the more difficult tables such as the 7s and 8s, you will already know several facts. Remember, 1 x 4 is the same as 4 x 1 so you only have to learn half of the multiplication table because the other half is just written the other way.

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.

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