By Brenda J. Church on July 03 2018 09:28:12
What it is about memorizing multiplication tables that make my kids throw their pencil across the room and shout, “I hate math?” It is because, unlike spelling or vocabulary, numbers don’t create pictures for us. Multiplication tables are strings of seemingly random numbers that our children are expected to not only remember, but keep in order and in context with the numbers they are multiplying by.
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.
Take your time. You don’t need to sit down and learn all of the multiplication facts at one time. In fact, this would be the worst way to learn. Choose a table and focus solely on that one. Take as much time as you need to master each one before moving onto the next one. Spend about 15-20 minutes each day studying flashcards or playing math games to master each multiplication fact. There are many multiplication math games with different themes that can be found online. For instance, if you really like dinosaurs, find one that uses dinosaurs to make learning more fun.
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.