By Brenda J. Church on May 11 2018 21:02:32

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.

Practice with worksheets. Once you have mastered the flash cards, try your hand at some worksheets. Start by practicing with one number set at a time. When you have mastered all of them, try worksheets that mix up all of the number sets and see how you do. If you know your tests will be timed in school, try practicing with a timer.

Sing songs with hand movements. There are multiplication albums that sing the times tables. You can listen along and learn the times tables through music instead of rote memorization. Listen to a few different versions and find one that works best for you. Add in hand motions or dance moves that illustrate the different number pairs to make the process more interactive.

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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