City-Data Forum clever people need multiplication and division fact (method, teenagers, teaching)
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11-17-2011, 11:23 PM
 Location: Northern California 970 posts, read 1,743,712 times Reputation: 1390

I think the biggest thing is just practicing until it becomes second nature. It's incredibly boring but it's also an invaluable skill because you use multiplication in every other type of math you learn beyond that.

Maybe it would help if you have him count by 2s, then 3s, then 4s, etc. For example you could have him count by 7s (7, 14, 21, 28, 35, etc). Some people grasp patterns easily and it's the same concept, just a different way of looking at it.

11-18-2011, 07:17 AM
 3,777 posts, read 7,163,842 times Reputation: 4129
Quote:
 Originally Posted by somebodynew I am not creative. My son is a little behind in his math facts. We drill. It is so boring it is like pulling teeth. *I* hate it. And the facts are not sticking. He has TimezAttack which he does do. Any other clever ideas for practicing math facts? Thanks folks.
Flash cards work for some kids, but what I've seen is that the kids who need practice the most use them in a very inefficient way. They tend to go through and answer all the easy ones (0's, 1's, and 10's). Then they admire the "success" stack. Then they lose interest in the whole thing, and they're done.

Use a deck of cards, but don't turn over cards randomly. Use a more focused approach.

First:
Use a deck of cards with face cards removed. Have the child lay out the numbers 1 (Ace) through 10, so that the Choose a number to work on. (Use 6, 7, or 8. Let's do 7.). Then you sit on the other side of the cards so you aren't blocking his view of them. Put the 7 above the ace. Child says, "seven." Move the 7 above the 2. Child says 14. Go in order for the first few numbers, then keep scooting back to review out of order. Add the next one when he's ready. ("7. 14. Ummmmm . .. 21. 14. 21. 7. 21. Ummmmmm . . . 28. 21. 28. 14. 21. 28. 7. 28. 14. 28. Ummmmm . . . 35." Etc.)

When he's doing pretty well with all the sevens:
Keep out a seven and shuffle the other cards together (still no face cards). Put the 7 on the table/floor. Turn over the top card from the deck and set it next to the 7. Child says answer. Immediately flip next card over. Continue once through the deck. Practice is over.

Have him study sixes, sevens, and eights more than the others.

More fun: I'll use the sevens again.
Toss him a tennis ball as you say, "3 times 7." Say the problem as you swing your arm, with the "7" just as you release the ball. (Start with the other number to give more time to think.) Toss the ball fairly high. Child must say the answer by the time he catches the ball.

When he can do the problems at this speed, make it harder by making your throw only a slight arc. When he can do those, if he enjoys the game, try "super-fast," with no arc.
Again, keep the practice focused rather than skipping from 8 times 4 to 5 times 5 to 0 times 3.

11-20-2011, 12:14 PM
 Location: So Ca 13,857 posts, read 13,539,572 times Reputation: 11790
Quote:
 Originally Posted by passwithoutatrace ...the biggest thing is just practicing until it becomes second nature. It's incredibly boring but it's also an invaluable skill because you use multiplication in every other type of math you learn beyond that..
Agreed. You cannot do algebra if you haven't memorized your multiplication facts. So, if your child is a visual learner, use flashcards or fact sheets, an auditory learner, call them out or use tapes/videos, a kinesthetic learner, use cubes or other manipulative devices, but make sure your kid memorizes them because they will struggle with or despise math when they get to middle school. And if kids don't like algebra, they will be resistent to learning geometry.

11-20-2011, 01:12 PM
 Location: Whoville.... 25,393 posts, read 29,697,018 times Reputation: 14495
I've never been able to memorize my multiplication facts. I ended up learning tricks to get past this hurdle. I know my 2's, 5's and 10's. I calculate everything else from them. 3's are 2's plus the base. 4's are 5's minus the base. Sixes are 5's plus the base. Seven's are 5's plus 2's. 8's are 10's minus 2's. 9's are 10's minus the base. The funny thing is, learning it this way made factoring in algebra and balancing equations in chemistry a piece of cake. I see the pieces and the process as opposed to memorizing the answer. I got here by writing out the table a zillion times and seeing the relationships. To this day 7*8 = 8*5 + 8*2 in my head.

In spite of my inability to memorize my multiplication facts, I excelled at math. I had one A- in math in college. That was in Calc III and my prof said that just meant I was an engineer not a mathematician.

FTR, Einstein didn't know his either. I'm sure he had some kind of gimmick to get the answer when he needed it though.

Last edited by Ivorytickler; 11-20-2011 at 01:23 PM..

11-20-2011, 01:21 PM
 Location: Whoville.... 25,393 posts, read 29,697,018 times Reputation: 14495
Quote:
 Originally Posted by CA4Now Agreed. You cannot do algebra if you haven't memorized your multiplication facts. So, if your child is a visual learner, use flashcards or fact sheets, an auditory learner, call them out or use tapes/videos, a kinesthetic learner, use cubes or other manipulative devices, but make sure your kid memorizes them because they will struggle with or despise math when they get to middle school. And if kids don't like algebra, they will be resistent to learning geometry.
I'll disagree here. You cannot to algebra unless you can, quickly, get your multiplication facts. I never learned mine beyond the 2's, 5's and 10's yet excelled in math through advanced engineering mathematics. What you need is a process to get the answer if you can't recite it. I have a process (see my last post). I would agree that if you can't get past a multiplication drill, by either reciting the answer or quickly calculating it in your head, you'll struggle with factoring and balancing equations.

11-20-2011, 03:53 PM
 20,793 posts, read 52,354,094 times Reputation: 10471
Our kids had these multiplication table charts that they put over Pringles potato chip canisters. http://lockmar.es.brevard.k12.fl.us/...ion%20Tube.pdf

They also liked this website for practicing:
Education 4 Kids, Inc.

I liked it because you could set the parameters for what you wanted to practice-so if they just needed to practice their 7's you could do that. It's been a long time since I have used it so that might be different now.

We also played a lot of card games, even just 21, to help with addition, which helps with multiplication.

11-21-2011, 12:12 PM
 11,229 posts, read 9,225,730 times Reputation: 14654
Quote:
 Originally Posted by CA4Now Agreed. You cannot do algebra if you haven't memorized your multiplication facts.
Why not? I had no trouble with it at all. Not saying it won't be faster for him if he just learns them. But I can't agree with the above since I did it.

11-21-2011, 03:56 PM
 Location: Whoville.... 25,393 posts, read 29,697,018 times Reputation: 14495
Quote:
 Originally Posted by somebodynew Why not? I had no trouble with it at all. Not saying it won't be faster for him if he just learns them. But I can't agree with the above since I did it.
You have to be able to see factors to do algebra. You either need to know your multiplication facts or have a process by which to get them. I do this via a process and find that that actually works quite well for seeing factors. I'm used to working with pieces.

11-21-2011, 05:25 PM
 Location: Australia 1,492 posts, read 2,653,749 times Reputation: 1693
Mathletics

11-21-2011, 05:59 PM
 Location: Northern California 970 posts, read 1,743,712 times Reputation: 1390
Quote:
 Originally Posted by somebodynew Why not? I had no trouble with it at all. Not saying it won't be faster for him if he just learns them. But I can't agree with the above since I did it.
If you have tricks to doing multiplication quickly, then you should be able to do algebra. That's basically the same as having the tables memorized. People get tripped up on higher math if they have to stop and ponder how to do 6x7. If you can spit out "42" either from memory or take a few seconds to calculate it, you can still do the multiplication with no issue.
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