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Showing posts with label multiplication. Show all posts
Showing posts with label multiplication. Show all posts

In fact it can be overwhelming for students!

Why? Well, to start with, there are 100 multiplication facts, and 100 division facts!
That's a whole lot of facts to learn! Take a look at this:

There they are, all 100 multiplication facts.

And the 100 division facts.

It just doesn't work to just hand these lists to the kiddos and tell them to learn them all!

Here are some ideas to help ease this heavy load!

Before the children start to work on memorizing facts, it's essential they understand what multiplication and division are! I like to spend plenty of time with manipulatives, as well as making and drawing arrays. I make sure they understand that 6 x 5 means 6 sets of 5. They use manipulatives to show six groups of 5 (as in the picture: 6 rows of cups, with 5 cups in each row), and draw an array with 6 sets of 5. When they have done a whole lot of this, and have a deep understanding of what it all means, then they can move on to fact fluency.

As you can see from the list of all the facts, it's just too much to assign them all at once! It's best to break them down into smaller groups, and best to create those groups by patterns. I recommend starting with the "x1 facts," which would be anything with 1 as a factor, and the related division fact.

Research on learning has taught us that this is how the brain learn best.

Each family has a total of 4 facts that can be created with the same combination of manipulatives. (Doubles only have 2 per family.)
This can be seen in the visual below:

The upper left shows 5 sets of 6. (5 x 6 = 30) The upper right shows 6 sets of 5 (6 x 5 = 30) The lower left shows 30 sorted into 5 equal sets (30 ÷ 5 = 6) and the lower right shows 30 items sorted into 6 equal sets (30 ÷ 6 = 5).

Studying the fact families really makes the whole thing easier! If they learn one combination, they've got 4 facts!

Just for fun, here's how the doubles work.

No matter how you turn the sets, it's still 5 sets of 5, so there's really only 2 possible combinations!

Research tells us that repeating the complete information orally helps the memory. They don't necessarily like to do this, but they'll admit it really helps them remember the facts!

If you've ever had to learn a new skill, I'm sure you've seen the value of practicing a little bit every day. Five minutes a day for 5 days will have more value than 30 minutes of practice once a week! Less time, more value! I work my fact practice into my math rotations in a variety ways: games, practice alone, practice with a partner, or practice with an adult.

Children develop their own tricks to help remember basic facts, and when they talk, they share those tricks! That makes everyone smarter!

Here's a trick I learned from my students! They've got plenty of ideas like this, that are worthy of conversation!

Most of the children will have a good deal of success with the above 6 strategies, but if they don't, don't let them fall through the cracks. I suggest doing some sort of assessment once a week, and keeping a record of how they do. Even when they don't show mastery, they should be showing growth each week. If they don't, something needs to be done.

Here are some suggestions:
1. Limit the amount of fact families. One or two fact families is enough for some children.
2. Work one on one with that student: 5 minutes a day.
3. Assign an adult to work one on one with that student.
4. Send home a set of facts to be practiced with a parent.

Here's a freebie set of practice and assessments for the x1 Fact Families:

It contains practice cards (with the answers to be printed on the back) 2 assessments, and access to Boom Learning Digital Task cards, which the children absolutely LOVE! And it's free!

If you're interested in just the Boom Learning format,that's a freebie, too!

If your students have success with this freebie, here's a link to the whole bundle: Fact Fluency System for Multiplication and Division: The Bundle

Here's a link to a similar bundle for addition and subtraction facts: Fact Fluency System for Addition and Subtraction: The Bundle

Plus, a chance to try out this system with this freebie: Fact Fluency System for Addition and Subtraction: Freebie

Are you going crazy trying to get it all done?

If you're like me, you want to enjoy that last day with the students. I've got 7 steps I take on that last day. Today is about Step 3.

You can read about Step Two here: Leave Out a Few Favorite Games

Here is the third Strategy:

If you're anything like me, you have a TON of math games, but it's ok to pack those up, since there are several games that can be played with a simple deck of cards!

Here are some easy card games they can play to review important math skills:

1. Addition War (Like regular war, but with 2 cards added together.)

2. Multiplication War (Like Addition War, but with the cards multiplied together.)

3. Salute This is one of my favorite games (and the kids, too!) I learned about it HERE. You can download a freebie with directions to the addition version as well as the multiplication version on this website.

4. Twenty-One Some people know this game as Blackjack, but this is the "non-gambling" version. This game requires addition skills as well as some strategy and thinking about probability. The children absolutely love this one! You can download directions for playing the game here: Twenty-One.

5. Solitaire I know, this doesn't have a specific math skill, but it sure does strengthen their Number Sense!

I'd love it if you shared your ideas for more educational ideas for playing cards!

I've been fascinated by the brain for years now. I've read about how the brain works, and the best ways to help children learn. I've applied this knowledge to my teaching and have had fabulous results!

These are some of the things I've learned about the brain!
Let's see how they relate to learning Math Facts!

We know that “Practice Makes Perfect” is a fallacy since we know if a child practices something incorrectly, he learns it incorrectly.  Whatever they practice needs to be accurate so the child learns it correctly.  (I’m sure you know how hard it is to break a bad habit!)  When practicing facts, it's important that the child practices the correct answer. Either have the correct answer on the back of flashcards, or have the child practice with someone who knows the answers!

This goes with the first idea: the kiddos need to know if they're getting the answer correct. If they are not, they need to know right away so they will practice it correctly.

Brains are much more likely to remember something if the learner uses more than one process. If the children are looking at the fact, saying the fact out loud, and moving manipulatives on the tens frame, they are more likely to remember the information than if they just looked at it. Another idea, stating the fact while jumping on one foot, or while doing jumping jacks.

When children work together, they are keeping the brain happy. Social interaction is HUGE when it comes to learning! This is one reason why games are great for learning math facts!

A little healthy competition gets the blood moving, bringing oxygen to the brain and helping the memory do its thing. This is another reason why games are great for practicing facts!

When the kids practice facts, it's a good idea to put fact families together: 4+7=11   7+4=11   11-4=7   11-7=4   or  3x6=18  6x3=18  18÷6=3  18÷3=6 This really helps the kiddos make the connections in the brain!

If it's possible color code copies of facts by fact families.
The brain really focuses on color, and helps make those connections!

This is why it's not a good idea to give the kiddos too many facts to study at a time. Start with just a couple of families, and build from there!

It is suggested that children spend 5 minutes a day, every day, rather than a half-hour once a week. It's actually less time, but it's more productive!

It is recommended that background music is played during practice times. This is a good time for a piece of classic music, not rock music or anything with lyrics.

Hope this list helps your kiddos learn their facts!

This resource makes it clear just how many facts the children need to master!

It just so happens I have a set of addition and subtraction facts to practice that follow almost all these brain rules, (you have to supply your own music) and even has a few brain breaks worked in! See here if you're interested:

Update: Due to popular demand and success with the above set of addition and subtraction facts, I'm made a new version to practice and assess multiplication and division, which you can find here: