Make Them Stick.
If your learner’s not having success in mastering basic multiplication and division facts, stop!
Double-Check A Few Things First.
Be sure you’re incorporating the suggestions in Ready to Start–Start off Strong.
Build momentum by starting with the zeroes table.
Both you and your learner may balk at the idea of going back to the zeroes table. You may be tempted to try to assess and figure out which table or which facts are causing the most obvious problems and to go back to that point. Our blog post “My Child Already Knows Some Facts. Why Go Back to Zero?” will provide rationale and more details on that subject.
Suffice it to say here: Going back to the zeroes table, for both multiplication and division, assures success.
Be sure the child understands why the product is always zero when zero is a factor. They should also understand why zero can never be a one-digit divisor. Most learners think it’s fun to see how many correct answers (all zero) they can write in one minute.
The next day, teach the ones table, again making sure that the learner understands what multiplying and dividing by one are all about.
Then assess for both multiplication and division.
Now that those two easy tables are memorized, provide assessment that combines the zeroes and ones tables in both multiplication and division. Success with these easy tables will let the student know that when answers are known fluently (without any calculation), they can be retrieved (written) very quickly and accurately.
Keep Moving On.
Continue teaching the tables. After 25 years of teaching basic math facts, here’s what I recommend:
- Teach in small increments (just a few new facts at a time).
- Teach multiplication first and then division of the same table.
- Rearrange the tables, beginning with the easiest: 0, 1, 2, 5, 10, 9, 3, 6, 4, 7, 8. (When tables are learned in this order, there is only one easy new fact to learn for 7’s and no new facts for 8’s.).
- Assess and review at the completion of each table.
- Keep it pleasant! Provide an appropriate incentive if necessary.
Save Time And Frustration. Use A “Done-For-You” System.
You, of course, can create adequate lesson plans to teach mastery of basic multiplication and division facts.
On the other hand, you might want to save yourself and your learner some time and frustration by using my system, Quick Facts with Grandma Bee. It was perfected over 15 years of trial and error in the classroom and contains everything you need to get your child un-stuck.
Ready to get your learner fluent in multiplication and division? Click here to find out more.
Next For You:
Read these articles to learn more about helping your child master basic math facts.