Multiplication Facts - Finally Master Them This Year!
This is THE year, right?
The year your learner masters multiplication facts as well as division? Maybe you're ready to launch or maybe you've regrouped and, with renewed enthusiasm, are ready to climb that mountain!
Here's the good news! This year your learner can get those facts mastered--both multiplication and division--in a fun and easy way. No gimmicks. No tricks. Just solid learning!
As you embark on this adventure, you probably fall into one of three camps:
Start off right--introducing multiplication & division.
In the process, but haven't got the facts memorized.
Facts sort of learned, but not fluent.
Wanting to Start Multiplication & Division Off Right.
Basic multiplication facts are coming up in your curriculum or you know that your learner will be covering it in class this year. Either way, you want to help him start with confidence and to build momentum.
Wonderful! You can avoid "math fact resistance" right from the start by keeping these things in mind:
Tips for Starting Off Right
- Teach just a few new facts at a time.
- Show and reinforce the connection between multiplication and division as the facts are learned (not multiplication first and division at a later time).
- Rearrange the sequence of tables so they go from easy to (seemingly) hard: zeros, ones, twos, fives, tens, nines, threes, squares, sixes, fours, sevens, eights. Once you get to sevens, there's only one new fact; no new facts for eights!
Our blog post for starting off strong can be another useful resource for you.
In the Process, But Haven't Got the Facts Memorized.
Your learner's already worked on multiplication and division facts, but they're just not sticking. Yet you know that basic fact fluency is foundational for working with fractions, for solving word problems, and much more.
No problem! You can overcome "math fact resistance" by refocusing in a meaningful way while continuing your regular curriculum. Here are a few suggestions for you:
Tips for In the Process
- Build momentum by going back to the zero's table even if that sounds like a waste of time. You'll be glad you did.
- Set aside about 10 minutes during each math session until those answers come automatically--no calculating.
- Be sure each step is mastered before moving on--it saves time and frustration in the long run. See #1 above.
Facts Sort-Of Learned, but Not Fluent.
Your learner understands the concepts of multiplication & division and can recall answers with calculation, a slow and painful process! But you know that fluency or automaticity will make a big difference in higher skills like fractions, problem-solving, pre-algebra, etc
Almost there! Just 10 minutes per day along with your regular math curriculum or homework will do the trick. Some tips:
Tips for Sort-Of Learned
- Make sure practice is focused. Follow the suggestions in #1 and #2 above. You'll be tempted to skip some steps because of all your learner already knows. Don't.
- Do follow the sequence, allowing him to progress as rapidly as he wants, spending more practice time on facts that aren't fluent yet.
- Assess regularly to help you know which facts to concentrate on.
For some additional resources and insight into this check out our blog post for getting them fluent.
How to Keep Going if Enthusiasm Wanes.
Whether you're a homeschool parent or a parent helping with homework, you know it's easy to get bogged down, to lose some of the enthusiasm that you have at the beginning of the year, and to accept something less than fluency in your learner.
Yet you know that your child's math tool kit needs to include multiplication fact fluency if she is going to excel in math.
During my 30 years in the classroom, I learned that I needed a reminder, sometimes even for the obvious. So I kept a chart at my desk for easy reference. I've made something similar for you to post near your desk or keep in your plan book.
This blueprint for success in multiplication and division illustrates 7 principles to help you teach multiplication and division facts, and it can be adapted to any area of instruction.
With 7 Easy Principles.
Fluency is foundational to your learner's math success.
The Secret to Mastering Multiplication & Division.
Basic multiplication facts need to get into long term memory. Those 5 teaching principles found in the blueprint will move the facts from short term to long term memory. They will also help you avoid some teaching practices that don't work for facts fluency, like:
- Singing little songs
- Using fingers
- Unfocused drills
- Memorizing the products of each table in order (5,10,15, 20,...)
If you would like to learn WHY those methods don't work (as they relate to the brain) then be sure to read our post on fluency and the brain.
Now--rest assured. Getting basic facts mastered can be one of the easiest things you do this year!
I would love to hear from you! ❤️
Have a question? Idea for a resource you might find helpful?
Be so kind and leave a comment below.