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Michele's Math, Multiplication
by K. Michele Smith
  1. Have fun! We want relaxed kids and plenty of giggles.

  2. Go slowly and relax.

  3. Do the preliminary review, all the preliminary review, and nothing but the preliminary review -- for now. I know. I know. Your children can add. That's why they are now learning to multiply. Trust me. How they add and think about it is EVERYTHING.

Addition Review

Sit your little darling down and warn him, this is "baby work," but we're going to go through it just to have fun getting it absolutely right. We're going back to doubles (1+1, 2+2, etc.) Orally, ask him each of the adding doubles, 1 through 12, e.g. You say, "one plus one?" He answers "2". Watch closely and be sure he REALLY knows the answer. If he has to think about it, count or count up from the previous double, he needs to practice until he knows them inside out, upside down, and backward. Give him the equations in and out of order. You should spend no more than ten minutes on this at one time.

Later in the day: Has she got them all down? If there was any hesitation or figuring at all during the first review, ask each orally again, in order. Write the equations properly as you speak, writing in the answers as they are given. Have the child read what you wrote. Have the child then copy exactly what you wrote. No shortcuts by writing in columns!) She should then read what she wrote. Again, 10 - 15 minutes and the review is done for the day.

What is Multiplication?

[Use lots of manipulatives if you like. I use favorite toys. Large collections of similar items with different colors work great for grouping. Flat objects are hard to move around. Trucks work great and so do Lego's because they stick together in groups of 10 (later).]

Okay, multiplication is sequential adding. Show your child four piles of three objects each, (e.g. pennies or Lego's) or some such combination. Explain that "You have three pennies, four times. So 3+3+3+3 is 3, 4 times. And in arithmetic, we say that 4 x 3. We can add these up and get 12. Do as many of these as you need, using small quantities. Now put out a single pile of objects and ask how many are in the pile? After your child gives you the answer, ask how many piles there are? You may find your child hesitating -- it is too easy and too obvious. If he/she protests, "This is dumb." -- agree! I usually say, "You're right. It does seem dumb. I told you it was really going to be easy."

Dont Move On Until Your Child Understands What Multiplication Really Is!

Take a day or two to repeat the above reviews if necessary. The goal is complete comfort with the doubles.

Times One:  1 x anything = itself
Times Two:  2 x a number = doubles Times Three Times Four Times Five Times Six Times Seven Times Eight Times Nine Times Ten Times Eleven Last but not least -- Times Twelve ADDING 12'S