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# Multiplication and how you tackle it

Posted by on Jan. 19, 2014 at 7:12 PM
• 15 Replies

I'm starting Cole on multiplication. I'm showing him what multiplication is (2+2+2 or 2*3) and we've been doing drills, one number set per week (2 tables last week, 3 tables this week). I can't really get any games going until he knows a few of the answers or he'll melt down.

How did you guys take on multiplication? I don't know if we will continue on this way or not. Cole has unique personality so I'm sort of feeling my way as we go.

Did you stop all other Math while learning it or did you continue on with other things like 3 digit subtraction, time, money, whatever?

I find myself doubling up on lots of things to make up for lost time. Until Cole's eyesight was corrected we did everything out loud. We are still transitioning and catching up on things that we couldn't do.

by on Jan. 19, 2014 at 7:12 PM
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by on Jan. 19, 2014 at 7:49 PM
1 mom liked this

I would not ever work subtraction at the same time as multiplication. They are opposites. Instead we worked addition concepts (like fractions, decimals, etc) while doing multiplications. We just treated multiplication as a shortcut to adding similar groups. Also we never did memorization of the tables. My kids never responded well to memorization, instead they memorized from repetition.

When first embarking on multiplication we first worked with just understanding the sentence structuring. Also I made sure never to use the 'x' as that can confuse some kids when transitioning to using variables in algebra where 'x' suddenly can be anything, and the function sign is the dot or (). Basically our first step was setting up the multiplication sentences. We used m&m's, separating them into colors

if the yellows are in groups of 3, we write it down,

3 . ____

then we count the number of groups and fill in the multiplier, so if there were 9 groups

3 . 9

then the = is basically like saying "the same as"  since the equal sign is just saying everything on have left is the same as everything on the right.

Once they are comfortable with making the 'sentence' then we do lots of word problems - as it can be easier to visualize from a word problems. So we have always worked practical application rather than memorization.

by on Jan. 19, 2014 at 8:00 PM

I like how you set things up. I try to make things a mix of real world function and memorization since Cole seems to enjoy knowing the answer before trying to learn a new concept. The anxiety of the empty equals sign gets to him. It makes it more frustrating for me in some ways, though.

We had a similar problem with reading. Phonics failed with him, and usually ended with complete melt downs no matter how simple we tried it. Pushing sight words, sight words, sight words, actually made him feel like he could work out phonics because he *knew* words. He *knew* that the sounds would work so he could attempt to use them another way. Does that even make sense? LOL

Quoting KickButtMama:

I would not ever work subtraction at the same time as multiplication. They are opposites. Instead we worked addition concepts (like fractions, decimals, etc) while doing multiplications. We just treated multiplication as a shortcut to adding similar groups. Also we never did memorization of the tables. My kids never responded well to memorization, instead they memorized from repetition.

When first embarking on multiplication we first worked with just understanding the sentence structuring. Also I made sure never to use the 'x' as that can confuse some kids when transitioning to using variables in algebra where 'x' suddenly can be anything, and the function sign is the dot or (). Basically our first step was setting up the multiplication sentences. We used m&m's, separating them into colors

if the yellows are in groups of 3, we write it down,

3 . ____

then we count the number of groups and fill in the multiplier, so if there were 9 groups

3 . 9

then the = is basically like saying "the same as"  since the equal sign is just saying everything on have left is the same as everything on the right.

Once they are comfortable with making the 'sentence' then we do lots of word problems - as it can be easier to visualize from a word problems. So we have always worked practical application rather than memorization.

by on Jan. 19, 2014 at 8:02 PM
I gave them a chart and showed them how to use it. We played games. Charts are excellent and takes the pressure off. They are also good for figuring out patterns. Rememer it takes time to learn them all. I just encouraged them to play and have fun with numbers. I have came across some excellent math art projects. I would start a math journal and just have fun with the facts.
by on Jan. 19, 2014 at 8:04 PM

What did you put in the Math Journal when it came to multiplying?

Quoting jen2150: I gave them a chart and showed them how to use it. We played games. Charts are excellent and takes the pressure off. They are also good for figuring out patterns. Rememer it takes time to learn them all. I just encouraged them to play and have fun with numbers. I have came across some excellent math art projects. I would start a math journal and just have fun with the facts.

by on Jan. 19, 2014 at 8:16 PM
My son drew pictures and wrote down multiplication problem under the picture. He would draw a field of something and write a problem to figure out the perimeter and area. He would draw real objects to go along with the problem. It really helped him to see what each problem was saying. Is your son visual? I haven't done it yet but I was going my son start some multiplication family entries. They are called multiplication houses where the answers are located behind the house's windows that you make.

Quoting mem82:

What did you put in the Math Journal when it came to multiplying?

Quoting jen2150: I gave them a chart and showed them how to use it. We played games. Charts are excellent and takes the pressure off. They are also good for figuring out patterns. Rememer it takes time to learn them all. I just encouraged them to play and have fun with numbers. I have came across some excellent math art projects. I would start a math journal and just have fun with the facts.

by on Jan. 19, 2014 at 8:30 PM

Cole is still fairly a *toucher* but I don't know. Cole has to know it in his mind before anything else. If the picture/word/ cue I present to him doesn't make sense he doesn't want anything to do with it before we even begin. sometimes that means seeing it, sometimes that means hearing it, and a lot of the time it means touching it but not always.

Quoting jen2150: My son drew pictures and wrote down multiplication problem under the picture. He would draw a field of something and write a problem to figure out the perimeter and area. He would draw real objects to go along with the problem. It really helped him to see what each problem was saying. Is your son visual? I haven't done it yet but I was going my son start some multiplication family entries. They are called multiplication houses where the answers are located behind the house's windows that you make.

Quoting mem82:

What did you put in the Math Journal when it came to multiplying?

Quoting jen2150: I gave them a chart and showed them how to use it. We played games. Charts are excellent and takes the pressure off. They are also good for figuring out patterns. Rememer it takes time to learn them all. I just encouraged them to play and have fun with numbers. I have came across some excellent math art projects. I would start a math journal and just have fun with the facts.

by on Jan. 19, 2014 at 8:37 PM

My youngest is a perfectionist, so the empty equal sign gets to him too. And my eldest is on have autism spectrum, so worksheets with lots of equations gives him anxiety. So when we are doing the sentence structure we don't even do an equal sign. We get them comfortable with what multiplication means before trying. And when we start getting into the word problems we let them use a scientific calculator. So we are teaching them how to use one at the same time.

Quoting mem82:

I like how you set things up. I try to make things a mix of real world function and memorization since Cole seems to enjoy knowing the answer before trying to learn a new concept. The anxiety of the empty equals sign gets to him. It makes it more frustrating for me in some ways, though.

We had a similar problem with reading. Phonics failed with him, and usually ended with complete melt downs no matter how simple we tried it. Pushing sight words, sight words, sight words, actually made him feel like he could work out phonics because he *knew* words. He *knew* that the sounds would work so he could attempt to use them another way. Does that even make sense? LOL

Quoting KickButtMama:

I would not ever work subtraction at the same time as multiplication. They are opposites. Instead we worked addition concepts (like fractions, decimals, etc) while doing multiplications. We just treated multiplication as a shortcut to adding similar groups. Also we never did memorization of the tables. My kids never responded well to memorization, instead they memorized from repetition.

When first embarking on multiplication we first worked with just understanding the sentence structuring. Also I made sure never to use the 'x' as that can confuse some kids when transitioning to using variables in algebra where 'x' suddenly can be anything, and the function sign is the dot or (). Basically our first step was setting up the multiplication sentences. We used m&m's, separating them into colors

if the yellows are in groups of 3, we write it down,

3 . ____

then we count the number of groups and fill in the multiplier, so if there were 9 groups

3 . 9

then the = is basically like saying "the same as"  since the equal sign is just saying everything on have left is the same as everything on the right.

Once they are comfortable with making the 'sentence' then we do lots of word problems - as it can be easier to visualize from a word problems. So we have always worked practical application rather than memorization.

by on Jan. 19, 2014 at 8:45 PM
How old is he? I would stick with games. Also mathematics is a very complicated subject. Young brains are ready for different concets at different times. If he is having trouble i would go back to earlier math conecpts and tackle after a little break. Use manipulates for teaching multiplication. Does he like puzzles?

Quoting mem82:

Cole is still fairly a *toucher* but I don't know. Cole has to know it in his mind before anything else. If the picture/word/ cue I present to him doesn't make sense he doesn't want anything to do with it before we even begin. sometimes that means seeing it, sometimes that means hearing it, and a lot of the time it means touching it but not always.

Quoting jen2150: My son drew pictures and wrote down multiplication problem under the picture. He would draw a field of something and write a problem to figure out the perimeter and area. He would draw real objects to go along with the problem. It really helped him to see what each problem was saying. Is your son visual? I haven't done it yet but I was going my son start some multiplication family entries. They are called multiplication houses where the answers are located behind the house's windows that you make.

Quoting mem82:

What did you put in the Math Journal when it came to multiplying?

Quoting jen2150: I gave them a chart and showed them how to use it. We played games. Charts are excellent and takes the pressure off. They are also good for figuring out patterns. Rememer it takes time to learn them all. I just encouraged them to play and have fun with numbers. I have came across some excellent math art projects. I would start a math journal and just have fun with the facts.

by on Jan. 19, 2014 at 8:50 PM

He just turned nine and no, games won't work. The pressure of not knowing the answer would kill him, sadly. LOL He wants to know but hates not knowing. Poor Cole

Quoting jen2150: How old is he? I would stick with games. Also mathematics is a very complicated subject. Young brains are ready for different concets at different times. If he is having trouble i would go back to earlier math conecpts and tackle after a little break. Use manipulates for teaching multiplication. Does he like puzzles?

Quoting mem82:

Cole is still fairly a *toucher* but I don't know. Cole has to know it in his mind before anything else. If the picture/word/ cue I present to him doesn't make sense he doesn't want anything to do with it before we even begin. sometimes that means seeing it, sometimes that means hearing it, and a lot of the time it means touching it but not always.

Quoting jen2150: My son drew pictures and wrote down multiplication problem under the picture. He would draw a field of something and write a problem to figure out the perimeter and area. He would draw real objects to go along with the problem. It really helped him to see what each problem was saying. Is your son visual? I haven't done it yet but I was going my son start some multiplication family entries. They are called multiplication houses where the answers are located behind the house's windows that you make.

Quoting mem82:

What did you put in the Math Journal when it came to multiplying?

Quoting jen2150: I gave them a chart and showed them how to use it. We played games. Charts are excellent and takes the pressure off. They are also good for figuring out patterns. Rememer it takes time to learn them all. I just encouraged them to play and have fun with numbers. I have came across some excellent math art projects. I would start a math journal and just have fun with the facts.

by on Jan. 19, 2014 at 9:14 PM

We just started our second multiplication unit in Math In Focus.  Elyssa (just turned 9) is very visual and hands on too, so I have a treasure box of glass stones.  For her problems we work with four groups of fives stones, then I swap them around and have five groups of four stones.  She's really got a handle on the fact families now.

For division she counts out her pile of stones, then separates them into the groups.

MIF is pretty heavy on using your fingers, and she's super at skip counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s on hers.  She made the connection that 8 x ? = ((5 x ? [done on fingers]) + (3 x ? [stones])).  She can now also do 8 x ? = ((10 x ?) - (2 x ?)).

This second unit is all about 324 X 3 = ? type questions, so we're using our base 10 blocks and setting out three sets of 3 100s, 2 10s, and 3 1s.

She was anxious about all of it before we started working with the stones & base 10 blocks.  I hope that helps.