This is a helpful tool to use in the classroom to make memorization easier for students. I remember using the "Fingers and 9s" trick when I was in school, and still pull it out on my off days. There are lots of great tricks that students can learn that will help them with their multiplication facts, and will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Teach them the tricks and help them develop their own as well! Maybe after learning a song about the 2's they can write their own.
There are some interesting multiplication strategies around the world. How can we know that what American teachers are teaching are the best strategies without first learning our options? Could a system like this work for American children? Or is there something about the Japanese language or culture that makes this multiplication method work only for them?
Just a funny way to introduce students to the multiplication table! We recently gave some of our struggling students multiplication tables to use for the upcoming assessments, as per their education plans. However, I noticed a common trend. The tables only help students if they understand how they work! Therefore I hope to introduce this fun activity into my classroom as a way for students to make sense of the multiplication table.
Video games teach spatial reasoning, logic, and now multiplication! Games are a great resource for our students because they can make tedious practice fun. As the mathematical gene article says, these are facts our students just have to practice.
Arrays are a simple way to introduce students to multiplication, and can be taught much earlier than rote computation. This activity is a great way to get students to see arrays in their daily lives. I gave my students a homework activity to find arrays, and many of their examples surprised me in the best way. These were 2nd graders, but I would be willing to try this activity as early as 1st.
In a combination classroom, we have to differentiate instruction between both grades. However, just because a student is in second grade does not mean that their math learning level is going to be the same, or even closer to another second grader's than a third grader. Therefore during my take-over I hope to introduce more hands-on activities and math centers-- like in the video! Centers are a great way to scaffold instruction to fit the needs of your learners.
Teaching Today provides busy secondary teachers with teaching tips, free downloadable teaching materials, in-depth articles and a host of other features.
Allison Pawlowski's insight:
Teaching Today provides some great insight into the importance of differentiating math instruction, some strategies for planning instruction, and some suggestions for how to assess students at different levels.
Our students span almost 4 grades in terms of math understanding. Some are on a 1st grade, 2nd, 3rd, and even 4th grade understanding of mathematics. Therefore differentiated instruction is the only way to provide on-level instruction to our diverse students.
"Math Duel is an iPad app that could be a hit in a classroom that doesn’t have enough iPads for every student. Math Duel provides a split screen so that two students can compete in races to correctly answer mathematics problem as quickly as they can. Each player is presented an addition, multiplication, subtraction, or division problem to answer in the app. Both players are shown the same type of problem at the same time."
Competition is a great way to make math more enjoyable for students. It is also a great, informal method teachers can use to assess their students. A math facts tournament would allow students to pratice their math facts in an exciting forum, and also provide motivation for students to learn these necessary facts. The tournament would also provide different teirs of students, which could be used later to group students, and allow differentiated instruction.
What makes someone good at math? A love of numbers, perhaps, but a willingness to practice, too.
Allison Pawlowski's insight:
The article focuses on an important misconception that is responsible for the decline of insterests in the STEM fields-- that some people are just "bad" at math. Instead, the study shows that math is like any other skill, and takes practice. Multiplication facts are a huge focus in 3rd grade, and we have heard many parents complain that their child "just isn't good at math." However, the key is practice, and the real skill for parents and teachers is in making the practice enjoyable for students.
Math centers are a great way to provide differentiated instruction for students. The teacher can work with a small group who need more direct instruction, while the rest of the class can work on independent practice at their level. In a combination class, we would have numerous activities like the one above, only for both grade levels. The activities would be coded with a color, and students would work with the centers of their math group's color. This would ensure that the activities are at the learning level of the students. Centers are only effective if they are at the student's independent learning level.
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