Monday, February 1, 2016

Making Memorizing the Multiplication Tables Fun!!!

First, I want to apologize for not posting for a while, I have been sick a with a cold.  It doesn't sound like much but immune system is so bad that anything I get hits me harder and longer than everyone else.  I'm still sick but at least I am starting to have more energy and feeling better.

I remember when I was in elementary school and hating 3rd grade because that is when we had to memorize our multiplication tables.  It was so hard for me!  I remember failing timed test after timed test to the point that I would have to miss recess to retake test after test after test until I  passed.

Because of this I had a fear of math and especially teaching math.  I remember this was the one thing that worried me while I was contemplating homeschooling my two daughters. How would I teach math?  But I really felt that the answer to my prayers was that we were suppose to homeschool, so I trusted in the Lord and jumped in.

And almost jumped back out just as quick.  The first math curriculum we chose was a horrible fit for us.  The next two as well!  And this was just Kindergarten and first grade math what was I going to do when I had to teach Algebra or Geometry!

Then we found Math U See, and this math curriculum just clicked for all three of us!  Finally, math was making sense for the first time ever for me and my girls were learning as well!  I really think that the curriculum will make it or break it for you as teacher especially if it is a subject you feel you aren't so good at.

But when it came time to memorize the multiplication tables my girls struggled with this as well.  At first I just made worksheet after worksheet up so they could "practice."  This only frustrated them and me as well.  And I started to have nightmares of being back in 3rd grade and having to pass the timed tests and failing, but this time I was an adult trying to squish into 3rd grade desks!  I knew I couldn't keep doing this or they would end up hating and fearing math as much as I did.

I was doing some research and reading and came across where it was said that sometimes a student that was having trouble memorizing things needed to do a physical activity while saying it aloud.  A light bulb went on and here is a list if some activities we did while memorizing our multiplication tables.

1.  They would jump rope while saying the facts over and over so if we were working on the twos table they would say, "2 times 1 is 2.  2 times 2 is 4. 2 times 3 is 6," and on up.

2.  We would play catch in the backyard with a ball.  I would start out and say, "4 times 3,"  And toss the ball to one of my daughters, she would answer back with, "12,"  And then she would state the beginning of some multiplication fact and toss the ball to someone.  Whoever caught it had to answer it before tossing coming up with the beginning of another multiplication fact and tossing it to someone to answer it.

3.  I wrote on our driveway in sidewalk chalk the sum/answers to all the multiplication facts we were working on.  I would start by taking turns calling on each one and giving them the fact and they would have to run and stand on the answer.  Then when they got good at that we moved up to them standing beside me I would give them each a different fact and they would run to their answer and stand on it.  Then we progressed to they would both be running for the same one.

4.  We would play card games like Go Fish, but when they would lay down a match they would have to pick a fact and say it and answer it correctly.  So if they laid down 2's they would have to say, "2 times (any number of their choice) is (the answer)."  We did this most of our games whether it was the number that came up on the die while playing Chutes and Ladders, or how many spaces they got to move in Candy Land to get to the next red space.

5.  They would bounce a ball repeating the multiplication tables much like we did with jump roping.

By doing this they got the multiplication tables memorized without being in tears over worksheets!

What are some things that you have done to help your children conquer a hard subject or idea?

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