Here you will see students as young as 4 and 5 years old doing algebra and "advanced" math, without ever knowing it's supposed to be hard.
You are invited to learn how to use this method...

## Tuesday, December 14, 2010

### Multiplication Tables

Using Multiplication Tables should be the LAST way you use to teach multiplication. Along with the number line and math flash cards, it is a very effective way to turn kids OFF to math. Still, if used correctly they can all be FUN and teach a lot.

Take a look at the set of multiplication tables below.  Your students can discover a lot from making multiplication families. 3, 6, 9,  are all one family.  2, 4,  8,  are another family...and you can see 6 can be in both families and 7 is out there all by himself...

A student can study these and discover MANY patterns and relationships.

Allow your students to make discoveries about the patterns, and let them tell you what they find.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to start in the concrete with blocks move to drawings and spend time playing BEFORE we start on the multiplication tables. I met many students in may states who thought 3x3 turned into 9 and 3x5 turned into 15 etc. without any understanding whatsoever that 3x3 meant three threes, and 3x5 meant five threes...students who labor under these misconceptions are often taught with tables and flash cards from the get go.

The multiplication table can be used for drills and speed tests but it can also be used to discover patterns. Discovering patterns can be fun even exciting to young students.

Look at the pictures closely, and be sure to watch the screencast. Think about fun ways to present the tables to your students...change your thinking to at first I am going to put them in a position where they can discover patterns not memorize multiplication tables.

Make no mistake knowing the multiplication tables by heart is CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT, however in their zeal to get them to memorize multiplication facts some teachers and parents turn their student off to math FOREVER.

A fun math activity allows them to make their own tables. Make them discover the patterns for themselves. Start with the big red square.

Put a piece of paper on it and make a rubbing...

Very simple and fun activity for students is making their own tables.
Here I made a 10x10 but with a little work you can line up the block and make bigger matrices...
Start simple and then work your way up to more complex tables.
Just for fun I did the square numbers first...
You can also use the square to make smaller tables so you don't need graph paper. Here are the sixes for example...
Make another table and once your students are confident and have had lots of practice over weeks or even months...
You can make a table where the numbers are out of order and they have to know the facts...these are fun to use for racing.
The first column is a warm up then it gets more challenging for younger students...
Here it is filled in. You can also use random matrices like this to make codes by putting the alphabet into the matrix. In this case a=3 b=9 c=21 etc, for more fun you can make codes that include upper and lower case and some punctuation. The matrix below is not big enough for both cases...
You can make any size you want for whatever you want and tailor make you tables to whatever the students needs to work on.
Here is a advanced table for students to work on multiplication past 10, note that the numbers are in order so that patterns can be discovered. This also lowers the degree of difficulty. When they get more advanced you can mix it up like the one above...

Here is a screencast covering the above pictures.

Here is the Multiplication Tables page at the house of math, it contains a link to a page where you can down load and print tables even though it's easy to just make your own or have your students make their own and use it as a fun project.

The House of Math on FaceBook.

Learn to use your Base Ten Blocks at the house of math.