Does your 4th or 5th grader still not know their multiplication facts?

Does your 4th or 5th grader still not know their multiplication facts?

Here is what you can do this summer…

I used to think that memorizing the times tables, or multiplication facts, was a silly and outdated notion. I figured the students could use calculators or charts, so what was the big deal? That was before I started teaching math.

As I worked with students who struggle in math, I learned that mastery of the times tables was crucial to success in math in 4th grade and beyond. And by mastery, I mean where the facts are fully automatic, that you know them almost as easily as you know your own name.

Why? It turns out that we use multiplication in almost every future math concept and procedure. Multiplication is used extensively in division, fractions, percentages, decimals, pre-algebra, algebra, geometry and beyond. Even a division problem like 8,027 divided by 23 includes 6 multiplication steps. If a student stops in the middle of a multi-step problem to consult a chart or a calculator, he often loses his place, and also can become frustrated by how long it can take to complete a problem. Also, multiplication is essential in everyday life,

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When Multiplication Facts Won’t Stick

This article is a downloadable PDF. To read Joni Mahler’s article “When Multiplication Facts Won’t Stick: Would a Language/Story-based Method of Learning Be Effective?” click here.