Great news about learning multiplication tables from @magicalmaths

climbing the dunes
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: edward musiak via Compfight

As the school year begins children in 3rd Class

will begin ‘climbing the table mountain’

and children in 4th will begin revising

the multiplication tables they learned in 3rd.

 

Good news from @magicalmaths who

shared this encouraging video on Twitter.

When I tell you the video is called

“How to Easily Memorize the Multiplication Table”

hopefully you will feel encouraged.

 

Scroll down this link and click on the You Tube video

by Professor Arthur Benjamin.

He cleverly reduces 100 number facts

of multiplication tables 1-10,

to just three.

Now, isn’t that good news !

 

Letter after the Parent Teacher Meetings


Dear Parents,

As the Parent Teacher Meetings draw to a close

I thought it would be useful to ‘recap’

on what was said at them.

 

At the PT Meetings you saw

our system of record keeping in the school.

We also looked at reports from other years.

We examined the recurring themes in those reports;

the positives,

and where we may need to focus with your child.

 

In many cases, this was in the area of

English comprehension

and tables and computation in Maths. 

 

We looked at standardized test results from other years.

The test results we looked at were from last May,

a time when children would not have developed ‘exam skills’.

 

A test is just a ‘snap shot’ in time.

For more information on Standardized Tests

you might like to take a look at

Information about Standardized Tests from elsewhere on this blog

 

Looking at your child’s copybooks and workbooks

give a much better overview of how your child is progressing.

We compared the children ability as indicated

in those standardized tests

with the day to day work that they do in class.

 

Many parents spoke about the difficulty

of fitting in time for tables.

At the moment we are also learning how to take away using

the ‘decomposition’ or ‘renaming’ or ‘regrouping’ method.

 

In class I note that children think

that they are not getting the sums right

because they aren’t ‘renaming’ correctly,

but more often than not it is that

they have made a mistake when they take away.

 

So we will continue working them.

You may find the following useful from

The Importance of Learning Tables (from this blog)

 

Ways of learning

In 1st and 2nd Class we practise tables,

in a concrete way, using lollipop sticks and unifix cubes.

We also use the table book.

 

In school we use Joyce O’Hara’s

Addition and Subtraction CD

from Ashton Productions

ADDITION AND SUBTRACTION CD

In class we say ‘one and zero make one’,

one and one make two’…

‘one from six leaves five’.

In this way we use the same language as this cd.

 

Children learn in different ways.

Many respond to working with concrete objects;

lollipop sticks,

cubes,

smarties.

Some children learn best by singing or chanting the table.

For some, keeping track of their tables on their fingers

(a kinaesthetic approach) helps.

 

Strategies to help your child with addition

At some meetings I spoke about strategies we teach children

to help them when they are adding up.

I said I would follow up with more details.

 

In class I say to the children:

1. Start with the larger number.

It is easier to add 11 and 2 rather than tot up 2 and 11.

 

2. When adding nine, add 10 and

take away one or to remember the pattern:

Adding 9 to a number the number in the unit place

is always one less.

When adding nine, add ten and then take away one.

 

3. If you are totting up three numbers,

spot can you make ten with two of the numbers

and then add the other.

 

4. If you know your ‘Table of Doubles’

and that 7 and 7 are 14,

then it is easier to work out ‘near doubles plus one’ 7 and 8,

near doubles take away one 7 and 6

or near doubles plus two 7 and 9

near doubles minus two 7 and 5.

 

The children have been revising the ‘Table of Doubles’

for homework this week.

This is so that they can use ‘near doubles’ to add up quickly.

 

You might find this more detailed link useful:

Strategies for Learning Tables

 

This may seem a lot and a bit confusing,

but each time we work through a page of sums

I remind the children of these strategies.

 

The other ‘hiccup’ in computation,

occurs when children are required to ‘take away’

across the 10.

Ask a child to take 7 from 10 and

they will say 3 with confidence.

This is because they are very sure of ‘what makes 10’.

 

However when one asks a child a sum like 17 take away 9,

they are less sure of the answer.

 

One of the solutions is for the child to learn

the ‘make up’ of 20 and be as sure of it as they are of 10.

 

The other solution is that the child learns to ‘bridge the 10’.

Take that sum 17-9 again:

The children are fairly secure in the knowledge

that 7 steps will bring them back to 10

‘Nine is one less than ten. So you add 7 and 1

and the answer is eight’.

 

Another question parents asked was

How do I help my child with comprehension?

When you read with your child check that they understand

what they are reading by asking them questions.

 

I have noticed that when children aren’t

observing the punctuation

on a page they lose the meaning of what they are reading.

 

Sometimes, in the early days when children are doing

comprehension exercises in school,

they attempt to answer the questions

without reading the piece!

 

To start with, the children are asked

1. to read the piece of comprehension.

2. To read the questions underlining

what they are being asked.

This means they will be reading the piece

with the questions in mind.

They will be reading with a purpose.

3. To read the piece again with the questions in mind…

underlining what they think would be useful.

4. Then to go through the questions one by one,

looking for the answers in the comprehension piece

and writing down the answers.

As they get good at this, there is less need for underlining.

 

You might like to TRY THIS WEBSITE FOR GRADED COMPREHENSION EXERCISES

You could even do them orally. Try the Second Grade Ones.

When these are complete have a go at

some of the Third Grade ones.

 

PLEASE CLICK FOR AN EVEN MORE COMPREHENSIVE SITE ON STRATEGIES FOR COMPREHENSION

 

Question words like ‘Who?’ ‘Where?’ ‘When?’ ‘How?’ and ‘Why?’ may help.

 

I found the Parent Teacher meetings very helpful.

I feel I know your child much better now.

I am very grateful for your continued co-operation

and support.

An edited version of this letter

will be going home on paper shortly.