Monday, October 5, 2009

Multiplication Games

Can you ever be too proficient in multiplication facts?
Growing up-- this was a HUGE challenge for me- memorizing my multiplication.

I never really got good at multiplication and hence... math from 4th grade on was a challenge.
( I mean, most math builds off of these few facts...)

So you know me
--- if something was a challenge or struggle for me growing up--

I am not going to let me kids skid by on it.

We have this whole week off from school.
(And starting this month-- 2 Fridays a month off too, because of budget cuts.)

Our school district likes to accommodate those parents who don't have the courage or nerve to spear-head home schooling. They give us ample vacation time with our kids.. (like this random week in October) along with every Wednesday being an "early release" day and now every other Friday off.

So I get plenty of opportunity to work with my kids at home- teaching them. I actually am okay with the "relaxed" school schedule. But I worry about all the kids who have working parents. (But that is a topic for a whole different post.)

What I want to share today - are a couple of ideas I've had to help my children practice their multiplication facts.

First- I made some manipulative's or file/folder type games. This gum ball one is to practice 7 X's tables. The "gum ball" circles have the answer. My son can match the problem space with the correct gum ball... after I check it is right. Then we flipped the gumballs over and used them to cover the questions/problems.

Then we randomly slid off gumballs to reveal the question/problem and he answered them. (being able to check his answer by flipping over the gum ball.) We quizzed like this for a few minutes and then I gave him a standard ONE -MINUTE timed test on his 7's.

(We still need to practice more.) But I thought this was interactive and at a different approach than flash cards.

Next comes a set of dice I made.
( I was thinking these could be used for +/- or multiplication.)
I found the template for how to make the dice here: Math is Fun Cube template.

I traced the template on cereal boxes-- to make them sturdy. But you could simply print in out on card stock if you wanted.

This was a fun and random way to practice our times tables.
My son even extended the game and CHALLENGED me. He grabbed a die and picked a number.
(8) cuz he knows I struggle with my eights still!
Then he said I had to roll 3 times and answer whatever I rolled paired up with 8.

That was alot of fun-- so much so, that I am going to make another die with a spot that says CHALLENGE. That way if you roll two dice and one says 7 and the other says Challenge... then you have to roll seven more times and answer the multiplication facts of whatever number your partner challenges you to.

The dice game was really fun-- surprisingly.

My son and I had fun and that is a HUGE step when it comes to practicing multiplication facts!


val of the south said...

Thanks so much for the suggestions - my kids 5th, 7th, and 10th grade still struggle with multiplication - I'm going to try this with them.


Amanda said...

you're so creative! I bought flashcards so Connor could memorize multiplication. Not nearly as fun as what you are doing, but effective.

I try to jump on teaching him things when he's interested. So earlier this year we were working on odd and even and their rules he was not liking it much so he asked about multiplication...I JUMPED to break out the flashcards and we rode it out through the 5's then took a break and went back to our math workbook.

You're such a fun mom!!

Sarah said...

Great ideas!
I'll have to remember them for when I become a teacher!

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