Monday, September 22, 2014

Doing Math the Routty Way: Engaging Activities from A to Z (Day 11)

Learning Multiplication Facts- As many of us know, one of the most frustrating aspects of grades 3 - 5 instruction is teaching math facts. I've had so many conversations with teachers who say, "When I was in school, I was just expected to have them memorized. But the kids today can't memorize anything." They echo my sentiments exactly; however, we have to work with what we are given. 

Learning multiplication facts can be frustrating. In order to get our students to learn the facts, we have to start finding ways to "teach" the facts with which they are struggling or rehearse them enough so that they begin to stick over time. 

Here's the plan: Focus on the ones for which a student is struggling, i.e. the tough ones, like 7 x 7, a particular factor's set of facts, like nines, or difficulty with a particular strategy, such as doubling for multiplying times two, four, or eight. With an increased emphasis on individual students' areas of difficulty, you will begin to see success over time. 

Here's a list I compiled of internet resources that you may want to try. 

1. Greg Tang Math-  I love this resource. A colleague shared it with me last year and it's a great online learning tool. If you've ever read the book, The Best of Times, this book is an online version. The students read the fact strategy and then practice their facts for that factor right there on the screen. It's a great way for students to learn strategies to master the facts with which they are still struggling. This activity is also one that could be done as a class with a projector. 

2. This site has a variety of games for multiplication fact practice. The games are pretty basic but will allow your students to practice in the classroom and at home. 

3. Watch Schoolhouse Rock videos- Most of us can remember watching these videos when we were students. Remember the states video? I bet some people can still sing this song! Click the link above or go to you tube and search for Schoolhouse Rock.