# Help DD learn her multiplication facts

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We've been working with DD, now 10yr, on her mutiplication facts for 3 years now. She still does not know them. Her math assignments are clearly showing it. It's STRONGLY affecting her division. She has spent 4hrs on her ONE math lesson today. 90% of the time has been on division.

Any tricks to get her more proficient at her multiplication facts? I'm getting more frustrated every day because this is taking FOREVER and then she still gets over 75% of the problems wrong. Not because she doesn't know the process, but because she multiplies wrong.

We've tried flash cards, but it still allows her to do the addition in her head. I can't seem to get her to memorize them.

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This site recommends 5 minutes 3 times a day:)

http://www.mathsisfun.com/numbers/math-trainer-multiply.html

I also found blank 100 grid squares with 10 rows of 10 to be great for skip counting. I would write in the first number for skip counting (multiplying) and have ds complete everyday.

Also, I taught ds that multiples of 2, 5, and 10 are his friend since it is easy to figure out the rest of the multiplication table with them.

For example, 8x2=16. Well, then 8x4 is double that.

8x7=56 can be broken down into 8x5 and 8x2.

8x9=72 can be done by doing 8x10 and then minus 8.

10 times anything, add zero.

12 times anything can be broken down into multiplying by 10 and by 2.

8x6=48 can be broken down into 8x5 and 8x1.

Of course, I still want ds to master the multiplication facts, but these tips help on the way. I think ultimately doing the trainer everyday day will help.

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Have you tried Timez Attack?

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BTDT! Try separating her practicing her facts and doing her math. There is NO reason that not knowing basic facts should slow down her advancement/time on her math lesson. For math, allow her to use a chart with the basic facts on it. You can even make a basic grid form that she has to fill in herself before she works each lesson. Then, let her use that chart during her math lesson. (You may need to show her how to use it for basic division facts.) At a separate time, work with flashcards or a program to practice her basic fact skills. You may find that using a chart during math really helps her to learn them. It has her practicing them correctly instead of just guessing at the answers.:001_smile:

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We've been working with DD, now 10yr, on her mutiplication facts for 3 years now. She still does not know them. Her math assignments are clearly showing it. It's STRONGLY affecting her division. She has spent 4hrs on her ONE math lesson today. 90% of the time has been on division.

...

We've tried flash cards, but it still allows her to do the addition in her head. I can't seem to get her to memorize them.

Some thoughts - take what you like and leave the rest.

I have found that more than an hour of math at one sitting is not productive. We can sometimes leave the math and come back to it; even then I would not do more than two hours a day, it just doesn't get us anywhere.

For a ten year old, I would make manipulatives available, and allow her to use fingers. I would also *encourage* using multiple addition or any other method that makes sense in her mind to figure out the answer to a multiplication problem. Rather than just focus on automatic parrot-back-the-answer memorization, I'd want to build a more complex understanding of numbers and their relationships with each other. If she can say "hmm, for three times ten I can count by tens, so (using fingers) ten, twenty, it's thirty!", that's fine. Things like "four times six is five times six minus a six, so thirty minus four is twenty four!" are even better. This will get quicker and more automatic as time goes on and as she adds more layers to her experience of numbers. Now if she is losing track of where she is in a problem because it takes her a bit to figure out the answer to the multiplication part, that's where notation comes in - encourage her to use either standard notation ("showing your work") or her own notation (if you feel comfortable with that) to help keep track.

I would not let other math wait until she has memorized the facts; I think other math, such as reducing fractions, can help her learn the facts.

If you want to focus just on facts, print out fact family pages from the internet and see how many she can do in five minutes. Not in a "hurry up" kind of way, but in a focused kind of way, if you see what I mean. You might not even mention that you are timing her, if you think that will be counter-productive. Keep track so she can see her improvement.

As to tricks, there is a thing you can do with your hands for the nines. Hold up both hands, if you're doing 9 x 6 take your 6th finger from the left and fold it down. You now have 5 fingers on the left, and 4 fingers on the right. The answer is 54! For 9 x 2 fold down the 2nd finger - you have 1 and 8; the answer is 18! This works for 9 x 1 through 9 x 10.

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BTDT! Try separating her practicing her facts and doing her math. There is NO reason that not knowing basic facts should slow down her advancement/time on her math lesson. For math, allow her to use a chart with the basic facts on it. You can even make a basic grid form that she has to fill in herself before she works each lesson. Then, let her use that chart during her math lesson. (You may need to show her how to use it for basic division facts.) At a separate time, work with flashcards or a program to practice her basic fact skills. You may find that using a chart during math really helps her to learn them. It has her practicing them correctly instead of just guessing at the answers.:001_smile:

:iagree:

When I pulled DS1 out of school in the middle of third grade, he knew nothing about multiplication. I spent an entire year trying to get him to memorize the facts but it just didn't click with him no matter what I tried (he really enjoyed Timez Attack, though! LOL). So, reluctantly and only after several recommendations from other HS moms, I put up a chart.

He hardly ever refers to it now, and knows most of them from memory. I think it was just a matter of seeing the correct answer over and over again through his math assignments. He's doing TT7 this year and maintaining a 92 average. So I can't complain.

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Something that helped with multiplication/division with my dd was using dice. Lots of dice.

How this came about was when we were playing Yahtzee... and I showed her that three "six" dice was 18, and then I showed her that those three "six" dice was 6x3. Several games of Yahtzee later, she was excited to see those lower facts sinking in.

I then went to Wal-Mart and bought more dice.... enough so that we had 12 of each number. I created a 'game' where she would grab some dice, shake them up, and toss them (like in Yahtzee). Then, she would separate them into like numbers and count them. She learned that four "four" dice was 4x4 and that equaled 16, and that six "three" dice was 18 and that was 6x3, etc.

It only took two weeks with a little dice play per day and she had her facts down pat. In fact, she associated the numbers with dice and that helped her when thinking about the problem(s) at hand. ETA: She just told me she still envisions dice when doing her math even all these years later. I never thought about it, but I also picture dice when doing math.

Also, we continued to move along in her book. Reducing fractions helped a lot in cementing the ides of her basic facts (as mentioned by askPauline).

I like the others' ideas, too. Maybe a multi-level approach using different ideas is all you need? :D

Hope you find something that works. It's hard to see them struggle with something to important!!

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Timez Attack and Times Tales. The lower times tables we just memorized with skip counting and drill. For 6-9, I swear by Times Tales.

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She understands the concepts and typically goes to an addition method of figuring out the multiplication. Unfortunately, she is often off by a few (54 instead of 56, etc...) due to doing it in her head.

I'm thinking maybe the chart is the way to go. Maybe by seeing the correct answers over and over it will help her. She understands the concepts, just frequently does not come up with the right answer when figuring it out in her head.

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BTDT! Try separating her practicing her facts and doing her math. There is NO reason that not knowing basic facts should slow down her advancement/time on her math lesson. For math, allow her to use a chart with the basic facts on it. You can even make a basic grid form that she has to fill in herself before she works each lesson. Then, let her use that chart during her math lesson. (You may need to show her how to use it for basic division facts.) At a separate time, work with flashcards or a program to practice her basic fact skills. You may find that using a chart during math really helps her to learn them. It has her practicing them correctly instead of just guessing at the answers.:001_smile:

I agree with this. Do not have her spend hours on one math lesson. That will only cause her to develop a lot of anxiety regarding math. I do what Lolly said ( in the above quote ) with my daughter. I let her use a chart to get through her math lessons but I also have her working on learning her facts. To practice the facts she is using Fastt Math, which is a computer program. It is very expensive new - hundreds of dollars - but I found it used for a fraction of the cost by posting a WTB (want to buy ) ad at homeschoolclassifieds.com

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I tried lots of programs with my ds and the one that finally worked is Math Facts in a Flash. It's multi-sensory (audio, visual, writing) and made especially for developmentally slow (he isn't) students.

I also recommend (for free) http://www.sheppardsoftware.com, under Math Games, under Basic Operations, Fruit Shoot, x. I like that it's attacks each multiplication table separately. The geography games (learning states) is not bad either.

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This issue has driven me nuts! My kids have had a really tough time with the math facts......until I got Math-It. Math It teaches skills to remember how to work the math facts....

first you learn addition.... then doubles.... then multiplication...then division. It has worked awesomely with my kids....even if they don't have the facts "memorized" they have a tool to work out the problem quickly...

What is 4 x 8? duh.................... well, 2 x 8 is 16 and if I double sixteen I get 32 which is the answer cause 4 x 8 is just 2 x 8 doubled! It sounds like it would take longer but the kids learned their addition and doubles so well that the rest of it comes pretty quickly. I'm beginning to see them memorize the facts now much more quickly. Their confidence is much, much better..... this isn't just straight memorization...this is a toolbox full of methods.

One caveat, though.......... the parent has to read and learn the tools and game through and through...it won't take long, but the kids respond much better when the parent is comfortable with the instructions.

Good luck!

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For my son, who has a very poor working memory, we used the 10 x 10 grid. He filled it out every day. For about two weeks it was all he could finish in a half-hour, so that was all he could do. But once he was a bit speedier, I added in his regular math again. Worked great for us :)

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Times Tales! You have to try it. My dd11 struggled for years and years and with Times Tales she knew them in ONE night. I love Times Tales.

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Thank you everyone for the great ideas!!!

I'm looking forward to trying some of these....and letting her use some tools for her regular math assignment to hlep!

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I just downloaded a free trial of Times Tales. Getting ready to use it with dd. I'll report back on how we did :D

Edited by Tracy in Ky
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Timez Attack and Times Tales. The lower times tables we just memorized with skip counting and drill. For 6-9, I swear by Times Tales.

:iagree: We also used Times Tales for 6-8 times table. For 9 I prefer the 9's trick rather than Times Tales. We also memorized skip counting for 2, 3 and 5's. The 4 times table is just the 2's times table doubled.

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My 10 yo is having similar problems, but she's gotten a lot better. We spent the summer doing Math Mammoth multiplication, and it helped. Writing the times tables every few days (after spending some time skip counting one of the tables) helps her too. With skip counting, I've taught her to count on her fingers. So now she knows that if she needs to know what 7X8= and doesn't know the answer, she can either count by 7's (or 8's) on her fingers and when she is holding up 8 (or 7) fingers on her hands that's the answer. That really helped her a lot. And doing all that has helped her memorize the answers.

She's doing long multiplication now, and about to start long division then head into fractions. I feel like we can get there now without any major meltdowns.

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Timez Attack and Times Tales. The lower times tables we just memorized with skip counting and drill. For 6-9, I swear by Times Tales.

These are what helped my ds too.

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There are a lot of ideas and games on the Let's Play Math blog, and I used several of them while helping my daughter learn her addition facts (and now multiplication). I think I'm going to try this one.

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I just downloaded a free trial of Times Tables. Getting ready to use it with dd. I'll report back on how we did :D

:w00t:

Okay. That was amazing. Dd was absolutely amazed when she realized what was happening. She learned her upper nines within 25 minutes or so (I only got the nines in the free trial.) She loved it! I am getting ready to order the whole book.

Wow. Thanks so much for recommending this!

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When all else fails.....resort to bribery....

Find some special toy or something that she would like, and as soon as she's got her multiplication tables down, it's hers.

I wouldn't do this for most things, but you've gotta learn those multiplication facts. It holds everything else up. Seriously. When there is a prize dangled in front of her, her motivation will increase. This has really worked for us.

:0)

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I tried lots of programs with my ds and the one that finally worked is Math Facts in a Flash. It's multi-sensory (audio, visual, writing) and made especially for developmentally slow (he isn't) students.

I also recommend (for free) www.sheppardsoftware.com, under Math Games, under Basic Operations, Fruit Shoot, x. I like that it's attacks each multiplication table separately. The geography games (learning states) is not bad either.

Sandra, I like the sheppardsoftware sight you linked. Thanks for posting it.

Can you tell me where to find "Math Facts in a Flash". Is it computer software ?

Thank you

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Sandra, I like the sheppardsoftware sight you linked. Thanks for posting it.

Can you tell me where to find "Math Facts in a Flash". Is it computer software ?

Thank you

No, it's not a computer software. It's "a multi-sensory approach where math facts are stored in memory for lightning recall in just 7 minutes a day (9 mins. for x)." I guess they've renamed it to Rapid Recall System. You have to choose which operation. I used the + - and x (not the division).

http://www.littlegiantsteps.com/xcart/product.php?productid=1390&cat=0&page=1

I also like their skip counting CD. Unlike most other skip counting companies, this is not set to music (which uses another part of the brain) but just said out loud in different voices and different intonations. Skip counting by 7 doesn't have 77, 84 so I just say that aloud between sets of 7s. I think the others go up to multiples of 12.

Edited by Sandra in FL
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We use this---like the time tales, but with coloring!! (I bought this before hearing about the other) We like it. I can't compare it to times tales because I haven't used both, but this is working for us.

http://www.multiplication.com/ I bought both books but we just use the yellow one (because of more coloring) Its teaches using different methods of learning.

Lara

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Just an idea. Get the "dice" that have twelve sides - 1 though 12 on them. Roll the two of them, and you tell her the product. Then she has to repeat it to you using both numbers. For example 7 times 9 equals 63 and 9 times 7 equals 63. You can also help her to make some progress in division by expanding this to 63 divided by 7 equals 9 and 63 divided by 9 equals 7. Play this game for maybe only 10 minutes or so, but do it several times a day. After a few days, wait a little bit before giving the answer to allow her to come up with it, but don't wait long enough for her to do the addition. After a while, then you can make it a game about who can come up with the right answer first.

It might help to see the numbers and hear the answer. I hope you find something that works for her.

If you're interested, here's one site that sells these:

http://www.gmdice.com/products.php?cat=11

Edited by Teachin'Mine
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I'm going to say use a chart too.

When I taught math to 6th grade student who had very low math scores, we used charts.

Actually, in SC, during state testing, dc are given a blank piece of paper at the start of each test. Any info a child writes on the blank page during the test can be used for the test. Once the testing began many dc spent the first 5 mins of the test to make their own times table chart.:D

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