# explaining multiplication

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I'm at a loss with ds9. All of the materials I currently have assume a child will simply get multiplication with rote memorization of the times tables.

Sonot with this one. I don't know how to explain it to him. He seems to understand for a moment that 2x3=6 but ask him ten minutes later and he'll tell you it's 5.

I just don't get it.

Edited by hsingscrapper
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Use manipulatives. I used unifix cubes. I showed my kid, 3 groups of 4 cubes. Then 4 groups of 4 cubes. And so on.

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Use manipulatives. I used unifix cubes. I showed my kid, 3 groups of 4 cubes. Then 4 groups of 4 cubes. And so on.

Yep. Watch Rosie's Education Unboxed videos with cuisenaire rods.

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You might want to find a math program that teaches concepts first.

That aside, in addition to using manipulatives, you could tell him that the multiplication sign can be thought of as meaning "of." This is usually taught in conjunction with fraction multiplication, but it actually means "of" when multiplying whole numbers as well.

If I have three rows of two trees each, how many trees do I have? Three of two. 3 x 2.

If I have four pizzas of eight pieces each, how many pieces do I have? Four of eight. 4 x 8.

Draw pictures. Have him do it by skip counting (or adding on) at first if necessary.

And of course, manipulatives work wonders. I like the MUS blocks for this.

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I think it helps to use something that motivates the kid - like candy, legos, whatever he really likes. If i give you 3 legos, 4 times . . . how many legos will you have? do it . . .and do it with the legos in stacks of 3, 4 stacks of them. count them out. then give him 4 legos, 3 times. 3 stacks of 4. do this sort of thing a few minutes every day until it clicks. some kids take longer to understand it. but try to reinforce it in your daily life, too, if you can find ways. If i buy 2 6-packs of juice, thats 2x6. how many juice boxes do i have? If you have to read 2 pages of history every day this week, thats 2 pages x 5 days. how many pages will you have to read? count them out - encourage using fingers. memorizing the facts before they understand the concepts can almost get in the way of the concepts.

curious what materials you are using

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curious what materials you are using

We are using Strayer-Upton Practical Arithmetics.

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Math U See and the manipulatives really helped my daughter with this. She was in public school through 3rd grade and they really didn't do a good job teaching her multiplication. I didn't realize how bad it was until we got partway through division. I had to go back to the book before the one she was working on and reteach it to her.

When I pulled out the manipulatives, she felt she was way too big for them. I made her use them anyway.

When she watched the DVD, the students could answer the questions just by looking at the blocks. She said they were told what to say before filming the DVD:D

We "played" with the blocks every school day for a couple of weeks. And I kept coming to the problem 12x13, which was the problem the kids "were told" the answer of. It didn't take long for her to realize just how helpful those blocks are. And she understood it. It took the visual of seeing 12 rows of 13 to see that 12x13=156

She really understood it because of the blocks.

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I wish we could afford MUS. The math we are currently using was a nice price at \$12.95 for two years of math.

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Get thee some counters, such as 2x2 Lego bricks, and act out every single problem with them, talking about every step as you go. Lather, rinse, repeat, as many times as it takes. Don't drop them until he can demonstrate understanding in his own words.

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I've lurked on these boards for months, and this is the first time I've been compelled to respond.

Try "Times Table the Fun Way", reinforced with the manipulatives suggestions above. DD9 struggled for two months to learn multiplication. It wasn't that she didn't understand the concept, it was that she couldn't remember the solution. With this book, she learned 0x0 to 9x9 in two days!

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Cheap or not I would be really leery of a math program that doesn't teach the concept behind what it's "teaching." It's going to be very hard to learn higher level math without understanding the concepts and not being able to learn higher level math effectively takes away a huge host of possible career choices as an adult.

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Try this.

In case you're not familiar with Cuisenaire Rods, each color represents a number. The whites are 1 and are 1 cm long. The reds are 2 and are 2 cm long. Etc....

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Cheap or not I would be really leery of a math program that doesn't teach the concept behind what it's "teaching." It's going to be very hard to learn higher level math without understanding the concepts and not being able to learn higher level math effectively takes away a huge host of possible career choices as an adult.

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

I'd suggest moving to Miquon. It is about \$20ish dollars per year and it's strength is teaching concepts using Cuisenaire Rods. Click the link in my siggy to see how to teach the "Miquon way."

Math Mammoth would be another good option. Or MEP (though I haven't personally used it. It gets great reviews by people who understand the importance of conceptual understanding.)

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:lurk5:I'm having the same issue with my DD age 10.

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also check out khan academy - he actually started it as a way to tutor his nieces through elementary school math, i'm pretty sure he has some videos about multiplication. you can also check your library for kids books about multiplication, sometimes that can help them understand better.

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We used C-rods as well. Since each color is a quantity, she couldn't COUNT or ADD--it was very apparent that I was showing her two GROUPS of three. Also, there's a game in Peggy Kaye's Games for Math that I love (among several about multiplication). You each roll a die and draw that many circles, then roll it again and draw that many shapes in each circle. The player with the most shapes wins. Then you can explain how ___ groups of _____ is _____. Her book is GREAT for learning games. My library had it. There's another fab math game involving drawing and silly stories but I don't want to violate her copyright by telling all of her games here. :lol:

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I think it helps to use something that motivates the kid - like candy, legos, whatever he really likes. If i give you 3 legos, 4 times . . . how many legos will you have? do it . . .and do it with the legos in stacks of 3, 4 stacks of them. count them out. then give him 4 legos, 3 times. 3 stacks of 4. do this sort of thing a few minutes every day until it clicks. some kids take longer to understand it. but try to reinforce it in your daily life, too, if you can find ways. If i buy 2 6-packs of juice, thats 2x6. how many juice boxes do i have? If you have to read 2 pages of history every day this week, thats 2 pages x 5 days. how many pages will you have to read? count them out - encourage using fingers. memorizing the facts before they understand the concepts can almost get in the way of the concepts.

curious what materials you are using

:iagree: See also, teaching fractions. Nothing makes a kid understand that 1/4 is smaller than 1/2 like asking them which they would rather have, a cookie that has to be shared between 2 people, or a cookie that has to be shared between 4 people.

I wish we could afford MUS. The math we are currently using was a nice price at \$12.95 for two years of math.

Cheap is fine, as long as the teacher is teaching the concepts. If you don't know how to teach the concepts, then you'll need to figure out how to bridge that gap either with a different (and possibly more expensive program) or by taking more time to learn the concepts yourself. Time or money, that always seems to be the choice in homeschooling!

This site has a great intro to multiplication video. Multiplication is fast adding. You need to work with manipulatives (which can be as cheap as dry beans) until that becomes super clear to the child.

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