Jump to content

Menu

Teaching multiplication to a 6 yr old 1st grader


Earthmerlin
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi there. I'm interested in starting to teach my 6 yr old beginning multiplication. She already knows how to count by 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, & 10s so I'd like to use this to bridge into simple multiplication. I'm looking for simple hands-on ideas on how to easily accomplish this. She's a pretty visual & kinesthetic learner who graps concepts quickly so your ideas are much appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DS8 really took to skip counting. I had him practice counting, using his fingers to keep track, and that transitioned naturally to multiplication. I'd ask questions like "how many fingers does it take to count to 24 by 4's?" or "how much is three fingers of 7?"

 

Learning to tell time via analog clocks really helped solidify the 5s tables, though.

 

It's too bad we don't have currency in smaller denominations, because a 3 cent coin would be so helpful in teaching times tables!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Around here all of our best learning happens when I give the kids time to really grapple with real life number problems.  

 

"This box has six markers.  How many markers will we have if you get a box and Elliot gets a box and Spencer gets a box?"  And then really wait while the child thinks about the problem and considers various ways of solving it and visualizes the objects being shuffled and counted.

 

"If we each eat three eggs, how many do I need to cook total?"  "How many fingers does our whole family have?"  "If each box of cereal costs $3, how much will it cost if we buy four boxes?"  "This block is 6 cm tall.  How tall of a tower could you build with 10 blocks?"

 

One thing to consider, though, is the difference between understanding multiplication and memorizing the facts.  My 6 year old thoroughly understands multiplication (he just started Math Mammoth 4), he can easily solve multiplication word problems and he can use the distributive property to figure out double digit multiplication, but he has not memorized the tables yet...his mind just isn't internalizing them yet, and that is just fine.  Just because he is developmentally ready to handle conceptual multiplication, does not necessarily mean he is detail oriented enough to remember all the facts...he is only 6, he has plenty of time to learn them.

 

Wendy

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1) Cut two cups off of an egg carton to make a 2x5 grid of cups. Use the cups to hold equal-size groups of counters. For example, to model 3x4 you can put 3 counters in each of 4 cups or 4 counters in each of 3 cups. 

 

2) Arrays are a very helpful visual model, especially because they're useful later for modeling the algorithms for multiplication with larger numbers. You can have your daughter trace arrays of squares on graph paper (for example, trace a 4x3 rectangle and see that it contains 12 squares). Or, you can arrange square tiles or coins in a 4x3 grid and find how many total tiles or coins there are. 

 

3) Bundles of straws or craft sticks. For example, have her use rubber bands to create bundles with 4 straws each. Then, take 3 of the bundles and skip-count to find that there are 12 total straws in the 3 bundles.  

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At this age, knowing the multiplication facts is far less important than learning to recognize what multiplication looks like in the real world. Check out the 12 models of multiplication from the Moebius Noodles people.

 

You can buy a poster, too, if you want to put it on the wall for frequent reference. Encourage your daughter to keep her eyes out for examples of multiplication around the house or wherever you go.

 

Learning the models will help her think flexibly about the math fact patterns when the time comes for working on memorization.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The simple thing that helped me the most was to use the language of "groups of..." That's all it is. 10 is 2 groups of 5. 10 is also 5 groups of 2. You can show this with any manipulative or small household objects. I felt it was important for my child to see concretely that 5+5 equals the same thing as 5x2, etc. Make sure she understands the communicative property of addition first (5+2 equals same as 2+5)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...