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happysmileylady

Do you make your kid memorize the times tables

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Yes. My oldest dd's school did a pilot program and did not have her class memorize them in elementary. I cannot remember all of the theory behind it- unfortunately that's back when I blindly trusted the schools so I just went with it and didn't ask questions. It did a huge amount of harm and it showed itself by 5th grade. Then the school was suddenly trying to have those kids memorizing them and it was too late. So to me, it's a major hill to die on with my younger kids. It was not fun trying to get a 6th and then 7th grader to be fluent with the facts. I also blame that as part of her confidence issue with math. She did eventually learn them, but she never was quick at it. 

 

As for when, my younger two know the CC counting songs to an extent, but I plan on really pushing the multiplication facts around 2nd or 3rd grade level age. From my own personal experience, I think that's a good age to have it cemented by 4th grade. I went to private school and you couldn't pass 4th grade if you couldn't do 100 facts in less than so many minutes. I've come to appreciate that system after what I've gone through with dd and math. 

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yes. I remember having to start each morning of 4th grade by filling in a blank one. I did do that with my older child. We timed her to encourage speed. My next child had some learning challenges, and she still hasn't mastered them as well. Even now in 8th grade I start her day with 2 minutes of using triangular number bond flashcards most days of the week.

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I  tried but my kids despite being gift just couldn't seem to retain it doing any games, flashcards, chants, worksheets etc.  After I gave up both eventually memorized them through regular use.

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Yes, when they start to become proficient with multiplication.

 

As to when - when the curriculum says so. :lol: That's my lazy answer.  My oldest spent about a year on practicing until he had them down with MUS, my youngest does them because Fred requires going through cards before reading the next chapter.

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It was 3rd grade when we had to do 100 multiplication problems in 5 minutes. 4th grade was division.

 

That was the 70s though. I think they had it right. We mastered them because they took the school year to teach each fact. Starting in first grade with addition.

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Ok thanks.  I was planning to, but I wasn't sure about when really.  I am using MIF, but we just started this year.  It looks like MIF introduces multiplication to 5 in second grade and we weren't using it last year, so we didn't do any multiplication.  We are in the middle of Ch 6, which is what takes it up through 9.  They include 10 in all the tables though.  But I am thinking I want to go to 12.  I might just skim the rest of the chapter, pulling out what I think we need, and focus more on the memorization of the facts. 

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Nope but they enjoy singing the multiplication song (originally in Japanese and Chinese) in different languages. My oldest compute so fast it made no difference if he had his times table down or he compute mentally on the spot. My youngest just remember from doing all the work in SM2A to SM5B and then AoPS prealgebra. So he had his multiplication table “memorized†while in prealgebra.

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Yes. In PS they do it in 3rd here. They did it in 3rd 30 years ago as well. The main difference is that I see them continuing to do more manipulative work, drawing work with squares and ten sticks, than we did.

 

So memorize but do not stop the critical assessment of each problem.

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See, when I was in school, we didn't start memorizing them until 4th grade, but we had to pass all of them up to 12 to pass 4th.

 

Man I remember doing those speed sheets lol

 

I also had to memorize all the states in alphabetical order in 4th.  Lots of memorizing that year lol. 

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Absolutely. Knowing the times tables is necessary for any fluency with higher math.

In PS, it's in 3rd grade. If I had homeschooled elementary, it would have been whenever the kids had mastered addition and understood the concept of multiplication.

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I went with the "memorize through use" method with my oldest, which worked fairly well for addition, but not well enough for multiplication.  She's been having problems with fractions and long division, and I think a lot of it is that stuff that I can just see - like such-and-such fraction is equivalent to another, or what the LCM/GCF is, or what's a good estimate to try - she can't see, because her facts just aren't automatic.  So instead of instantly seeing a connection, she has to trial & error it.  It makes fractions and long division extremely tedious and frustrating for her.  So I'm starting facts practice with her, just this week.  I'm doing this sixty-second sweep thing, which has all the possible pairs of factors using the digits 2-9 on one page, and you go through and orally say the facts.  We're doing it once or twice a day.  I'm doing it with my middle daughter, too, although with her just the facts she's learned, and adding on one every few days once she's got the one's she's (allegedly) learned solid.

 

60sec Sweep page: http://www.msbonilla.com/uploads/1/3/2/5/13250178/60-second_sweep.pdf

Instructions:

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See, when I was in school, we didn't start memorizing them until 4th grade, but we had to pass all of them up to 12 to pass 4th.

 

Man I remember doing those speed sheets lol

 

I also had to memorize all the states in alphabetical order in 4th.  Lots of memorizing that year lol. 

I can still sing the states in ABC order in the tune I learned. I used YouTube to find it for my kids to have them sing it the same way I did. :) 

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Yes. We do it as it comes up in the curriculum. Depending on the kid that has been 2nd or 3rd grade.

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With DD I never had her memorize math facts. She is very math-intuitive and eventually the facts just clicked. She has quick and accurate computational skills.

 

DS7 is second grade but working through Singapore 3. I’m making him memorize skip counting songs, but I haven’t drilled him on cold math facts. He’s still very distractable and I think cold memorization work might needlessly discourage him at this time. I figure if by fourth grade, the facts haven’t solidified themselves in his head, then I’ll start drilling. I do give him problems that require use of multiplication facts daily.

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We do the "memorize through use" which gets about 75% of them ingrained by about 4th grade (math level). Then, we use Xtramath.org to pound the rest in eventually because otherwise, upper level math is horrendous. So, some knew them all by 4th grade and some needed longer.

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If anybody has a strong math student who has trouble memorizing the facts nonetheless: no verbal or flash card drill worked for my highly visual learner. I had her make a poster of the times tables, see that there is actually only a triangle, shade the 2s, 5s and 10s, and see that, leaving the trivial 1, 2, 5s and 10s, it leaves only 13 facts to memorize. 

The visual helped, and realizing that one does not actually have to memorize one hundred facts, but only 13, is a psychological game changer.

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Absolutely, 2nd-3rd grade.

 

The DC are in a private school now and I sub a bit in high school math. It is truly limiting when a 10th grader in Alg II doesn't know multiplication tables and thus has a more difficult, laborious time factoring equations.

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For typically developing children, absolutely. We don't move on from 3rd grade math until they are memorized. 

 

For a child with identified math LD's, I would defer to the recommendation of the neuropsych. My SN child is currently working on memorizing her addition and subtraction facts and seems to be making progress on that. So I think when the time comes, she will eventually be able to master her times tables.

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I went with the "memorize through use" method with my oldest, which worked fairly well for addition, but not well enough for multiplication. She's been having problems with fractions and long division, and I think a lot of it is that stuff that I can just see - like such-and-such fraction is equivalent to another, or what the LCM/GCF is, or what's a good estimate to try - she can't see, because her facts just aren't automatic. So instead of instantly seeing a connection, she has to trial & error it. It makes fractions and long division extremely tedious and frustrating for her. So I'm starting facts practice with her, just this week. I'm doing this sixty-second sweep thing, which has all the possible pairs of factors using the digits 2-9 on one page, and you go through and orally say the facts. We're doing it once or twice a day. I'm doing it with my middle daughter, too, although with her just the facts she's learned, and adding on one every few days once she's got the one's she's (allegedly) learned solid.

 

60sec Sweep page: http://www.msbonilla.com/uploads/1/3/2/5/13250178/60-second_sweep.pdf

 

 

Instructions:

This is sich a timely post since my 3rd grader is in the midst of increasing her multiplication fluency. I'm always on the lookout for additional ideas to fold into our daily practice and this seems great!

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Yes, kids memorize. As early as possible for each child, we begin around 4.5 and so far kids are done by about 6 or 6.5.

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I have been trying. My 2 oldest do have some LD's.... and after trying various methods for years we just aren't getting anywhere. My 4th grade student is doing ok but doesn't have them all down yet either.

 

I've tried pretty much everything. Strategies, Rightstart games, xtramath, flashcards, Anki ssr, speed drills, not worrying about it but using a multiples chart, writing a chart daily, having a card with one that is a problem posted in the bathroom...... and probably a couple of other things I don't remember. Not all at once, and generally months and months at a time.....

 

Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk

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My kids memorized their multiplication facts in 3rd grade. We did a two week blitz with specially designed flashcards and a sequence of strategies, then they knew them.

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No

 

 

 

When doing 3rd grade level math, after having a firm conceptual understanding of multiplication, they make a multiplication chart, we laminate it, and they can use it whenever. The eventually see the benefit of knowing the facts (not having to look them up) and through repetition of use master them. It is important, I think, if you approach it this way that you are giving them interesting math to do of which multiplication is only a part (i.e. puzzles, word problems, etc).

Edited by Targhee
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Generally I would say yes but my son proved to be an exception to my opinion.

 

My older son has a weird processing gap. So despite his considerable propensity for problem solving, he actually doesn't know the times tables cold.

 

He had the times tables "memorized" when he was 6 but only in the context of playing Timez Attack. I'm a pretty skilled math tutor (and am paid $$ to tutor a couple of special needs kids in math) and nothing I did helped him fully re-memorize them once he lost them. I think for the most part he's doing the arithmetic in his head rather than recalling math facts. Oddly he's great at factoring despite not having instafact recall in this area. Whatever he does, it works. I used to stress about this a lot. In the end though I decided that it was his ability to think through problems that was most valuable for him. He successfully chewed through sucessive levels of AOPS, the math teacher at his school (the top ranked STEM high school in our state) raves about his math skills and he will run out of high school math classes to take before he finishes high school.

Edited by LucyStoner
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Yep, that's basically the question, do you make your memorize the times tables. 

 

Ok, wait, I guess the next question is when?

 

Yes.  There is no substitute for memorization.  When it comes to fluency - being able to do basic arithmetic quickly and without a big mental strain - memorization is the only way.  I have heard every argument under the sun about it not being necessary, and I tried many ways around it because the memorization was a big problem here.  But there is no substitute.  You will do your child a huge favor to just commit to the memorization.  As soon as they have memorized the addition facts and can add and subtract fluently, start multiplication.  

 

The technique I used (that finally worked, after trying like eight other methods) is from Mastering Mathematics.  You start with the facts you can do with only 0,1  and 2.  Get fluent on those.  Then add the new facts you can do with 3,2 and 1.  Get fluent on those.  Then go back and review the old ones. Then mix them all together.  Then add 4, and so on.  I used this worksheet generator to make very custom worksheets.

 

http://www.superkids.com/aweb/tools/math/

 

I used the fact library method for both addition and multiplication. 

 

The key is to build the fact library in very small increments, and get 100% fluent before you add another set. 

 

When you get to bigger numbers, don't add all those new facts at once.  Break them into smaller groups of no more than three facts per group.  And it it helps, you can break up the smaller groups also.  Maybe you choose to only add two facts at a time, plus review all the old ones.  But always follow the logical progression, and achieve 100% fluency before adding more.  Do not create "fact salad" by giving the kid a large collection of facts when there is a low comfort level with most of them.  It's better to have a high comfort level with a very small number of facts, and increase the number slowly. 

 

So the fact collections would be:

 

0x0, 0x1, 0x2, 1x1, 1x2

3x0, 3x1, 3x2, 3x3

4x0, 4x1, 4x2, 4x3, 4x4 

 

etc. 

 

Edited by laundrycrisis

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I didn't "make them" memorize the times table at any specific time. They all know how to skip count, and we do a lot of mental math games around the dinner table. They don't answer their math questions fast enough by slowly going through skip counting, so they quickly learned to just memorize them on their own. 

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I didn't "make them" memorize the times table at any specific time. They all know how to skip count, and we do a lot of mental math games around the dinner table. They don't answer their math questions fast enough by slowly going through skip counting, so they quickly learned to just memorize them on their own. 

 

Similar situation here.  The older memorized them, but it was such a struggle.  For the younger, we had skip-counting up to 15X the base number (for 1-10)  before we finished second grade math.  I am maintaining the skip counting with review, and his daily math encourages memorization: we do drills I make from Rod and Staff pages, and his main program right now is MEP which includes so much mental calculation that it tends to do the memorization work automatically -- that's how I got him to master his addition facts, too. 

 

The traditional methods were simply not working here: we got more and more balking each day.  The above works well for us at the moment. 

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Mine did sometime between 2-3rd, except my oldest who I swear just can't learn them. We've tried every method ever created and he watched 3 siblings after him master them while he continued to struggle. He uses a chart now.

 

Wierdly enough I would actually consider him one of my stronger math students too.

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My DS learnt them in 2nd grade when multiplication came up in Beast Academy 3B. We played a lot of Mythmatical Battles until he was close to fluent before we continued moving through BA.

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Yes. Too hard to do factorisation and fractions etc. without it. Still working on dd8 but ds11 is good.

 

That said we learn all the patterns and cheats first then memorise anything they can't easily get.

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I taught third grade and made my students memorize their multiplication facts.  When I started teaching years ago, a new math curriculum was adopted (Mathland) that did not emphasize memorizing facts. I closed my door and made my kids memorize math facts. Everyday they took a timed math test on whatever number they were on right before lunch. At lunch I corrected their tests, then whatever number they were on they had a page of 100 problems of that number for homework every night M-F until they passed that number.  For example, if a student didn't pass the 4's test then they did 100 problems of the 4's until they passed. Some kids were able to pass after a week or less (5 pages of homework, which is 500 problems on just focusing on one number like like the 5's), some kids took 15 or even 20 days of doing that number (so 1500 to 2000) problems.  That is what it took for some students to memorize their math facts. Just doing math flash cards, playing computer games, etc. isn't that effective for many kids. 

I used this book for the 100 problems for homework. 

https://www.amazon.com/Multiplication-Straight-Forward-Math-Collins/dp/0931993075/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1515130092&sr=1-1&keywords=multiplication+garlic+press

 

My students all were English Language Learners and their parents were from Mexico and Central America. So many parents thanked me for making their child learn their times tables. They were so proud of their kids when they passed their final test (I gave them a certificate, invited their parents to class for a presentation and popsicle  party the last 5 minutes of class when they passed).  Some parents told me that they didn't even know all their times tables and were so happy. I even had some parents beg me to give them extra homework for their other children because the other teachers weren't making the students memorize them. 

 

While some kids can easily pick up their facts just from doing math problems, many do not. Some children have really strong working memories and can really, really quickly mentally calculate (ex. to solve 6 X 7, they know 5 X 7 is 35 so one more 7 is 35 +7=42.) I suspect the people who say that they didn't or their kids never memorized times tables and went on to do quite well in math would score very high in working memory tests.  (Working memory is a temporary storage system that allows information to be held in immediate awareness and manipulated)

 

Edited by Nart
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If anybody has a strong math student who has trouble memorizing the facts nonetheless: no verbal or flash card drill worked for my highly visual learner. I had her make a poster of the times tables, see that there is actually only a triangle, shade the 2s, 5s and 10s, and see that, leaving the trivial 1, 2, 5s and 10s, it leaves only 13 facts to memorize.

The visual helped, and realizing that one does not actually have to memorize one hundred facts, but only 13, is a psychological game changer.

I was going to say that no, I did not make my kid memorize the times tables, and it is a true statement. But really, she learned how to compute most of the facts so quickly and easily that it doesn’t matter whether she has them “memorizedâ€.

 

x1 is simply the number

x2 is doubling

x4 is doubling and doubling again

x5 is adding a zero to the end and then halving

x9 is x10 minus the multiplier

x10 is adding a zero to the end

 

That leaves so few. She learned those through use, with no specific effort towards memorizing.

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Learning mental math strategies and repetition seem to be enough for my kids. In first grade, they learn all their doubles. In second, they learn their facts up to x5, and also we cover x10.

Third grade is for mastering x6 through x 9, and x11 and x 12, and also for using the conceptual understanding to multiply greater numbers mentally.

 

This is the strategy I like (the link goes to Let's Play Math), similar to another one mentioned above, which uses the easy facts and strategies to keep track of the facts a kid knows. (And by knows, I mean can produce fairly quickly-- doesn't matter if it's through memorization or reasonably quick calculation.)

 

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I was going to say that no, I did not make my kid memorize the times tables, and it is a true statement. But really, she learned how to compute most of the facts so quickly and easily that it doesn’t matter whether she has them “memorizedâ€.

 

x1 is simply the number

x2 is doubling

x4 is doubling and doubling again

x5 is adding a zero to the end and then halving

x9 is x10 minus the multiplier

x10 is adding a zero to the end

 

That leaves so few. She learned those through use, with no specific effort towards memorizing.

I didn't know of the 5s trick and just shared it w/ my daughter. She already had them down pretty well but there's nothing wrong with adding to her (our) bag of tricks. It involved quickly explaining decimals but overall it was a neat little trick we enjoyed.

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I said that I made my kids memorize their facts, but after reading some other replies, maybe I didn’t. I taught my kids to calulate their facts very quickly using strategies and then drilled the strategies. I only had my kids do drill & kill for three facts (6x7, 7x7, and 8x8).

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No I didn't with my oldest and don't plan to going forward. As long as they have a strong conceptual understanding then when they have it committed to memory was unimportant to me. I realize that's not a popular route but it worked just fine for us. I printed out a table for him when he was 7 or 8 and had it laminated. He could use it as much as he wanted. Eventually he just didn't need to use it anymore. He is 11 now and would be 6th technically. He probably stopped using it 2 years ago. So he did in fact memorize the tables through repeated interaction with it but not because he did drills with intention on that specific topic. It didn't slow him down and I never made it an issue. I have a times tables chart on the wall now and my 7 and 5 year olds have memorized many of them simply by seeing them visually on a regular basis. They do repeat them but for "fun" not because I make them.

 

Also I wanted to add that the most basic ones came through normal everyday interactions. I'm pretty sure a good deal of children have the 10s, 5s, 2s, 3s and 11s "memorized" or calculated quickly by 5 or 6. Not much left after that and they can fill in the blank for most of the rest by reversing. 

Edited by Dramorellis

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Ok, one more question.  I think I will probably go to 12s, but I am wondering, do you guys have them memorize to 10s or to 12s?

 

Ten, but we learn rapid math for 11 & 12.

 

11: 10x + x.  For numbers above single digits, split and add.  For example, 11x12: split.  1_2.  Add the numbers for the middle. 132.

 

12: 10x+2x.  Since you already figured out how to do 11x12, the square is an easy number to memorize

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Yep, that's basically the question, do you make your memorize the times tables. 

 

Ok, wait, I guess the next question is when?

 

 

No, we don't.  It doesn't work for us, and DH (double major in math and mechanical engineering in college, so obviously he did okay) never memorized them.  Half of our family could memorize the times tables okay, and the other half simply couldn't -- but over time the got it all "memorized" anyway through repeated exposure and usage.

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Ok, one more question.  I think I will probably go to 12s, but I am wondering, do you guys have them memorize to 10s or to 12s?

 

We memorize perfect squares up to 15, and practice mental math for fun up in those higher numbers (they can use their own strategy to find the answer). We don't drill to memorize everything.

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My oldest (public school) knows them now but struggled. In theory he would learn: addition in 1st, subtraction in 2nd, multiplication in 3rd, and division in 4th.

 

He was behind and still doing addition in 2nd grade.

 

We got advice that he should move on to multiplication with his class in 3rd or he would not be able to find common denominators to add and subtract fractions.

 

Then in 5th and 6th grade they worked on all 4 fact families to get some of the pesky ones. Then kids could go to middle school very solid.

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Ok, one more question. I think I will probably go to 12s, but I am wondering, do you guys have them memorize to 10s or to 12s?

11s was just (10+1)n so we add on the spot. 12s my kids remember because of converting inches to feet for their height but they did not purposely memorize them.

 

My DS12 is slower at math drills and feels defected by them. Since we used an online public charter for lower elementary, we just skip those timed drills and his teacher just does not check that box when she does the quarterly in person assessment. He does multiple digits multiplication and division just fine, ahead of his age peers, so it was easy for his teacher to “ignore†the fact he can’t do timed drills.

 

Both my kids love looking for patterns so they figured out the add a zero for 10s, and 10n/2 for 5s by themselves. 9s was just (10-1)n.

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I was going to say that no, I did not make my kid memorize the times tables, and it is a true statement. But really, she learned how to compute most of the facts so quickly and easily that it doesn’t matter whether she has them “memorizedâ€.

 

x1 is simply the number

x2 is doubling

x4 is doubling and doubling again

x5 is adding a zero to the end and then halving

x9 is x10 minus the multiplier

x10 is adding a zero to the end

 

That leaves so few. She learned those through use, with no specific effort towards memorizing.

 

... it just occurred to me that

 

x3 is doubling, then adding the multiplier

x6 is x5, then adding the multiplier (though that's getting a bit inelegant)

 

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