Tips for Parents: How to teach Multiplication Facts

Jan 27, 2022 | Red Deer

Meet our mathlete who just completed her Multiplication Fact Fluency post assessment! Good job, girl! ðŸ‘ðŸ‘

Why multiplication fact fluency –  or math facts in general – is important?

Because math concepts are built upon themselves, and by having multiplication fact fluency it would make it so much easier for a student to solve more complex problems, like algebra, calculus and equations.

By the end of primary school, it is important for a student to be fluent in multiplications up to and including 12.

Yes we – parents –  grew up by memorizing times tables (and survived ðŸ˜Š), but parents nowadays should avoid to ask their child to do the same. Like Mathnasium Method founder, Larry Martinek, said: It’s pretty easy to forget things you memorize and near impossible to forget things you understand. Memorizing times tables is not only painful, but it does not teach your child understanding and number sense.

Todays and future challenges that your child will face are different from ours. Teaching them logical thinking and creativity will help them not only to navigate those challenges but also to be successful in problem solving. We have seen a student who is really good in multiplication – from memorizing times tables – but is paralyzed when tackling word problems and even when understanding straight fractions questions.

What is Multiplication Fact Fluency?

It is the ability that enable a student to have flexibility and accurately using an appropriate strategy to find a multiplication answer efficiently. Many students (and adults) are struggling when asked what is 8x9. A couple strategies to solve this are:

• “Times nine” is “times ten minus times one”. So if 8 x 10 = 80, 80 minus 8 x 1 is 72
• “Times eight” is “doubling three times”: 9 double is 18, 18 double is 36, and double of 36 is 72
• A student typically is comfortable with 8 x 8 which is 64, so 8 x 9 is only adding 8 more to 64, and voilà .. it’s 72!

Some Other Multiplication Strategies

Again, the key here is not just being good at memorizing the numbers of multiplication results, but to use an appropriate strategy to come up with the result. Speed and accuracy are not as important as knowing where the numbers come from, and why an answer is correct.

Here are some other strategies that you can use to teach your child:

• Times 8 is double the number three times (as shown above) – or times 10 minus double of the number
• Times 7 is times 5 plus double
• Times 12 is times 10 plus double
• Times 3 is double plus times one
• Times 4 is double plus double
• Times 5 is half of times 10
• Times 6 is times 5 plus times 1

These are only some suggestions; your child can develop their own strategies that they are comfortable with.

Have fun with practising these strategies with your child! Remember, practice makes perfect!

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Mathnasium of Red Deer is your neighbourhood’s math-only learning centre, and we are here to help your child. Our centre director, Riwan Prasatya, would be happy to meet you! We are conveniently located in the shopping destination area in Red Deer: 5250 22nd St, Unit 30 B – at the Gaetz Avenue Crossing shopping centre, in the same area as Chapters Indigo/Starbucks, Michael Arts, Petland and Ashley, and the phone number is 403-872 MATH (6284).