The Multiplication Table Exercise
Starting in third grade (sometimes sooner), children learn how to multiply with the multiplication table. They are to memorize the table and commit it to long term memory. Many older children do not have the multiplication table stored in long term memory. To assess a child's long term memory for math facts, ask them what 7 times 8 is or 8 times 8 or 6 times 9. If they do not get them all correct or if they struggle to get the answers, they may have a problem with long term memory as it relates to mathematics. This exercise is designed to remediate the problem within 30 days. Some children will not need to do it for 30 days and others may need to do it much longer. The exercise is mastered when a child can tell you within three seconds the answer to any multiplication problem from 0 times 0 to 10 times 10. This exercise is not to be used on children who do not need to know their complete times tables (e.g., most Kindergarten students). This exercise should be used by children who should have learned their times tables, but for some reason they do not know them.
Materials Needed. A clean or clear multiplication table, and a pencil.
Step by Step Instructions.
1. Insure that the problem in multiplication is not due to mental retardation or an inability to process questions (e.g., as seen in autism and selective mutism).
2. Obtain or draw a blank multiplication table.
3. Have the child complete the math table. At first the child is to use any method to complete the times table. In time, the child should complete it without any assistance.
4. When it is complete, check for accuracy. If it is inaccurate, point out the mistakes and have the child correct them.
5. It is ok for the parent to point out, to the child, patterns within the numbers in completing the times table.
6. When the times table is complete, the exercise is complete. The child should do one times table per day.
7. Mastery is achieved when the child can within three seconds tell you any math fact ranging from what is 0 times 0 to 10 times 10.
Exercise: The Multiplication Table Exercise.
Time: Time: about 30 minutes at first, less time as ability improves.
Recommended Frequency: once a day, 5 or 6 days per week.
Pretest Assessment: participant is unable to answer multiplication questions or takes a long time or uses their fingers. Some may know 1s 2s 3s and 5s of the multiplication table but are limited to these.
Mastery. Mastery is achieved when the participant is able to consistently tell the correct answer to multiplication questions ranging frOM: What is 0 time 0? to What is 10 times 10? within 3 seconds.
Recommended Refresher Frequency: Repeat this exercise every year at the beginning of the school year or when a new math procedure is learned that relies upon knowledge of the multiplication tables.
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