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    multiplication blues
    By shannon

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    Multiplication doesn't need to give the teacher or kids the blues.. I found a few ideas on a website a couple years ago and it was LIBERATING! Wish I could remember the name of the site, but here's the jist of it! The main message was that until memorization occurs, use some simple "tricks" to figure the problems out.. it takes the fear out of learning all those dreaded facts.
    My favorite manipulative for teaching the CONCEPT of multiplication/division is the class itself!
    Whether we're figuring out how many shoes 6 kids are wearing, or how many groups of 5 we have in our class of 25, this seems to be very effective. On to the facts:

    Teach the "easy" tables first.. 0's, 1's, 2's 10's. Stress that each fact has a "twin" 1x9's twin is 9x1. Then when you get to the 9's, they'll know so many already..
    An easy way to remember the table of 3's is to sing/count to the tune of "This Land is Your Land"

    Last year, the Learning Center teacher told me, when some of her kids got stuck on a fact, they were still pulling out that old 3's song from back in 3rd grade to help them out!
    For the 4's, imagine you're multiplying the number by 2, then double it. 4x6..think 2x6=12 and 12 + 12= 24. I'll even have the students cross out the 4 and write a 2 above it until they can do it quickly and easily.

    5's are no problem. Remember, point out and learn each fact's twin as you go!

    Skip up to the 9's now. I'm sure you've heard the little tricks for the 9's,, if not, write back, and I'll share. The kids' favorite is holding down a finger and "seeing" the answer unfold before their eyes. Magic stuff..
    So that leaves you just a few facts that we call the buggers.. These we truly just need to memorize. Each year, the class thinks up a jingle for each.
    They are 6x6, 6x7, 6x8, 7x7, and 7x8 and 8x8. One example was 8x8 fell on the floor, pick it up and it's 64.. The kids usually come up with better ideas than I do! These go up on the wall for a little help until we get them memorized. Every other problem can be figured out using a "trick" .
    This has sure helped me out.. hope it helps!

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