Time and time again I have come across students who will assert that they absolutely hate math. They aren’t really that old, and haven’t gone very far down the road of life to have formed such a solid opinion of a subject that is used in daily life. Yet, I’ve seen it time and time again… math is hated because of how it is approached with these children.
In teaching a child multiplication tables, the lesson must be interesting and fun. These are black and white numbers, how in the world do you do that? The best way is to use life experience to teach difficult concepts, whether you are homeschooling or teaching. Here is your answer, a lesson plan on learning multiplication tables the fun way.
1) Of course, you need to have a nice set of multiplication table flashcards, groups of things (pencils/crayons/or other objects). Large and easy to read is best. Various loose objects to use for skip counting practice.
2)Begin by showing the children that multiplication is simply just repeat addition. Don’t make this difficult to understand, keep it simple and explain it with manipulatives. Have groups of pencils or other objects rubber banded together. Then take the groups and demonstrate the repeat addition by adding each group the number of times you are multiplying by. For example, 5×4=20. If we have groups of five pencils rubberbanded together and count four of them, it will equal 20. Do this example many times. Allow the students to each do this example for themselves.
3) Use this same concept to show the children that multiplication is commutative. Change the example around and have groups of 4 that you add 5 times. Do this several times with different examples. As you do each example hold up the corresponding flash card for each of these examples.
4) Every classroom has bookshelves. Take the children over to the bookshelf and then separate out a group of books. Ten is good to start with. Divide these into groups of two. Hand two books to 5 different children. Have them stand in front of the class and hold up their books. The teacher can walk by and point to each group of two and count these out loud. 2 plus 2 plus 2 plus 2 plus 2 plus equals ten! Get 4 more books and add two more children to your series. Allow a student to come to the front of the class and demonstrate the repeat addition this time, while you hold up the corresponding flash card for this particular multiplication fact.
5) When it’s time for break, take the children outside and use natural objects to review the repeat addition idea. Pebbles from the play area would work. Have each child pick up 3 pebbles before you come back inside. At the door request each child to add 3 to the previous child’s number. Show them the multiplication fact once you get back inside.
6) For further review and practice of the repeat addition, have the children review skip counting by 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, 5’s, and 10’s. All students should be able to easily skip count prior to teaching them the idea of multiplication tables and repeat addition. Fun ways to incoporate this would be to count crayons by two’s or have each child hold up three pencils and skip count the pencils in order to prepare for multiplication tables.