I get these questions a lot...

I've recently embarked on something new... I let people request a package of over 100 free worksheets and over 180 sample pages from the Math Mammoth books and worksheet collections.

In it, I included one question along with the name & email that people can fill in: "What is your most pressing math teaching question?"

I did that because I saw some other people had done something similar, and I thought that's a great idea - I would get to know what kind of math teaching related problems people have.

I also wanted to give people a chance to communicate a little with me... You know, we all go visit these multitudes of websites, and we show up as numbers on the website statistics program. It all can seem so impersonal, so "machinistic" sometimes.

But the reality is, behind every website are people. On school days, over 10,000 people visit HomeschoolMath.net. Over 1,000 people visit MathMammoth.com. I never hear from most.

If I had a physical store, I would see those people, talk to many. With a website, I still want some COMMUNICATION with my visitors and customers.

So that's what that little box with the question is about. Communication.

In this blogpost I want to answer TWO popular questions or themes that people keep writing into that little question box.

Interestingly - though not surprisingly - these two most popular themes correspond to the two best-sellers of my Blue Series books.

The two themes are:
1) Multiplication tables and
2) Fractions.

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1) I've gotten questions such as (copied and pasted here verbatim):

"multiplication & division of one and two-digit numbers"

"How can i get my students to learn all of the multiplication tables?"

"What is the easiest way to teach the times tables?"

"It is very tough for me to learn tables. Please help me"


I believe in the methods I've put into my book Math Mammoth Multiplication 1:

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* First teach the concept of multiplication well down pat.
* Then the tables in a specific order, with a systematic drill approach and 12x12 grid.
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Let me explain a little more.

* First teach the concept of multiplication well down pat.

In the book, I have written not 1 or 2, but all these lessons about multiplication concept itself, to be studied BEFORE the drills:

Multiplication is Repeated Addition ............ 6
Multiplication as an Array ..................... 11
Multiplication on a Number Line ................ 14
Multiplication in Two Ways ..................... 17
Multiplying by Zero ............................ 22
Understanding Word Problems .................... 25
Order of Operations ............................ 27
Understanding Word Problems, Part 2 ............ 30

There are total of 28 lesson and practice pages in the book before the drills.

Studying the concept super well helps children to understand, become very familiar and at ease with multiplication.

While they study through these, they will probably memorize a few facts already - AND they will start seeing the need of having an effective and quick way to multiply (which is of course, knowing the facts by heart).

* Then the tables in a specific order, with a systematic drill approach and 12x12 grid.

The tables in my book are studied in this order:
table of 2
table of 4
table of 10
table of 5
[More Practice and Review]
table of 3
table of 6
table of 9
table of 11
[More Practice and Review]
table of 7
table of 8
table of 12

So it's the easiest first. Not only that, but in each lesson the student fills in a 12x12 grid to those facts he already knows. The "blacked out" unknown facts territory gets smaller really fast - and they can SEE it!

AND... that's not all. I feel it is VERY important kids learn their tables "both ways" - so they not only know that 5 x 6 is 30, but that they also know that 30 IS in the tables of 5 and 6.

To that end, I include specific instructions how you can "drill" or help the memorization of first the ANSWERS (skip-counting list), then associating each answer with a problem.

(This guide to oral drill is available online.)

All this multiplication info and practice is yours for only $4.50 :

=> Math Mammoth Multiplication 1

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Well, this got to be long. I better save the fractions questions for another post.

Maria

P.S. If you go ahead and request that package of free worksheets, don't then be too surprised to get this blogpost as an email as well... I'm sorry but I just have to use what I write in multiple places, let many people read it. You know, sometimes I put my blogposts to an article to the website, I always pull my newsletter content from my blogposts - this time one of my email series emails ended up to be a blogpost.
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