For most children, the first problem they might face is memorizing math facts. It’s a bump on the road for some of them because most children love applying what they learn but may have a problem starting. When most people hear the phrase “math facts,” the first thing that comes to mind is “techniques” for memorizing multiplication tables. Although multiplication memorization is important, the focus is to get children accustomed to learning techniques that will help them at a later point in their academics as well. Now, let’s take a look at some learning techniques1 that can be used to help children easily learn and memorize math facts.
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Skip counting is one way children can memorize numbers from a young age. Skip counting helps children memorize the order of the numbers that always occur in an increasing order across a sequence. The children are asked to recite or write numbers by skipping certain numbers at regular or irregular intervals. This method can be used to memorize multiplication tables as well. It sets the foundation for learning certain facts by heart.
Teach Children How to Add Doubles
Yet another step progressing from the previous one is teaching children to add doubles. This is also a step before memorizing multiplication tables. Indirectly, children already memorize multiplication tables of two when they are asked to add doubles. The lesson can progress in the direction of multiplication memorization. Each time a number is added to itself, a column showing the multiplication table of the same number can also be shown. This connects the conceptual gap between addition and multiplication.
Visualize and Strategize
Use small objects like marbles, balls, or pens to teach different concepts like addition and subtraction. Using visual apparatus, or what is known as manipulatives, helps children to perceive how mathematical techniques are applied. Providing a supplementary visual aid like the one shown below is also important. It caters to a wide array of children with various learning styles. Color coding these charts will also help children associate facts with the colors and categorize these facts efficiently. Coding also helps children understand certain patterns, especially when memorizing multiplication tables. Repetitive patterns help with memorizing multiplication tables and ease the burden of trying to memorize rows and columns of numbers.
Connecting Fact Cards
The children can connect different fact cards. For example, if the number “12” is provided, ask the child to select from a set of cards that indicate how this number can be obtained. In this case, the fact cards can have “6+6” or “15-3” written on them along with other incorrect options. Children can also be provided with a fact card like the one shown below. A card that shows a section named “whole” refers to a number. The children can either write a number or a pair of numbers that can be used to obtain the whole number. The teacher can determine the type of operation, like addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. This method can be used later on when children have mastered the multiplication tables.
Draw a hopscotch board with sidewalk chalk. Ask children to move to a number tile based on the math question you provide. Children in groups of three can be asked to hop their way to the prime factors of a given number. Another version of the game where two of the children can hop their way into a number of their choice. The third student needs to write the product of the two numbers the other two children are standing on. It’s a very dynamic game that tests children’s ability to memorize multiplication tables.
Along with your child, toss a balloon or ball around the room. As you toss, call out a math fact. The goal is for the child to state the answer before catching it. If this is too challenging at first, modify the rules accordingly. The children can also frame their questions, and a modified version of this game can be played. In this version, the children throw the balloon after asking the question they prepared, and the next assigned child should answer the question before the balloon touches the ground. A simple test for memorizing times tables can be conducted here where two teams are organized. Within a given time limit, the team that answers the most correct answers before the balloon hits the floor can be the winner.
Computers and Mobile Devices
In addition to your practice, try some fun and engaging computer games and math apps on your mobile device that focus on fact practice. Some of the applications that can be used are available at Byju’s future school. Take a look at them and impress your children with your secret stash of math games.
Math is not just a subject that should be restricted to books alone. A basic example of giving the children a hands-on experience is asking them to count the number of trees or animals they see while traveling in a car or taking a walk in the park. Measurements and conversion of units can be taught by asking children to bake a cake. The children can be asked to do this activity at home under parent supervision. This is an interesting application of multiplication memorization as well.
Among the group of budding math enthusiasts, there will be many who would love to try out math puzzles. Traditional puzzles like Sudoku® and its multiple variants are available online as well as in books. Switching regular math worksheets with a puzzle or two is one way to keep the minds of children engaged. Math puzzles based on memorizing times tables encourage children to rethink and relearn what they may have missed.
Fact Flash Through Different Mediums
When different questions are asked, allow the child to write on paper, blackboard, type on a computer, or even speak and let them present their answers in a variety of ways. The child can also be given the opportunity to participate in a game show. Pop quizzes, with the right amount of theatrics and props, can create an environment for children to learn in a fun and engaging way. Unit conversions, memorizing times tables, and geometric proofs are examples of topics that can be studied.
You may also want to learn specific specialized techniques for other mathematical operations, such as subtraction, and how to use tips and tricks to speed up mathematical calculations. The tips and tricks mentioned in this article are just a taste of what we have in store for tomorrow’s citizens. Follow Byju’s FutureSchool Blog to learn more about them and become a part of the learning revolution!
- Make Memorizing Math Facts Fun With These 10 Activities. (n.d.). Retrieved May 4, 2022, from https://demmelearning.com/make-memorizing-math-facts-fun-with-these-10-activities/