Math Encouragement

Multiplication and Division helps

Recently, I was faced with a child who seemed to “forget” her math facts. It was a frustrating moment for me! One day she remembered her multiplication tables and another day these facts had vanished into thin air! I had never been confronted with such a perplexing “brain cramp” as this before!! After much frustration, I went in search of how can I help this child? How can a child “get it” and then “lose it”? Well, I cannot answer that question, but I can tell you what we worked to resolve the problem.

We used Times Tales to cement the multiplication and division facts in memory. It’s a series of “tales” or short stories used to teach the “difficult” multiplication tables. They have cute cartoon characters to represent each number. An example is 8×4=32 (8 is a snowman and the number 4 is a chair). The illustrated tale goes like this… “Mrs. Snowman stood on a chair to reach her 3 buttons and 2 mittens.” Now, this tale was enough to make my eyes roll, scratch my head and say “Huh?? How confusing is that!”

With great hesitance I followed the instructions of daily reading these with my daughter. I was amazed how well this worked! I now realize her daydreaming and seeming to not pay attention was really her way of not being able to connect the dots, or make a connection that numbers such as 8×4 equals 32. From what I read, this is not uncommon for right brained thinking children. Some children think in pictures.

In the Times Tales workbook are worksheets and other activities. One activity is a cutout to make two dice you assemble to play a game. These dice mix the characters and numbers and the child rolls, reads and answers the given problem. We played to see who could answer the most facts in 30 seconds. We also played where I answered after 2 seconds, giving her the first chance to get the point. If she didn’t answer before Mom, then I got the point. Imagine laughing while learning math!

My right-brained daughter thinks in pictures! Today, we work with numbers and when there is a hesitance to answer a problem, I can simply say “Mrs. Snowman….chair” and the light bulb lights up! She now understands her multiplication AND division tables! I highly recommend this program to supplement any math curriculum where the child struggles to memorize the multiplication and division facts. You can find additional information at http://www.timestales.com/ .