Tips for Teaching Multiplication to a Child Who Has a Hard Time Remembering?

Updated on April 15, 2017
G.K. asks from Williamsburg, VA
16 answers

My daughter has been struggling for years to learn her multiplication facts. I just can get the numbers to sink in and stay! I've tried bingo, writing out equations, saying them verbally for her to answer. Nothing seems to work. Anyone have a creative idea for getting multiplication facts to stick?

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S.K.

answers from Detroit on

When my kids were younger, we did a lot of math games to help learn and understand the concepts. But when they got to the point where they had to do timed math tests (i.e 30 or 40 problems in a minute), we had to break out the flash cards. That was the only way they were able to memorize them and answer quickly. We started with the 0's, 1's & 2's. Then added the 3's into the mix. Once those were quick, we added the 4's. And so on. If there were any problems that they had trouble with, we pulled those cards out and went over them at the end. We spent 5 to 10 minutes each night going through the cards and they eventually got them.

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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

I have a bad memory so just memorizing the answers never worked for me. I found ways to adjust equations to make them easier to solve, so for example 8x9 would be (8x10)-9, that way it was easier for me to solve them in my head without needing to memorize anything.

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K.F.

answers from New York on

YouTube - School House Rock Multiplication

3 moms found this helpful
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G.♣.

answers from Springfield on

Is this the same daughter that already has an IEP? If so, I would talk to the teacher about this concern.

Enlist the help of the teacher and members of the Special Ed Department. They will have resources and ideas for you to try. They might even do additional testing to see if there is a gap in her learning ... something that they need to address.

This is not supposed to be on you. Obviously you want to support your daughter in every way you can, but the teacher and the school need to find ways to educate her. They need to determine whether she needs extra resource time or some other accommodation to help her learn. Talk to them.

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L.H.

answers from Abilene on

If she likes music, there are multiplication cd's out there. We homeschool and use Math U See. It's been a good fit and uses blocks for manipulatives. They also have a CD. You can buy them separately on their website or used on eBay.

I have used Kahn Academy for math in higher grades. You might check their website.

I used to put facts I needed to remember to music because I could remember them if I could sing them. I had to take a test in science on the animal kingdom. The only one I remember is drosophila melonagaster. I put it to the tune of Cinderella Cinderella night and day Cinderella...I'm in my 50's and that was 5th grade. Lol! 😂

Try not to stress too much. Sometimes it's a matter of maturity.

1 mom found this helpful

V.B.

answers from Jacksonville on

Decades ago we all learned the same way. We simply were required to memorize the grid. A box with the numbers across the side and top... each box aligned with the product of the two numbers. It actually is helpful to see patterns that way, but not everyone recognizes patterns in numbers with the same ease. Regardless, there was no real trick. Just practice. Learn one row at a time.

If I can find a link to a picture of what I'm talking about, I'll come back and post it. When I was grade school, the teachers handed them out to every student. It was a bright yellow paper (made from card stock) with red ink.

Here's one that goes to 10: http://www.mathatube.com/images/Times-tables-grid-mathatu...

Here's another that goes to 12. http://www.mathatube.com/images/times-_and_division_table...

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L.U.

answers from Seattle on

I went back through your posts to see how old your daughter is. Couldn't find it...BUT I did see that your daughter had an IEP last year.
I am guessing that your daughter has some learning difficulties. Perhaps you could ask her teacher/pediatrician/tutor for some suggestions. You don't say what her difficulties are so it is not fair for us to give you suggestions without knowing that whole story.
How 'bout you let us know how old she is? What her difficulties are? What you have tried? What the teacher has said?

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J.B.

answers from Boston on

There's a program called Times Tales that's pretty inexpensive. My oldest son was stuck on these for years and finally in 4th grade I bought the Times Tales book and he had them memorized in an hour. It was really painless. The goofy stories really stuck with him.

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P.K.

answers from New York on

Memorization! It's worked for a long time. Start with 2s. Once she's got it move on etc.

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K.G.

answers from Fort Myers on

Just keep practising, she will get it.
9 times tables are easy, this trick works up to 9x9

9x5= 45
The number before 5 is 4, thats the 1st number. 9 - 4 is 5, thats your 2nd number

9×8=72
Number before 8 is 7.
9-7=2
72 is your answer.

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N.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Perhaps she's not ready for it?

Maybe she isn't going to be good at math and will always need help?

There isn't a right answer here because some kids are strong in some subjects and weak as soup in others.

Perhaps you could have her tested to see what learning style she is so you can teach her the way she learns?

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R..

answers from San Antonio on

My daughters teacher taught them songs...I am sure they are out there on the internet.

For instance to the addams family theme for times 2 it would go...2,4,6 snap snap 8,10,12 snap snap 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 snap snap and 24 snap snap. (I heard her singing the songs for about six months and using her fingers until they were all memorized.)

Each week they did a new number starting with twos through twelve. On Friday they did a written test and if they scored a 100 they got part of a banana split on a bulletin board. Twos were the bowl, threes were the spoon, fours was a banana, five, six and seven were ice cream, eight was chocolate sauce, nine was whipped cream, ten sprinkles, eleven was marshmellows and twelve was a cherry on top. At the end of the unit they got to make the actual sundae out of the parts they had earned...if you never learned/passed your eights no chocolate sauce or no twelves you didn't get a cherry on top. It was my daughter's favorite day ever and she worked so hard to get all the parts of her sundae to have a complete banana split. They had the ice cream party on a Friday right before school got out.

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J.N.

answers from Lubbock on

Like AK mom, I had trouble memorizing. I came up with tricks to help me add quickly so I didn't have to rely on memorization.

Pam Harris, has come up with methods so that children never have to memorize algorithms or multiplication tables. Instead they develop an understanding of how numbers work. Her book is called Building Powerful Numeracy.

Just go with her strengths. I scored in the top 5% on my SAT and somehow ended up teaching middle school math and I still have problems with my times tables. I'm not sure if it is a memory issue or because I was so traumatized when I went from one school system teaching adding of single digit numbers to another that was teaching division of three digit numbers.

Good luck!!

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S.W.

answers from Detroit on

I remember learning a lot of my multiplication from Schoolhouse Rock. I bet you could find it on youtube or the discs on amazon. Repetition is the key to learning things like multiplication so why not give it a try and you and she can sing along together to get those synapses connecting. After all...3 is a magic number. :-) best of luck to her. She'll get this down it does take time. S.

B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

How old is she?
How many years has she worked on it?
It might seem boring to her if she's been working on it a long time and still can't remember.
There are sites with math games that might make it more fun.
Some people have a harder time learning them than others.

http://www.additudemag.com/q%26a/ask_the_learning_expert/...

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S.L.

answers from Denver on

My dd learned from the songs: The Numbears multiply. You can buy it on Itunes. We played it in the car wherever we went. She picked it up without even trying. She was always the fastest out of her class with her math facts.

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