Sunday, February 24, 2013

Making Kids Memorize Multiplication Tables

Everyone wants to know why my kids know their multiplication tables before entering the second grade. Its not because my children are geniuses... its because their mother is one. HA HA! Not really that either. It's actually quite simple, when we are in the car together we sing multiplication songs, every time. Yes, sometimes they get tired of these songs, but I push on through and make them sing it because, I'm the mom, and that's why. 

Automatic recall of multiplication facts is the key to success in higher mathematics. When you automatically know your facts, it frees up your brain to concentrate on other more complicated things in math. How do I know this? I was a math major in college. Now, don't go and naturally assume that this is genetic and just because I'm good at math means that my kids will be good at math. My own mother didn't even have algebra in high school, but she sure did know her addition and multiplication facts and she made sure I knew them too. When a child has a firm grasp of  basic elementary school mathematics, by having their math facts memorized, they will succeed in math.   

Skip counting is just one step in learning multiplication facts, with enough flash cards, drills and practice work sheets, eventually, they won't need to sing the songs anymore.

Enjoy the video's below with my kids and friends singing and skip counting to familiar songs for 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8. I show the finger trick for number 9. I figure, skip counting by 2's and 5's is easy, so I didn't bother to make a video for those. I hope these videos inspire you to sing skip counting songs with your kids in the car!

Count by 3s with  "Three is the Magic Number" (You probably can hear my hoarse voice trying to keep them to a beat. One of those darn kids gave me strep.) I love this Blind Melon song. One of my favorites, probably because I was in the School House Rock generation.

Count by 4s to "Row Row Row your Boat"

Count by 6s to "Brother John"

Count by 7s to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"

Count by 8s to "She'll be Coming Around the Mountain"

Count by 9s table finger trick. This is not a song, but it is VERY cool! I just taught her this 5 minutes before she did the video!!

.... and don't forget the lots of practice!!