Multiplication facts are essential to your child's elementary math success. However, if they know what 9 x 12 is, but they are not quite sure what it means, they will be at a loss in later math, especially Algebra.
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There are a number of different ways you can teach your child the concept of multiplication. Here I expand on three different ways.
Here I am going to show you the 'counting objects method'. Your child should know how to skip count to 100 with the number you are working on. (The aim is for them to be capable of skip counting all numbers between 1 and 12). If they need a 'Cheat Sheet' for this, you can get them here.
Depending on your child, you may think they would benefit more using the number line method or the multiplication array method first. You chose ? you know your child best.
Perhaps you could try introducing all three at the same time, and see which one they gravitate towards naturally!
The first numbers kids learn to skip count with are generally 2's, 5's and 10's. So let's look at a worked example, using 2's on the number line.<p>
If you want to physically follow along with this please print off these worksheets:
We are going to start at 0 and count in 2's until we get to the number 10! (the numberline I have here only goes to nine, so write in the number 10 before you start!)
And we are going to use cars for this exercise. (You can use anything your child can physically place on the sheet - lego blocks, buttons, dried beans ...anything!
The purpose of this is to show that multiplication is addition, but way faster! So every time you say a number as you skip count, you place a car on that number, until you get to ten.
So we can see that counting by 2's, 5 times will give us 10, or
2 x 5 = 10
This method will also help your child with multiplication word problems, with the use of the terms "Times?" and "count by".
I encourage you to use the different methods to explain multiplication to your child. If you do, you will instill in them the confidence, that they know what is occurring on the number line, the arrays will only help the visual learner , and assist any child with comprehension of area in geometry. Skip counting objects, will help them with number patterning, allowing one object to have a value of more than 1. This will make algebra so much easier!
If your child has mastered the concept of multiplication for all skip numbers, then I encourage you to introduce Multiplication Tables to them.
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