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Math Mammoth Multiplication 1 is a fairly self-explanatory worktext to learn the concept of multiplication and the multiplication tables. It has two parts: The first part concentrates on the concept of multiplication, the order of operations, and word problems. The second part is all about memorizing the times tables.
I have created a systematic approach to memorizing the times tables. In this method, one table is studied at a time to mastery. The individual tables are NOT studied in the order of 2, 3, 4, etc. but instead the “easy” tables of 2, 5, 10, and 11 are studied first. The study order also includes studying the table of 4 right after the table of 2, and studying the table of 6 right after the table of 3, because the skip-counting patterns of those tables share some similarities. The lessons emphasize the fact that one multiplication fact is always in two different tables. This way, when the student gets to the hardest tables, the tables of 7, 8, and 12, there are only a few totally new facts to learn.
We always start the study of each table by memorizing the skip-counting pattern 7, 14, 21, 28, etc. first. Then we work on memorizing which fact is associated with which answer. This way your child not only knows what is 8 x 7 but also knows all of it “backwards” - that 56 is in the tables of 8 and 7. That knowledge will be an enormous help later, when the student learns division, factorizing, and finding LCM's or GCF's.
The book also includes a 12x12 grid at the end of almost every lesson in part 2 (see an example). The boxes for those answers that have not been studied yet are shaded and are not to be filled. Little by little, the shaded areas become fewer and fewer, and the progress is very visible to the student.
I encourage you also to use games for motivation and for practice. I have included a list of online multiplication games for that purpose. Of course, board and card games are perfect as well. However, games are not enough in themselves. The memorization also requires a mental effort from the student: sitting down with the skip-counting list, then with the facts, reading them, and then trying to remember them. The basic age-old technique of covering the list and trying to remember it is still very effective!
I do not want to discount the value of songs or mnemonic devices, but they tend to isolate the facts in the child's mind as separate “odd trivia”. This book shows the patterns found in the multiplication tables in order to keep the facts in a structured context, and emphasizes learning the tables "backwards" in order to facilitate learning division.
If the student studies the multiplication tables well at one time, he does not need to come back to them in the fourth, fifth, and sixth grade. One time will be enough, and he can move on to division and other topics.
Multiplication 1 book is excellent for remedial teaching.
About the Seller
Maria Miller, the author of the Math Mammoth books, is a math teacher turned homeschooler. She has a master's degree in mathematics with the teacher educational studies, and minors in physics and statistics. The aim of her math books is first and foremost to explain math in very simple terms, yet rigorously, concentrating on understanding of concepts.