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# Video:Tips for Teaching Multiplication

with Jonathon Stewart

Make learning times tables fun and easy with these practical tips for teaching multiplication.See Transcript

## Transcript:Tips for Teaching Multiplication

Multiplication is a foundational component of mathematics and one taught early on in elementary school. Whether you are working with a class or helping your kids master their homework assignments, there are a few good tricks and tips for getting those multiplication tables squared away.

### Helpful Tips for Teaching Multiplication

The basic tenant of multiplication is that you're taking a number and adding it to itself a certain number of times. Multiplication is a shortcut device that makes it more convenient for reaching that total number. For example, instead of taking 2 plus 2 plus 2 to reach a total of six, you could say two times three equals six, or three twos equal six.

### Additional Tips for Teaching Multiplication

This is where practical demonstrations can come in handy. Find some objects to illustrate how to understand this basic concept. You can use beads, buttons, seeds, or anything countable. A few items sure to grab your child's attention are jelly beans, M&Ms, or some other small candy. Just be sure not to eat your own props.

Start by illustrating the concept of multiplication with your small objects. Put the objects in your child's hand so they can feel and see the numbers or quantity, and group them so that they each number in your equation has a practical equivalent. For two times three, for example, make three groups of two blocks, being sure to emphasize the number of each, then count the total blocks to demonstrate the answer. Certain times tables are typically easier to grasp than others. Starting by working with these "easier" parts of the multiplication table can build confidence and establish the main ideas upon which multiplication is based. Zero is generally a good place to start – just take all the blocks away and ask your child how many there are. When they say none or zero, reinforce the idea that anything time zero, is zero.

### More Tips for Teaching Multiplication

After zero, you might try ones, then move on to twos, fives, and tens followed by the doubles like six times six, seven times seven, and eight time eight. From there, you might work on threes, fours, sixes, and higher by using your small objects, flash cards, or multiplication worksheets and exercises found online and at your local learning store.

It's important to note that you shouldn't proceed to the next set of numbers before your child has mastered the ones you're working on, and understands not just what they're doing with the numbers, but how it all works. If your kids are confident about their grasp on these early basics, it will give them the solid foundation needed to continue learning, and enjoying, math in general. You might also try having your child draw their own multiplication chart. While it's great to use flashcards and exercises, actually writing out their own multiplication chart can help to reinforce the concepts, relationships, and patterns between fact families. It is also thought that the physical act of writing out what a child is learning and what has been explained to them helps to reinforce it into their memory banks.

Lastly, stay positive and be encouraging. If you are teaching more than one child at a time, remember that every little person learns at their own pace. Don't compare them but focus instead on what areas of multiplication need to be reinforced with each. Final tip: a small reward for any accomplishment, even if it's just sincere praise and appreciation, can be the best reinforcement of all. I'm Jonathon Stewart, with About.com.
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