Strategies for learning math facts

Children with language processing problems often have difficulty with the language of math.

They may have difficulty interpreting math "word problems" and/or with memorizing basic math facts such as the multiplication tables.   Improving reading skills should help the child interpret "word problems".  But what about memorizing math fact?

If the child has working memory deficits a rote memory (flash card) approach may not be the best approach to learning math facts.  A more effective approach might be one that will helps the child understand the way the number system works.  For multiplication facts, use a table that illustrates the progression of math facts (e.g., 3 x 2 is 3 more than 3 x 1).  A  multiplication table make explicit how this works across the whole array of multiplication facts. 

For videos tutorials see KhanAcademy.org video- The Multiplication Tables


Here is an example of how you might practice using this approach: 

WEEK 1  -  Complete the 3s line in the table above daily.

When you come to one you don’t know  (e.g., 3 x 6), rather than counting on your fingers to count six more than the line above (12 + 6), visualize the addition on a “blackboard in your mind”. That will allow you to add 2 + 6 = 8 and then the 1 in the tens column to get 18.  You won’t need to count on fingers.  You can just “see” it on your mental blackboard and use that to simplify the calculation!



WEEK 2 -  Complete the 4s and 5s lines in the table.  Use your mental blackboard.


WEEK 3 - Complete the 6s and 7s lines in the table.  Use your mental blackboard.


WEEK 4 - Complete the 8s and 9s lines in the table.  Use your mental blackboard.


WEEK 5-  Fill out the whole table every day this week. Use your mental blackboard.


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