Multiplication Can Seem Like A Board Game
(Flagstaff, Arizona, USA)
My son, a fourth-grader, has a lot of problems with multiplication tables.
But he loves games!
I’ve tried to make math more like a game by using four dice (four identical or two pairs of two colors) and a scratch piece of paper, and sometimes a kitchen timer. What we do is this:
He rolls two dice, and then has to multiply the numbers showing.
Doing this activity will practice facts from 1X1 to 6X6.
Or, if the child is doing one set of facts that week, roll one dice or a pair and total that by the fact table.
For example, for the three facts, roll and multiply the number showing by three each time.
We can start by saying “Just do it right ten times and then we can do something fun.” We can tally the ten on the scratch paper.
Later on when he becomes more proficient, we can add the timer -- “See if you can do ten facts in two minutes.”
The later we can use both pairs of dice to practice facts up to 12x12.Here are the tips:
1) Keep the goal each time challenging, but achievable.
2) Lots of little rewards: a 5 minute cartoon voucher, a quick game of hide and seek, a nickel toward a toy or comic.
3) Lots of little sessions instead of one long one.