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Monday, March 12, 2012

School Bell: Multiplication Tables Trick

Having trouble helping your kids learn those blasted multiplication tables?  Try this almost no fail trick for the 1-6 tables....  Work them into a game.  

1. Pick a game with a long trail [like Parcheesi, Sorry, etc.]. 

2. Explain that when you roll the dice you won't move the total of the two dice, but the product of the two dice. That means that the range of random dice rolls will mean moving anywhere from 1 space [1x1] to 36 [6x6] !

So what would have been a move of 6 can turn into a move of 5 [1x5], 8 [2x4], or even 9 [3x3]. A roll that might have been 12 [6+6] becomes a whopping 36 [6x6]. becomes While it will slow down the turns a bit while the child figures the math, they will move around the board faster too. The options of 1-36 will keep it moving and exciting and anyone's game.  

It's not a cure, but it is a way to sneak in some extra practice in a fun, enjoyable way.

For beginners:
--make the move in sets [a roll of 2 and 4 means moving 4 spaces twice or 2 spaces four times to discover the total move is 8].
--allow a multiplication table, or calculator

If you have only a bit of time:
--Choose any trail game and just see who is first to get one playing piece all the way around the board and back to the start. 
--Skip all the other rules and sidetracks and just make it a race once or twice around the board. 

For advanced tables: 
Buy two special ten-sided dice 0-9 for 30¢each from enasco
OR---After they have mastered the 1-6 tables roll the dice twice.... The first time for the first number, the second time for the second number.  This lets you get the 7-12 tables.  
OR---Use two plain wooden cubes [under 50¢ at craft stores] and label with 7,8,9,10,roll again, and lose turn. 

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