Ask A Tutor Tuesday! – 9/1/2015
Question: I have an 8th grade student with difficulty memorizing the multiplication table. What would be a good strategy to ask a student to keep practicing after the session?
What often happens with students is that they understand the concept of multiplication, but they have trouble recalling multiplication facts quickly. To help your student improve his multiplication speed, encourage him to practice every day. If you see him once a week, then give him flash cards so that someone can test him or he can test himself. You can make these cards together in one of your sessions. Encourage him to mix the flash cards so he can see if he truly know his facts.
When you have a session with your student, have him practice memorizing the multiples of each number. For example, if he needs to memorize the 3’s, then have him remember 3, 6, 9, and so on. Then help him make the association that if he needs to know a question such as 3×5, then he simply has to remember 3, 6, 9, 12, and finally 15. Your student can also practice memorizing these multiples on his own.
Another strategy is to have your student use addition or subtraction to figure out the answer of a multiplication fact. For example if he needs to know 3×9 and he already knows the answer of 3×10, then all he has to do is subtract (30-3) rather than remembering the multiples. Below, you will find some multiples worksheets I made for my elementary school students which have helped them to memorize their multiplication facts.
Last, be patient with your student and offer lots of encouragement. It may take some time before he learns all of his multiplication facts. Good luck!
About the Tutor: Natalie Platon possesses seven years of experience working with K-12th grade students in different capacities and is currently finishing her multiple subjects teaching program with CSU Los Angeles. She has a deep passion for working in diverse and underserved communities and has worked in after-school programs, tutoring organizations, shelters, and schools.
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