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Learning the Times Tables by Coloring Fun

Learning the Times Tables by Coloring Fun

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Dear Colleagues, re: Learning The Times Tables By Coloring Numbers... kasha8888 I just created a Picasa Photo Web Album for showing how students can make their own "Colored Pencil Times Tables" as Math Tools for Learning, Discovering, Predicting, and Proving Numbers... By "Making Numbers their Friends" and making their own "Math Tools for making School Fun" Please be certain to READ the Description for each Times Table picture, thanks... ps: You can obviously use colored markers or crayons etc. and you can make the Number Grid/Chart as Large as you want: Wall-Size would encourage all students to participate and cooperate in a Classroom Project Together... and definitely "Brighten" your Classroom and Help "Make Numbers Your Friends" and SEE that "Numbers have Families" also... to be continued... Allen

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Ken Cornett's picture
Ken Cornett
Retired: Grades 4 to 12, specializing in curriculum development

Learning the time tables isn't a matter of colouring numbers, but that is a start, Kids from all grades up to grade 10, and likely even in Grades 11 and 12 have trouble with the multiplication tables.

Have you ever asked the question why do kids know their 2,5 and 10 times tables usually, not necessarily, and why do they have touble with 10 x 11 = 111 - I got that answer all the time until it was explained to them, it was more from a habit and not from thinking about the process.

Students know and 2, 5 and 10 x tables because are every day numbers deal with the 2,5 and 10's. Ask them about the 3 x tables and they are stumped usually.

So how do you teach the Multiplication Tables - well if you are teaching the 3 x tables you have to ask yourself a question, If I teach the 3 x tables, here are some of the questions that most people think of as they relate to the 3 x tables 3 x 6, 3 x 8, 3 x 9. Which is normal. However 3 x 6 means 3 groups of 6, 3 x 8 means 3 groups of 8, so if a student has to learn the 3 x tables, they have to be able to add 12 different groups, like, 3 x 6 means 3 groups of 6, or 6 + 6 + 6. and 3 x 8 means 3 groups of 8 or 8 + 8 + 8. This can cause a lot of complications in a student's thinking and make it difficult for him/her to learn.

To simplify learning the multiplication tables for the 3 x tables, instead of saying 3 x 7, say 7 x 3, or 8 x 3, etc. This way, 7 x 3 means 7 groups of 3 or 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3, and 8 x 3 means 8 groups of 3 or 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3.

Why: Because now the student is only working with groups of 3's and that reduces the number of groupings from 12 to just 1, the groups of 3.

Next: In thinking that way, the student now needs to learn the counting numbers of 3 - so they practice and learn to count like 3,6,9,12,15,18,21,24, 27, 30,33, 36. That's it.

In order for these numbers to become theirs, they practice counting by 3's from 3 to 36 forwards and backwards. If they can count forward and backwards those numbers become theirs.

Once they have completed that step, you can ask them the question, 7 x 3. Now they can use their fingers and count by 3 until they get to the 7 and they will be able to tell you the answer , but let them know it\s the product and not the answer. This way they don't have to memorize the facts, they just have to know their number facts and apply that information to the multiplccation question.

If you don't beleive me, take it one step further.

Spell the word MATH , but first I want you to visualize it in your mind. Make a mental photo of it. Now close your eyes and see the photo of the the word MATH and spell it. Good, that's step One.

Now make a photo of the word MATH in your mind, and seeing that photo spell it backwords - when you can visualize and spell words forward and backwards that word becomes yours.

The numbers are the very same, if you can say your numbers forward and backwards you control those numbers, so you don't need to memorize at all. It will be slow at first, but eventually the student will just know the fact and won't have to count. The more they pactice the better they get - just like hockey, football , baseball and basketball players.

There is a program, if you go to and download Multiplication, it has over 270 pages of instructions to help you learn the multiplication facts - The Addition Program is free, so you can download that and check out how the program is designed and see if that help. If you have questions, you can send an email to This basic program took 30 years to completed and has been tried in lots of classrooms. I had a grade 8 class and told them, if you don't know your multiplications by the end decided to learn them., so that's another method - A grade 10 mom phoned me up and said her Grade 10 son is having trouble with Division, primarily because he didn't know his basic facts - learning your basic facts at the earliest ages only helps you with the rest of your math - It's hard work for the parents, students and teachers but the end result you can't argue with. Go Basic Facts Go

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