I’m not going to lie. I have a love/hate relationship with math so I was a little worried. She is a kinesthetic learner so I knew a hands-on approach would work best for her. I’m also not a fan of memorization. I think this method takes away from learning concepts that are needed as a student progresses in math. My challenge was to find fun exciting ways to teach and learn these math concepts.
Here are some of the way I have succeeded in making learning multiplication and division fun!
1. Grab some dice and make it a game! Get rid of flash cards and practice multiplying and dividing using a fun hands-on method. Roll the dice to find out what two numbers you will be using.
2. With all the little techies roaming around these days, technology and computer games are also a great way to learn. Here is a game we love: http://www.transum.org/Software/Game/Connect4/
3. Have students create an illustration of their math problems. Illustrations help students visualize the problem. They can create a multiplication journal. Each day give them a few problems to illustrate. They will end up with a wonderful visual to refer to. For example, Suzy had 12 apple slices and 3 friends. How many apples did each friend receive?
4. Using marbles or another manipulative is also a fun hands-on way to learn. My daughter loves practicing her multiplication and division problems using marbles. She treats each problem as a mystery to solve. This is a great way to learn in a repetitive way without feeling the pressure of memorizing facts.
5. Chocolate chip math has become one of our favorite games. It is a wonderful game that challenges students to solve math facts to earn chocolate chips. We sometimes substitute the plastic chips with real ones. Once the game is over they are a yummy treat!
6. I also found this fun Multiples Pyramid from Teaching With Simplicity. We tried this today and my daughter had so much fun. What a fun way to master skip counting!