“Teaching for Mastery of Multiplication”

Overall this article discusses the importance of multiplication skills. It is vitally important for students to master these skills early on in order create a strong foundation to build upon. The article goes on to explain that students who are fluent with multiplication facts feel more confident and are more likely to participate in the activities. These students are also able to move smoothly through their assignments and word problems. Students who are not fluent with there multiplication facts stuggel with making progress due to not only the amount of time spent figuring out a problem, but also because of discouragement. So why are students still lacking multiplication-fact skills in upper elementary and even secondary grades? How should multiplication be introduced to students and taught effectively? Well there is an infinite number of variables which may affect a students learning. A few include though are not limited to, moving schools, family issues, a learning disability, classroom setting, and even the educators instructions.

A few strategies the article highlights are listed below:

  • Providing concrete experiences and semiconcrete representations prior to purely symbolic notations
  • Teaching rules explicitly
  • Introducing the concepts through problem situations and linking new concepts to prior knowledge
  • Providing mixed practice” (Gurganus, 2005).

The method which stood out most for me is the Rate strategy. This focuses on a value or distance that associated with a unit. The product is the total value or distance associated with all the units. Because this problem involves a number of measured units, it can be represented with a number line.

Wallace, A. H., & Gurganus, S. P. (2005).  Teaching for mastery of multiplication. Teaching Children Mathematics,  12(1) 26 – 33.

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