#1 Times Tables: tiring and boring, huh? But: not being able to find the answers quickly at higher math levels, is impeding. Try this: teach the easy ones (2’s, 5’s, 10’s, 11’s – yes, 11 is easy, 11 22 33 44…) first, then put them away. Write out the others – 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12. Grab a METRONOME! Set it on low, say, somewhere in the 40’s or 50’s, and get your child to look at a particular times table, and count it out to the beat: 6: “6..12..18..24..30..36..” until he gets to 6×12. As he counts aloud to the beat, he can also move his fingers, so that when he is saying “18”, his third finger is moving, to associate 6x3 with 18. Every day, he must practice this, until, at that speed, he can recite the table without looking at the copy. Then, start speeding up the beat! Practise every day for a few minutes. No stress. Mom does not even have to be involved. Over a long period of time, tables become automatic.
#2 Ruth Beechick said that young children learn maths concepts concretely before they can learn them symbolically. That is, the number two is a representation, and the concept 2 + 3 a symbol, of what the young mind needs first to be able to manipulate with concrete things, in order to “see.” Unpack the grocery cupboard!: dried beans, pasta shells, buttons and more can all be useful maths manipulatives.
#3 Here is a li’l brainteaser for those looking to “shorten” long division, when the time arrives. 254 divided by 6 equals 42.33 recurring.