Multiplication and Division Facts
These are really crucial as they form the foundation for more complex maths skills and processes. It is absolutely essential that children know these as early as possible and it requires lots of practice to really embed them into the long term memory.
Below are some games and activities that will help in this learning and should make it as fun as possible.
Ideas to consider:
When to ask – Quick bursts work really effectively on target calculations so to and from school works well as there is a definite start and end to proceedings so more reluctant learners aren’t wondering how long it needs to go. There are an infinite number of possibilities for this as it depends on your timetable.
How long to wait for an answer – Ideal recall is as quick as possible – within 5 seconds is about right – but whilst they are learning wait longer; no more than 10 seconds because then the children can calculate the answer.
Focus on the calculations they don’t know – Although difficult, make sure the child and you both know which calculations they are yet to master and this will allow focussed learning leading to better success.
Make links between calculations – It is crucial children don’t see calculations as independent pieces of information to master but understand how the facts intertwine with each other. For example: if they know 2 x 7 = 14 and should from roughly Year 2 they also know 7 x 2 = 14. The more often these links are reinforced the more they will recall. This is definitely true with division facts as well where the child knows 4 x 3 = 12 and therefore 12 ÷ 3 = 4 and 12 ÷ 4 = 3.
Quickfire calculation tennis – throw a calculation at the children (not literally of course) and get them to fire the answer back. Repeat until someone wins a game, set, match etc.
If this is the answer then what is the question – this is using the inverse skill and is much more open ended where there are normally many possible answers if using whole number. It can also be used with addition and subtraction.
E.g. The answer is 8, what is the question? (1 x 8, 2 x 4, 16 ÷ 2, etc)