Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Learning Games

Kitten Rescue

As a third grade teacher, I find multiplication terribly frustrating. Having my students truly master math facts, seems to be just beyond my control. I can teach the concept of multiplication and provide practice, but nothing seems to work like old school drill and kill. Many students need to practice every single night to accomplish mastery and most 8 year olds just don't have that level of dedication to school work. Of course it comes easily for some students, but I have a soft spot for the others. I was one of the others. I try to explain to my students that math will be easier for the rest of their lives, if they take the time to learn the facts now. I explain that I took too long to memorize my math facts. I don't always admit that there were a few facts that I still had to think twice about until I started teaching multiplication in my late thirties. Yep 7 x 8, I'm looking at you.

Kitten Rescue Multiplying 0 - 6

As education shifts away from simply memorizing information, math facts remain one of the areas where rote memorization is still necessary. We now attempt to teach students to think for themselves, find solutions, solve problems, and become independent learners. In the area of math, this is infinitely more difficult if a student is still trying to count out 7 x 8 on her fingers.

Kitten Rescue Domino 
Playing Cards
I love knowledge. I love passing new knowledge on to my students. I even love math now, although it was my absolute worst subject all through school. I blame it on not mastering my math facts in third grade. I believe with the right attitude learning anything can be fun. I don't create games for my students to make math fun. I believe math already is fun. I create games for my students, because I believe a happy child at play remembers information better than a bored, stressed child.  A roomful of happy children at play soaking in new knowledge they will use for the rest of their lives. Is there anything more beautiful?

To add a little fun to your multiplication practice, visit my TPT Store to purchase my latest product, Kitten Rescue Multiplication.