High 5’s to the 5x Tables!
I have a little critter who loves Mathematics! Just between you and me – he didn’t get that from me! But I’m really careful about the way I talk about Maths around all my critters because I strongly believe kids listen to everything we say and if they hear me saying “I don’t like Maths”, as soon as they find something a little tricky they may think, “I don’t like Maths either, just like Mum!” I also believe that Maths, like anything, is not something that only some people can do – its something everyone can do, given the right environment to learn it and the encouragement to follow an interest in it.
My sons school does an excellent job of helping their students understand the concept of Multiplication but I believe we (as parents) need to play our role in backing up the teaching of these concepts. When he was younger we would go for walks and identify numbers, look at patterns, now we play number games in the car, adding up number plates eg WXZ285 = 2+8+5 = 15, and lots of rote learning of our times tables.
Rote learning is memorising facts through repetition. Some people may believe that rote learning is an outdated form of learning but I believe that it still plays an important role in a child’s development. Its important when children are learning their alphabet, numbers, spelling words and multiplication. Yes they still need to understand why and how and what it all means but if they have the facts memorised, for example 5 x 5 = 25, then they can recall this number fact quickly while building on their understanding, like 50 x 50 = 2500 or when they need to do long multiplication like:
One of the ways we are using rote learning in our house is to play High 5’s as we go up and down the stairs everyday. Quite simply all we have done is traced around my son’s hand and he has written out one the 5x tables on the palm of each picture. We have then blu tacked the hand prints on the wall going up the stairs and as we go upstairs we say the times table, give it a high five and move on to the next one.
After they have been on the stairs for a week or two we swap them for a different set of times tables or we can also swap the order of the times tables for example: 3×5=15, then 7×5=35, then 1×5=5 – so they are learning the individual times table and not just the song. Its important to change them around so you to catch their attention rather than having the images blending in with the background. This is mostly for my year 2 but my year 1 and kindy critters are also taking bits and pieces of it in, recognising numbers and patterns and learning without even being aware or it.
Do you have stairs in your house? Maybe you could put some up on a door or blank wall in your house that you pass regularly?
Have fun learning together.