For many parents, helping their kids learn multiplication seems like a daunting task. But fortunately there are now many tools and resources to help your child master this memorization-based school requirement. Below is a list of our favorite tools for teaching or supplementing your child’s multiplication curriculum.
Possibly the best resource available for free, the creators of Timez Attack have used their background in PlayStation video games to create this downloadable multiplication game that helps children master multiplication. The research-based game has had outstanding results, and has been proven to teach total mastery to average pre-3rd graders in just 10 hours. New versions of the game that teach division, and addition and subtraction are also now available. The game is available for free, but you can gain access to different themes with a purchase.
Used for years in schools, School House Rock’s Multiplication series of animated songs teach the multiplication tables. These songs work best as a supplement to help reinforce multiplication instruction, rather than as a way to teach it from scratch. The link above will take you to the free YouTube video featuring all 13 songs, from My Hero Zero to Little Twelve Toes, but you can also find an interactive DVD available for $21.91 on Amazon.com.
Times Tables the Fun Way: Book for Kids: A Picture Method of Learning the Multiplication Facts by Judy Liataud and Dave Rodriguez. $19.95
Make memorizing fun and easy with this clever book. Children who enjoy a good story and are visual learners will find this book to be a great tool for learning multiplication facts. Each fact comes with a cartoon or story. For example, to teach 4×4, the story tells about Bart who loves to go hang gliding and can’t wait until he turns 16 so he can get his driver’s license and drive his 4 x 4. Click on the link above to look inside the book and see sample pages. Or if you prefer animated software, check out City Creek Press, which teaches children to multiply in a sort of modern version of Multiplication Rock.
There are a number of multiplication printables available on the internet. For example, Ginger Snaps has created this fun and free Multiplication Songs & Tricks Sheet. Just click on the picture to download it. Jane Williams, a 3rd grade teacher in Ohio, offers a free Multiplication and Division Cut and Paste Sampler. Or if your child is struggling with the more difficult to memorize multiplication facts, try out these printable Multiplication Bracelets from Workaholic NBCT. Simply attach one on each wrist and let your child wear them and talk about them for the day. And Teach4Real offers a free Doubles Detective Multiplication Strategy download to help your students learn how to use patterns in multiplication to solve multiplication equations.
School Zone’s Flash Action Multiplication & Division software lets your child race against his own time, improving his skill at his own pace. The best part is that the difficulty will be adjusted based on your child’s performance. The downloadable software costs $9.99 and is available for Windows, Mac, and is whiteboard friendly. It is also compatible with iPad; you can find it here for $4.99 on iTunes.
Monica Olivera Hazelton, NBC Latino contributor and the founder and publisher ofMommyMaestra.com, a site for Latino families that homeschool, as well as families with children in a traditional school setting who want to take a more active role in their children’s education. She is the 2011 winner of the “Best Latina Education Blogger” award by LATISM.