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Multiplication Tables - Gone?

post #1 of 118
Thread Starter 
DD just finished grade 3, and they learned multiplication... but they didn't memorize the "times tables" the way they did when I was in school.

Is this a thing of the past? I just can't fathom that this won't be a problem in the future... Are we really creating a generation of people who will have to sit and think and count on their fingers to figure out that 6 x 7 = 42? Or, I guess they'll use the calculator on their phone... :

I'm thinking of making some flashcards. Am I out of touch?
post #2 of 118
I taught 6th grade last year and I had several students who didn't know all of their times tables. I would assign them sometimes for misbehavior. I figure it gives them something they don't like to do, but also teaches them something, hopefully.

Flash cards never helped me, personally. IMO, they only work if you know the facts already and are just practicing for speed. Writing or saying them (or both) helped them 'stick' better. Also, finding the patterns helps.
post #3 of 118
Teach them to your dd this summer.

A few years ago when I substitute taught, the kids in the middle school math class couldn't do basic operations (6x7) without calculators. Scary.
post #4 of 118
Ugh.. Please do your daughter a favor and teach her multiplication tables... As a 6th grade math teacher, I can't tell you how frustrating it is to have kids spending time counting by 6 to get to 42 :

I took classroom time to do it in middle school, and I personally think it is a ridiculous thing to have to do. They should have learned it in 3rd grade, right after they learned what multiplication means and how it works.

This should not be happening!
post #5 of 118
another teacher here

Please make her learn them! The argument for not teaching them at my school is that we have so much content to teach that we shouldn't "waste time" on memorization. They ask parents to work on them at home. All future math builds on this! Argh. Pet peeve, can you tell?
post #6 of 118
We hear the same thing, but some things just NEED to be memorized.
post #7 of 118
This is SAD, very sad indeed!!!
post #8 of 118
My kids do learn multiplication tables. They present it a little differently than they did when I was a kid, but they are still expected to know the math facts.

I would teach her. Dh and I are both in education and I think the idea that there is intrinsically something evil about memorization is nonsense.
post #9 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
My kids do learn multiplication tables. They present it a little differently than they did when I was a kid, but they are still expected to know the math facts.

I would teach her. Dh and I are both in education and I think the idea that there is intrinsically something evil about memorization is nonsense.
Sorry to crash the Learning at School forum to say this, but it's one reason we didn't want to send our DD to school -- I'm a school teacher too, and I believe in the virtues of memorization, but at the same time, teachers get pressured all the time to teach "higher-level thinking skills" without realizing that without those LOWER-level thinking skills (like memorization) having been mastered, it's like building a house from the roof down and expecting it to stand.

Ironically or not, one day last year, I was teaching my junior literature class and we somehow got into a discussion -- probably about a test grade -- about percentages. Out came the calculators. I basically said, "Oh, puh-LEEZE. You're kiddin' me -- you all need to whip out the plastic to figure out ten percent of a given number? Just move the decimal!"

A host of blank expressions looked up at me and I realized I had basically said *insert Charlie Brown teacher voice here* "Wadda wa wa wadda wadda wa."

I had to show them the trick of taking 10% by moving Mr. Decimal Point one space to the left. They'd never heard of it. One girl said, "Oh, I'm writing this down! This is so much easier than the way we learned it."

Go figure -- an English teacher shows how math works. EASY math. To JUNIORS. What's going on?
post #10 of 118
The lack of knowledge of basic math is a problem IMO. As a high school teacher, I have had many, many students who cannot perform basic math such as multiplication and operations with fractions and decimals. The ed schools are currently advocating for teachers to avoid the "drill and kill" approach, but students sometimes need to learn basic procedures for solving types of problems. This requires practice.
post #11 of 118


My reply was also longer in its original form,...but I decided against the bashing of the modern day school system due to so many teachers being on here.

I think it is sad, why are the parents expected to teach their kids basic maths skills? They have to work as well!
What are families supposed to do when both parents have to work full time jobs, come home at 5pm, cook, do the homework with their children and in addition teach them maths?
They should be having some family time together for a couple hours at least, instead of stressing with an extra workload. What do the schools think when they are giving the families additional work loads that the schools should be doing,....or they are maybe too busy preparing for the next sports event.
post #12 of 118
Well, dh and I work full time, too. I don't have any problem at all with supplementing and reinforcing my kids' education at home. My parents did it with me, back when the earth was cooling. I view it as a perfectly normal part of parenting.
post #13 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggieinnh View Post


What are families supposed to do when both parents have to work full time jobs, come home at 5pm, cook, do the homework with their children and in addition teach them maths?
.
No kidding! Isn't one of the virtues of school supposed to be that they teach children the fundamental bases of the knowledge they will use? Isn't the role of the parent supposed to be to reinforce those knowledge bases, provide support and time in which homework can be done, work as a partner with their child's teacher, et cetera, but not have to be compelled to fill in a crucial gap the school is not addressing?

SO not fair.
post #14 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
Well, dh and I work full time, too. I don't have any problem at all with supplementing and reinforcing my kids' education at home. My parents did it with me, back when the earth was cooling. I view it as a perfectly normal part of parenting.
Okay, I already stated my biases up front previously, so please take that into consideration.:

That said, though, don't you think there's a crucial difference between "supplementing and reinforcing" your kids' education at home and having to teach them a fundamental concept the school is not addressing?

For example, I think we'd all agree that it's totally reasonable to help your child with his or her English homework, let's say -- reasonable to provide insight or clarify an ambiguous direction or to give additional examples. However, isn't it one thing to say, "Well, Jimmy, where do you think the verb in this sentence is?" and another thing altogether to have to teach the parts of speech because your child's school decides that's not a skill they need?
post #15 of 118
I'm all for involving parents in their own kids education, but if a kid who spent a year in third grade doesn't even know math facts, then what in the world were we teaching your child?!?
Unless I'm homeschooling, I should expect the school will cover the basics.
post #16 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
Okay, I already stated my biases up front previously, so please take that into consideration.:

That said, though, don't you think there's a crucial difference between "supplementing and reinforcing" your kids' education at home and having to teach them a fundamental concept the school is not addressing?

For example, I think we'd all agree that it's totally reasonable to help your child with his or her English homework, let's say -- reasonable to provide insight or clarify an ambiguous direction or to give additional examples. However, isn't it one thing to say, "Well, Jimmy, where do you think the verb in this sentence is?" and another thing altogether to have to teach the parts of speech because your child's school decides that's not a skill they need?

That is exactly my point Meg Murry!
I bet some parents would like to have some fun with their children as well, besides only working with them, not that working with them can not be fun as well,....but you get my point.
post #17 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktog29 View Post
A few years ago when I substitute taught, the kids in the middle school math class couldn't do basic operations (6x7) without calculators. Scary.
I used to teach accounting at a technical college and I was horrified at the vast number of students who could not calculate percentages at all, could not add two 2-digit numbers without whipping out a calculator, didn't know what a numerator/denominator was, etc.

It was frustrating to me to have to spend time educating them about math fundamentals when we had a short amount of time to cover the accounting material to begin with.
post #18 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinydancer34 View Post
I used to teach accounting at a technical college and I was horrified at the vast number of students who could not calculate percentages at all, could not add two 2-digit numbers without whipping out a calculator, didn't know what a numerator/denominator was, etc.
We're homeschoolers who switched from one Asian style math program to another between first and second grade. One of these teaches mental addition of 2-digit numbers (including regrouping and sums >100) in first grade, the other in second. However, even when I look back on my own education, I don't recall ever being taught mental math techniques. Thankfully, I managed to pick up a few on my own.

And now on-topic. Something that really helped DD1 with her times tables was a Learning Wrap-up. They're available a bit cheaper elsewhere; this is just the first picture I found.
post #19 of 118
I would definitely teach the multiplication tables to your kid(s) on your own! It's been a while, so I may be remembering this wrong, but I believe that on the AP Calculus tests, they have a non-calculator section. So if your kid ends up doing those tests, wouldn't it be sad if they failed because they couldn't do the simple math fast enough? I don't mean to imply that's the only reason for learning the multiplication tables - it's just one of a million!
post #20 of 118
I had to teach my dd to memorize the multiplication facts. And yes, flashcards really helped. I also got a multiplication card-game that she liked.
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