Math help for 4th -5th grade - Mothering Forums

Old 06-14-2003, 12:54 AM - Thread Starter

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My niece, a bright, curious 10 year old about to enter 5th grade, was told by her teacher that she should have a math tutor this summer (actually, her parents were told). Poor thing cried. She loves school, but she does have a great deal of trouble wrapping her mind around math concepts, so I think the teacher is correct. Does anyone have any suggestions/experience with homebased math education to supplement public school? Her parents work full time or more, but gramma is willing to do what she can. I've tried to get ahold of the Multiplication Rock series, but can't seem to find one in print. But maybe I'm missing something. HELP?
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Old 06-15-2003, 12:22 PM

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Multiplication Rock is fun...

But if she is going to go anywhere in math at this point, she cannot go any further unless she learns her multiplication times tables..

No decimals, no fractions, no division, no measurment conversions. These all concern factoring and deriving the least common multiple.

There are fun ways to learn the times tables.

All of the 2's are even, the 3's add up to 3,6,9, the 4's are even, the 5's end in 0 or 5, the 6's are even and add up to 3,6,9, the 10's end in 0, and the 9's add up to 9 and if not that is the remainder. There are tricks to the 7's,11's and 13's, but learning the others are sufficient.

She can learn about geometry for a break or about probablility as it is fun.

She must get past any conceptual problems she already has.

I am not sure what exactly her problem is at this point, but I know at 5th grade there is no-go without full knowledge of the multiplication times tables.

"Doctors are men [persons] who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure [treat] diseases of which they know less, in human beings of whom they know nothing."

- Voltaire

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Old 06-15-2003, 10:36 PM

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One thing that has made a huge difference to my daughter is to give her things to do instead of exercises on paper. That could mean asking her to help with measuring things, counting, handling money (lots of kids who "can't do math" are quite good when they have to figure things out with money) or even something as simple as cutting the pie for dessert. For multiplying, sometimes we make grids using coins or other small objects, or sometimes my daughter draws pictures (three times five is the same as the number of points on three stars...)

After she has the idea of practical math, she might be better able to move to workbooks.
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Old 06-16-2003, 01:15 AM - Thread Starter

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Thanks to you all for the input.

From what I can see, her major problem is with multiplication. Applejuice is right, she'll have to conquer it to go any further. I think that is why her teacher suggested tutoring.

I hadn't thought about making some of the instruction practical instead of tradtional "book learning". Shows what sleep deprivation does! I really appreciate the input and will make some suggestions to my mom. I also plan to try to work with her over the summer.
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Old 06-21-2003, 01:50 AM

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There is a great math program called the quarter mile my kids love to practice math facts on computer also try
http://www.multiplication.com/teach.htm

The 9 Times Quickie

For 9 X 3 bend your third finger down. (9 X 4 would be the fourth finger etc.)
You have 2 fingers in front of the bent finger and 7 after the bent finger
Thus the answer must be 27
This technique works for the 9 times tables up to 10.
The 4 Times Quickie

If you know how to double a number, this one is easy.
Simply, double a number and then double it again!
The 11 Times Rule #1

Take any number to 10 and multiply it by 11.
Multiply 11 by 3 to get 33, multiply 11 by 4 to get 44. Each number to 10 is just duplicated.
The 11 Times Rule #2

Use this strategy for two digit numbers only.
Multiply 11 by 18. Jot down 1 and 8 with a space between it. 1 --8.
Add the 8 and the 1 and put that number in the middle: 198

Good luck with this!!!
Mary
mom of four great kids
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