Multiplication Tables - Gone? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-14-2007, 02:45 AM
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Dude.. that is because I was only stating the fact that most people don't RETAIN THIS INFORMATION. No argument. A simple statement of fact.

And just because you don't know the multiplication tables off the top of your head, does not mean you cannot do simple math without a calculator. I do it all the time.

BTW, it would make more sense, to count by 5's nine times then try to add 9, 5 times.
"Most people" based on how many, Tina? Seriously.
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Old 08-14-2007, 02:47 AM
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(and I have never seen a division table.) My DH seemed to think you have to have them memorized to do math too. That simply is not true.
You don't see a division table because it's basically a different form of multiplication.
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Old 08-14-2007, 02:50 AM
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I was a third grade theacher for five years, and I have worked for years in elementary school.

Let me tell you that children can take up to one to three years to memorize the times tables, but UNTIL THEY DO, they cannot learn any more arithmetic. All of the arithmetic after the times tables is based on the times tables.

Think of it:

division
measurement
transferring to other number bases
fractions
percentages
decimals
exponents
fulcrums
algebraic statements

I made it fun for all of my students, but they left my class knowing all of their times tables. There are fun ways to teach the times tables, but they have to be learned.

The twos, the fives, the sixes and nines all have a fun component.

I am always sad when I sub in a sixth grade math class and no one can remember their times tables. The last one everyone seems to learn is 11x12=132.

It is easy. For all two digit numbers times eleven, take the number being multiplied by eleven:

12

spread it out

1 - 2

add the two numbers

1 + 2 = 3

put the sum of two numbers that are multiplied by eleven between the two numbers, and you have your product.

1 3 2, 132!

Try multiplying 53x11

5 - 3

5 + 3 = 8

11x53=583!

11x35=385!

I solved it! It is fun.

For numbers time eleven as, say, 99?,

11x99=?

9 + 9 = 18

drop the 8 in the middle of the 9 - 9 and "carry" the one to the 9 in the hundreds column and add the one to nine.

1+
9 - 8 - 9

11x99=1,089

Works every time.
COOL!
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Old 08-14-2007, 02:53 AM
 
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"Most people" based on how many, Tina? Seriously.
Most people I know. Do you really want me to count everyone I know? My DH is the only one I know that actually knows and retains his multiplication tables. He can also tell you the color of the power button on my aunt's computer. Yet he can't remember what he had or breakfast. He can't remember his phone when he leaves. He looses things constantly. He can't remember the kid's birthdays.

Maybe I will do a poll in TOA. It would be interesting to know how many people can remember 100% of the multiplication table.
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Old 08-14-2007, 03:01 AM
 
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Old 08-14-2007, 04:16 AM
 
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The poll isn't set up to answer the question of how many people who learned their tables actually retain the information. A more useful poll would have asked:

- learned all and retained all
- learned all and retained some or none
- didn't learn all

A cross-cultural analysis would be even more interesting.
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Old 08-14-2007, 04:26 AM
 
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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.
This method was popular when I was in third/fourth grade.

My own son, whom I homeschooled, learned his times tables all in the space of three weeks. Division also.

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Old 08-14-2007, 04:34 AM
 
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The poll isn't set up to answer the question of how many people who learned their tables actually retain the information. A more useful poll would have asked:

- learned all and retained all
- learned all and retained some or none
- didn't learn all

A cross-cultural analysis would be even more interesting.
Yes.. I know see I should have differentiated between didn't learn and don't remember. But I think it is interesting that it is 60/40 ish out o 26 people.
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:54 AM
 
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I do not have a learning disability.

I don't believe that the reason certain kids don't retain this information is due to poor instruction. I believe it is the individual learning style of the student.

Yes schools should teach the multiplication tables...
No schools should NOT hold back students who fail to memorize them but can still do the math problem.
I disagree. Mainly for two resons: the lack of math facts is present here, while it wasn't back home, and classroom instruction was way different, especially in the math class.

Learning style refers to the way we retain information the best, not to whether or not we are capable of retaining it.

I don't believe American kids have some kind of memory problem, and I have seen drastic difference in instruction in American education, for some reason it shuns away from any kind rote memorization (be it math classroom or language arts, also explains why they don't know what a verb is by 6th grade, no one has ever asked them to memorize any kind of rules with explanation or without!).

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Old 08-14-2007, 12:57 PM
 
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I feel there is nothing wrong with memorization.

It "exercises" the brain, and as you learn something, the meaning will click on when you learn the times tables and insert the fun parts and shortcuts which reinforce and help the memory.

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Old 08-14-2007, 06:25 PM
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At least as of this writing, 68% of your respondents remember all of it. That's not even counting the ones who remember most of it but not all.

Far as I can tell, that's a clear majority.
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Old 08-14-2007, 06:30 PM
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and I have seen drastic difference in instruction in American education, for some reason it shuns away from any kind rote memorization (be it math classroom or language arts, also explains why they don't know what a verb is by 6th grade, no one has ever asked them to memorize any kind of rules with explanation or without!).
I can shed some light on why this is.

Memorization and other forms of rote learning were SERIOUSLY badmouthed by my education "professors" when I got my certification. Really, they reacted to the idea that children should be made to memorize stuff about as well as we on MDC would react to the idea that we should all raise our children as formula-eating White Supremacists.

Really, it wasn't a case of presenting both sides of the issue -- it was out-and-out derided as "boring" and "old-fashioned" and associated with things like Sister Mary Knucklebreaker or Mr. Gradgrind types of authoriarian, punitive teachers. It wasn't fun. It didn't help their sense of self-esteem.

What that did was to set up a generation of professors teaching teachers teaching students not to memorize, and a generation of other teachers who'd never learned how to do fundamental math without a calculator being unable to teach any cool memorization tricks because they themselves had never learned them.

And that brings us to today.

This history lesson has been brought to you by... :
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Old 08-14-2007, 06:32 PM
 
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At least as of this writing, 68% of your respondents remember all of it. That's not even counting the ones who remember most of it but not all.

Far as I can tell, that's a clear majority.
I disagree with you. That is still more than 30% that don't remember them. Hell I know part of them. But part of them is not what we are looking for. We are looking for people who remember ALL of them. Because as was previously posted.. everyone can learn and retain all of this information unless they have a learning disability.
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Old 08-14-2007, 06:35 PM
 
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I can shed some light on why this is.

Memorization and other forms of rote learning were SERIOUSLY badmouthed by my education "professors" when I got my certification. Really, they reacted to the idea that children should be made to memorize stuff about as well as we on MDC would react to the idea that we should all raise our children as formula-eating White Supremacists.

Really, it wasn't a case of presenting both sides of the issue -- it was out-and-out derided as "boring" and "old-fashioned" and associated with things like Sister Mary Knucklebreaker or Mr. Gradgrind types of authoriarian, punitive teachers. It wasn't fun. It didn't help their sense of self-esteem.

What that did was to set up a generation of professors teaching teachers teaching students not to memorize, and a generation of other teachers who'd never learned how to do fundamental math without a calculator being unable to teach any cool memorization tricks because they themselves had never learned them.

And that brings us to today.

This history lesson has been brought to you by... :
That might explain people like my 14 year old DD who is in advanced math, a TAG student.. but was never taught the multiplication tables.

However it does not explain what I am talking about. People like me who WERE taught this information but forgot it once the test was over.
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Old 08-14-2007, 07:02 PM
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I disagree with you. That is still more than 30% that don't remember them. Hell I know part of them. But part of them is not what we are looking for. We are looking for people who remember ALL of them. Because as was previously posted.. everyone can learn and retain all of this information unless they have a learning disability.
Tina, a majority is anything above 50%. It is not an issue of "agreeing" or "disagreeing" with me. This is a fact.

If you have 50.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of any given thing, you have a majority of that thing. 68% is therefore a very clear majority.
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Old 08-14-2007, 07:04 PM
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That might explain people like my 14 year old DD who is in advanced math, a TAG student.. but was never taught the multiplication tables.

However it does not explain what I am talking about. People like me who WERE taught this information but forgot it once the test was over.
I can think of a number of different reasons in no particular order:

1. You have a learning disability
2. You were taught in a poor manner which did not capitalize on the natural ways we remember rote information
3. You didn't care and forgot it quickly because it was not important to you
4. You had social reasons why you blocked math
5. You had psychological reasons why you blocked math

There are other possibilities; these were the first I could think of.
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Old 08-14-2007, 07:10 PM
 
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i will admit that i didnt read past the first page and there seems to be a bit of an argument going on, i dont really want to touch that

i just wanted to add that my sons just finished grade 3. they learned how to multiply without the times tables of the past as well. IMO the way math has been taught to them is much more efficient then memorization. instead of memorizing a table they are really learning how the numbers work together. they dont use paper, calculators or anything, they do it in their head.
they have also learned to add and subtract in this way. math is being taught in a different way then how i learned and from what i see so far, it is much better.
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Old 08-14-2007, 07:28 PM
 
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Tina, a majority is anything above 50%. It is not an issue of "agreeing" or "disagreeing" with me. This is a fact.

If you have 50.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of any given thing, you have a majority of that thing. 68% is therefore a very clear majority.
Fine you have a "majority." A slim majority. And I don't believe in anyway that your slim majority (at this moment) equals the statement that was made earlier.
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Old 08-14-2007, 07:36 PM
 
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I disagree with you. That is still more than 30% that don't remember them. Hell I know part of them. But part of them is not what we are looking for. We are looking for people who remember ALL of them. Because as was previously posted.. everyone can learn and retain all of this information unless they have a learning disability.
I disagree. Of all the things I've had to memorise in my life (like the times tables, the structures of amino acids, etc), even partial recall helps me. And I only have partial recall because I knew them well when I did memorise them. I might not remember 8x5, but I remember 9x5, and minus 5. It allows me to do the maths in my head where I couldn't multiply 9x5 without a pen and paper. I remember that glycine's the simplest aa. I remember tryptophan is funky, and proline bonds weirdly and cysteine has a sulphur in it. They're all useful things that I only know because I had to memorise the whole kit and kaboodle at one point. If I'd only had to recognise them I'd remember nothing.
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Old 08-14-2007, 07:37 PM
 
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I can think of a number of different reasons in no particular order:

1. You have a learning disability = I do not as I have stated multiple times.
2. You were taught in a poor manner which did not capitalize on the natural ways we remember rote information = I wouldn't know, but most of the people I grew up with did not retain this information.
3. You didn't care and forgot it quickly because it was not important to you = and we are back to people not retaining this information, for whatever the reason.
4. You had social reasons why you blocked math = umm.. no.. but even so.. it would mean it was not retained.
5. You had psychological reasons why you blocked math = again no.. and again.. still not retained.
My whole point is..many many people and the majority of the people I know do not retain this information. I never said it should not be taught. I said it is often not retained and in my experience most people do not retain it.
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Old 08-14-2007, 07:41 PM
 
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I disagree. Of all the things I've had to memorise in my life (like the times tables, the structures of amino acids, etc), even partial recall helps me. And I only have partial recall because I knew them well when I did memorise them. I might not remember 8x5, but I remember 9x5, and minus 5. It allows me to do the maths in my head where I couldn't multiply 9x5 without a pen and paper. I remember that glycine's the simplest aa. I remember tryptophan is funky, and proline bonds weirdly and cysteine has a sulphur in it. They're all useful things that I only know because I had to memorise the whole kit and kaboodle at one point. If I'd only had to recognise them I'd remember nothing.
You disagree with what? The point of my poll?

It was previously stated that everyone can learn and memorize the entire multiplication table and retain it. Unless of course you have a learning disability. I am pointing out that even if it is taught, many people do not retain this information.

I agree with you that knowing part of it is helpful. That is how I function. I am responding to those who think everyone can learn and retain the entire thing.
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Old 08-14-2007, 07:44 PM
 
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Well... I'll never get why "not knowing" is being defended here.
I'll be sure my kids are "in the knowing" section though.

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Old 08-14-2007, 07:54 PM
 
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Fine you have a "majority." A slim majority. And I don't believe in anyway that your slim majority (at this moment) equals the statement that was made earlier.
Ummm, a "slim" majority has a ratio of substantially less than 2 to 1. A slim majority would be more like 53-47.

This is all getting a bit silly.

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My whole point is..many many people and the majority of the people I know do not retain this information.
But that isn't all you said.

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My original point being, most kids I know are never able to memorize the times tables. Teaching them how math works is more important than making them sit there and memorize something they are going to forget as soon as they memorize it anyway.
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I am not saying people should not memorize the multiplication tables, what I am saying however is that in my experience, that information is not retained by most people.
Can we now agree that most people who learned their tables retain them and that most people can learn them?
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Old 08-14-2007, 07:59 PM
 
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That might explain people like my 14 year old DD who is in advanced math, a TAG student.. but was never taught the multiplication tables.

However it does not explain what I am talking about. People like me who WERE taught this information but forgot it once the test was over.
I have two things to respond to this...

The impression that I have is that before it was all about rote memorization (your era?), and now it's all about concepts (your daughter's era). Mathematics have never found balance here between the two, and without the balance you still end up with mediocre math education.

I don't mean to make you feel bad about TAG or anything, but math instruction is seriously behind. And what American schools deem high level courses are not all that high when compared with other places.

I was an average students (Bs, and Cs) when I was back "there", and even struggling with speaking different language I managed 98% in my Calc class without studying at home whatsoever (vast majority of the class ended up with Ds). Did I mention that I wasn't a star student back at home? Yet I graduated on high honor roll, because I had no problems memorizing material. Other students didn't seem to know how to commit something to memory (I soooo should start another thread on this topic hehh).

I think you are starting to feel defensive on this topic, and I don't mean to bash anyone really.

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Old 08-14-2007, 08:04 PM
 
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My reading of this thread is that there have been lots of mistakes made in the teaching of mathematics in the last fifty years, which goes back to my beginning in school.

When I was in fourth grade, they threw out the old arithmetic books and put in the "New Math" which was an exercise in philosophy because it was suggested by a philosopher. This is why engineers rebelled everywhere and men as retired USAF John Saxon published his math textbook series embraced by homeschooler everywhere and banned by the LAUSD as being too simplistic.

It is important to learn the basics. To memorize the times tables, to understand them, yes, but to memorize first, because understanding comes when you learn them and master the times tables. They are fun, they are magical, and they are a joy to learn, but one must learn them.

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Old 08-14-2007, 08:05 PM
 
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Ummm, a "slim" majority has a ratio of substantially less than 2 to 1. A slim majority would be more like 53-47.

This is all getting a bit silly.

But that isn't all you said.





Can we now agree that most people who learned their tables retain them and that most people can learn them?

Umm No we cannot agree to that. I think a very large percentage of people do not retain this information. I also said most people I know
do not retain it. I did not say most people in the freaking world.

Yes this is getting silly. You are nit picking my every word.

I do not agree that most people who learned them retained the information. I will only give you that after about 16 hours of a poll 67.2% of the people on MDC that have voted on the poll retained it. That is still not most people in my opinion.
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Old 08-14-2007, 08:11 PM
 
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I have two things to respond to this...

The impression that I have is that before it was all about rote memorization (your era?), and now it's all about concepts (your daughter's era). Mathematics have never found balance here between the two, and without the balance you still end up with mediocre math education.

I don't mean to make you feel bad about TAG or anything, but math instruction is seriously behind. And what American schools deem high level courses are not all that high when compared with other places.

I was an average students (Bs, and Cs) when I was back "there", and even struggling with speaking different language I managed 98% in my Calc class without studying at home whatsoever (vast majority of the class ended up with Ds). Did I mention that I wasn't a star student back at home? Yet I graduated on high honor roll, because I had no problems memorizing material. Other students didn't seem to know how to commit something to memory (I soooo should start another thread on this topic hehh).

I think you are starting to feel defensive on this topic, and I don't mean to bash anyone really.
Honestly, TAG is just a label around here that means a child is at a higher level than the rest. Yes the education in the US is mediocre. When we moved to Oregon from Cali I was under the impression that the schools were better, but they were not. They were WORSE. And I went to a school assembly. 45 students received honor roll. 22 of those students received a 4.0. The principal was gushing about how smart these students were. I did not see that. I saw a school that was not teaching anything to these students which is why they were getting such high grades. THEY ALREADY KNEW IT! My daughter included. She was bored to death in 6th grade math. She was supposed to be in Algebra but the teacher kicked all the 6th grade students out of his class. Not because they couldn't do the algebra, but they didn't have the discipline or maturity that the 7th and 8th graders had. I was really POed and the school wouldn't do crap. I fought and entire year to get her doing TAG work and they just keep babbling "we don't have funding for TAG." It's just a label.. nothing more.

I have to go get my son.. however...I have said my point over and over again. I wont bother re-stating it.

And applejuice.. copying multiplication tables down over and over again IS BORING! No wonder no one retains this information.
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Old 08-14-2007, 08:13 PM
 
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Well... I'll never get why "not knowing" is being defended here.
I'll be sure my kids are "in the knowing" section though.
Sigh.. you cannot force people to retain information. It's not like a computer where you can push save and there it is forever. Memorization just does not stick with some people.
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Old 08-14-2007, 08:23 PM
 
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And applejuice.. copying multiplication tables down over and over again IS BORING! No wonder no one retains this information.
Some do. I know it is boring. When I was in school we had to memorize things from the cathechism every week all through eight years of religious school...some were better at it than others, I know, but it does not mean it should not be a way, ONE WAY to learn.

I feel sorry that your DD got kicked out of the TAG program. Here we call it the GATE program. That is why parents throw up their arms and simply homeschool their children and/or hire a tutor for things like algebra that the parents did not learn well themselves the first time around.

I did that.

math is not everyone's forte'. It should be, because it is an international language of sorts and very logical.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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Old 08-14-2007, 08:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aniT View Post
Sigh.. you cannot force people to retain information. It's not like a computer where you can push save and there it is forever. Memorization just does not stick with some people.
Absolutely, I just don't want the schools using it as an excuse to skip teaching math basics, including math facts, and leave out majority of kids who are able to benefit from it.

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Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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