We try to encourage creative learning and shy away from rote learning in our teaching.
I am teaching multiplication to my P3 and P4 kids and they need to memorise multiplication tables. Memorising is not at all fun, yet essential. Most importantly, it allows the student to focus on understanding and solving the problem, rather than get bogged down with the tedious process of calculating the answer. Being fast at multiplication not only builds confidence but also takes away the mental drain of solving problem sums.
So how should I encourage my students to learn their tables without killing the joy from my classes?
I devised the following game. It’s entertaining and they don’t even realise they’re working on this.
This is a game for 2 or 3 players.
1. Take a standard pack of playing cards and remove the jokers and pictures (remove 6,7,8,9 at first).
2. Flip over two cards. First person to shout out the correct answer to the multiplication of the two numbers gets to collect the cards.
3. Repeat from the deck until all cards are dealt. The player with the most cards wins.
When they get more familiar with the multiplication, start adding the picture cards (J for 11, Q for 12).
For an additional twist especially for the stronger P4 kids and P5 kids, you can use three cards. Multiply the first two and then add the third.
This is just one of the many games I play with my children. With some effort, I hope they enjoy coming to my lessons every week and learn something useful.