Tag: memorizing math

[Updated Post] Does Memorizing Multiplication Tables Hurt More Than Help?


North American Multiplication Algorithm 12 x 9 = 108

Post update: Saturday May 21st, 2016 This post was originally written two years ago and admittedly took an angle that downplayed the importance of automaticity of multiplication skills which was not the original intention. Please read on as I attempt to clarify the original intent of the article. Let's Promote Understanding to Build Automaticity Over Time As you may have heard in the Globe and Mail or in my recent post, Ontario Education Minister, Liz Sandals recently tossed a comment into the media about the need for students to know their math facts: That’s actually a great homework assignment: Learn your multiplication tables. Liz Sandals - Ontario Minister of Education Understanding vs. Memorizing Multiplication Tables It seems ...


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Tips Moving From Math Procedures to Understanding


Tips Moving From Math Procedures to Understanding

Good At Math or Good at Memorization? I opened my inbox to the following email this morning: Hi Kyle, Scott Miller here. We met at the DVC Math Conference in February. In reading/watching your presentation "Two Groups of Math Students I Created in My Classroom" have you found students that are Not Good at Memorization, but do not struggle with unfamiliar problems? Have you gotten flack from parents that their child does not learn "that way" because you are "not teaching" them? I have used the terms Good at Procedures and Not Good at Procedures. I have found that by creating more challenges for a student to think through has benefited more of the Not Good at Procedures because they try different things. The Good at Procedures st...


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Students as Creators – Not Curators – of Math


Students as Creators - Not Curators - of Math

Most of my colleagues both on- and offline know me for being a math geek because I'm a math teacher and very passionate about improving how we teach the subject to our students. I'm definitely not the most educated, but rather just a guy who faked much of his K-12 education with the title "good in math." As I've mentioned in previous posts, I memorized much of the math (and other subjects) without necessarily having a deep understanding. Recently, I was asked to do a presentation at the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario (ECOO) Annual Conference in Niagara Falls and will focus on the lack of authentic learning in math class and what we can do about it. Since I have been challenging my own thinking in regards to math facts...


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Knowing Your Times Tables Is Great… Understanding Them Is Best!


Multiplication As An Array - 2 x 3 = 2 rows of 3

Thanks to everyone who read and commented on a recent post that prompted discussion about memorizing multiplication tables and whether it hurt or helped students in math. Although I received some positive reaction, I also managed to become the most hated mathematics teacher in many minds. In this post, I'd like to extend the conversation here to possibly better articulate my concerns for memorizing multiplication tables and math facts. I think we can all agree that students who know their math facts are usually in great shape regardless of how they managed to learn them. However, I choose to focus on those who don't know their facts in an attempt to help uncover why that is. My fear is that many students who are believed to be go...


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