Bridge to memorizing math facts

Everything from basic math up through high school!

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mamaholly
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Bridge to memorizing math facts

Postby mamaholly » Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:54 pm

I'm convinced my nearly 9 year old DS needs to memorize basic addition and subtraction facts before we move on in math. He has bipolar disorder and has exhibited school anxiety from the very beginning. He is fully competent in coming up with correct answers but does not believe he has this ability. He can complete five problems in a couple of minutes. 20 problems will take him 90 minutes. He sees a grouping of problems as insurmountable. When his is not panicked... his work is very slow and 100% accurate. But I think he is reinventing the wheel every time he approaches a fact.

I really believe memorizing the facts with give him the confidence he needs to move on. Any suggestions?
Mom to John (8yo) and Hanna (19mo)

mousesmommie
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Postby mousesmommie » Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:43 pm

I worry about the need to memorize facts as well. It's one of the many things I had trouble with in school. I have found that somewhere along the way it must have sunk in from all the repitition. My son gets discouraged/overwhelmed when looking at a pageful of problems one way we combat this is I bought a relativly cheap dry erase board and he does each problem on it when the board is full I check his work and give him a couple more problems. We can take this anywhere it's dry. In the car at the park, ect. It's small about the sizeof a textbook. I got it from wal***t for less then $5. Also spluged and bought colorful dry erase pens ($8) so he can draw. As for increasing his confidence, is there something he's good at remembering? My son age 7 knows all of the "powers" his favorite hero's have on some tv show. He also know which one beats which other one. If he can remember all that then for a smart boy like that addition memorization should be no problem (yeah mine didn't buy it either). HTH in some small way.

Lily
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Postby Lily » Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:38 am

We used wrap-ups - www.learningwrapups.com They're portable so you can practice anywhere and focus on one family of facts at a time. Great little toy.

Yahtzee also helps with math facts and grouping 10s.
"The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."
- M. Montessori
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mamaholly
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Postby mamaholly » Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:43 am

Thanks for responding! I'm not sure about the wrapups as I've got a cool little device like a circle that has the facts in it and little windows so the numbers can change. I held this answer window open for him and tried to simply get him to read the problems with some rhythm hoping that would start some of the memorization process. That totally freaked him out. But I'll look into the wrapups.

I ordered addition the fun way from Amazon to see if a visual approach might help him.

I tried the white board yesterday as I've done in the past. I started with one problem at a time and was doing very easy problems that should cause him no trouble and he freaked out on me again.

So, my thoughts are that I'm going to have to pick like four or five or possibly two or three pet facts to work on for a period of time until he feels he is a master of them. When he's comfortable I'll move on.

What's really bizarre about this is that he is doing U.S. geography and can name the state and capital and locate 6 states that we've been doing for a couple of weeks and is really close to doing the same on 5 new states I introduced two days ago. There's just something about it being math that is causing him issues.

In geography, we've been playing go fish with homemade cards. Each card has a state or capital. When you ask for someone's card you ask for the match... if you have Tennessee, you ask for Nashville. I'm going to do the same thing with the few math facts I've chosen and see how it works....
Mom to John (8yo) and Hanna (19mo)

momo3boys
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Postby momo3boys » Sat Aug 30, 2008 12:36 pm

If your son is a physical person try jump roping to the facts, or writing them really big on the driveway or sidewalk. If you don't have one use a parking lot that doesn't get used much, :)

If he is visual and needs a few at a time, staples has these great little post it notes that have facts on them. we did three a day (or two days) and he got a prize when he had those down and was able to move on to the next set. I just stuck them to the door way that he had to walk through all the time ( the kitchen) he memorized them quickly. Right now just don't make the pressure on him for the answer, just a lot of repetition with you giving the answer first. That way he doesn't feel so much pressure. The more he fails the more he will think that he can't do math. Another thing to do is to use math in context. build something, bake something, so he can see that he can do math. It really does help.
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Bob Hazen
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Postby Bob Hazen » Sun Aug 31, 2008 3:44 pm

There are some of my articles at the following address:
http://www.home-school.com/Articles/

...that deal with various and creative ways in which the key dynamic of "repetition, repetition, repetition" can be practiced. Check that out. A big part of this is to think creatively about how that repetition can be achieved with as short a link as possible between the input ("6x8") and the response ("48") - think music, think games, think color, think motion, think oral recitation, etc.


Bob Hazen

mamaholly
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Postby mamaholly » Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:57 pm

Great ideas everybody. I realized later what I needed was motivation for John not the actual activities. The problem was that he wouldn't even try.

But I finally found an important key. I picked just a few flash cards which included ones and twos which he is more comfortable with than any others. Then I am using the Addition the fun way stories to introduce one new problem a day. Then random times during the day. I start first thing in the morning and then between each subject, right before meals and so on I offer him the chance to earn a penny for going through the flash cards. I promised him he didn't have to get them correct he just had to try them without panicking and running away.

On Fridays, he can turn in his pennies for 1 minute of video games for each penny. He receives an allowance of video game tickets on Monday already. He's usually spent them all by Friday so this is a nice bonus.

He's been counting his pennies several times a day and asks for more opportunities to earn pennies. His speed and confidence have increased dramatically in only two days. I'm allowing him to earn pennies for doing problems orally, on paper, flash cards, different math games. Heck, it's working so well, I can occasionally get him to perform other quick academic tests. :D
Mom to John (8yo) and Hanna (19mo)

istandamazed74
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Learning basic math facts

Postby istandamazed74 » Tue May 12, 2009 3:08 am

My husband wrote a program for our 3 daughters. He has chosen to market it as shareware. It teaches all 4 basic math facts: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. You go through 1 set at a time. For example: your child learns all their addition, but only the zeros, then he moves onto just learning ones, just twos, etc. It's basically an online download-able flash card program that also offers tests for each skill, for each number group. His website is http://www.ubersmartsoftware.com
~Angela Kocur


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