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    #17573 - 06/07/08 03:18 PM The Dreaded Flash Cards?
    squirt Offline

    Registered: 03/31/08
    Posts: 323
    Loc: Back in Texas, alas!
    Pud (almost 7) wants to do division and multiplication. He also wants exponents and square roots. He already understands the concepts but is held back because he doesn't have his addition and subtraction facts memorized. I thought that he pretty much had them down a year ago; now I'm finding he doesn't (or he did and he lost them). We are very frustrated. Should we do more +/- problems? Or should we use flash cards until he has them memorized? Or will adding/subtracting multi-digit numbers accomplish this? He loves math and is always asking for "more". But, without those simple math facts down pat, I'm having trouble with that.

    Sometimes I find him counting on his fingers to add or subtract. He is doing this more now than he did before 1st grade. He also is counting up and down now (due to the introduction in 1st grade of a number line, I think). He gets very bored with the sheets of math problems I've given him.


    #17574 - 06/07/08 03:51 PM Re: The Dreaded Flash Cards? [Re: squirt]
    JBDad Offline

    Registered: 04/15/08
    Posts: 639
    Loc: Phila 'burbs
    Personally I don't see anything wrong with counting on fingers to do simple add/subtract. DS does that lots of times if he doesn't remember the math fact even though he has his times table pretty much memorized through 12x12. For Easter DS got a large poster of the times table that hangs in his room. Since he's fascinated with numbers, he pretty much just learned the table because he had lots of time to look at his poster. (I got it from a local educational/learning center.) So he knows his multiplication best. Funny thing is that I can't find a similar addition poster else I'd get that for him as well. My perspective is that by doing the higher math DS gets the chance to practice the add/subtract fundamentals. Our DS too doesn't like to do simple math sheets anymore either.

    Good luck!


    #17575 - 06/07/08 03:55 PM Re: The Dreaded Flash Cards? [Re: JBDad]
    Cathy A Offline

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    My kids have found this gadget more palatable than flashcards:

    #17579 - 06/07/08 04:37 PM Re: The Dreaded Flash Cards? [Re: squirt]
    Texas Summer Offline

    Registered: 05/01/06
    Posts: 216
    Loc: Texas
    There are many computer programs that make learning your math facts fun. My dd's school uses Fastmath, but it is expense for a single user ($250). I know I have seen other games but I can't remember any of the titles.

    #17581 - 06/07/08 07:03 PM Re: The Dreaded Flash Cards? [Re: Texas Summer]
    Grinity Offline

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Funniest I've heard of is hanging the 'Facts poster' up across from the 'John' so that they can't help but learn a bit at a time.

    I wish I had heard of it at the time.

    I see memorizing Math facts as a totally different, but also important skill than learning Math. Split the topic into two different subjects "memorization training" and "Math" -

    You can also try getting him to learn to 'remove' multiples of 5 from any number. So 36 + 12 becomes 35 plus 10 plus 1 plus 2 - some kids just like it better that way. Then one only has to memorize 4 +1 = 5, 3+2= 5, 6 is 5 +1, 7 is 5+2, 8 is 5+3, and 9 is 5+4. And you are all done!

    For multiplication I love 'skip counting' and you can just start doing it now, instead of regular counting, when timing anything or playing board games. Rolling a 3 and a 4 means skip counting by 3's four times. See how quickly you can get around the Monopoly board that way!

    Let's skip count by 4's to see how long it takes for your hot dog to heat up in the microwave.

    At our house we just waited until the school insisted, and then DH who loves that 'instant response' kind of thing quized him every morning on the way to school. I stayed out of the whole process. But if I knew then what I know now, I would have started all this goofy stuff at age 4! But no, I was still worried that I'd be burned at the stake for hothousing.

    Coaching available, at

    #17584 - 06/07/08 08:42 PM Re: The Dreaded Flash Cards? [Re: Grinity]
    Belle Offline

    Registered: 03/15/08
    Posts: 435
    We do something silly - my DS5 loves all kinds of math patterns and he is extremely visual and he got interested in multiplication a few months ago - We bought him a poster as well that is in his room and then he had me write out a "book" that has the 1x table on one page up to 1x12, the 2x tables on the next page up to 2x12 and so on until the 12's x tables. We used to sing the alphabet song while he brushed his teeth just so I know that he didn't brush in 10 seconds flat, then it turned to addition tables sang to him while brushing and about a month ago he asked us to sing the multiplication tables from his book pages while brushing his teeth. He loves it (we can't sing to save our lives but he doesn't care) and he is beginning to remember the times tables :-) We also found this cool book at one of the book stores - the one he has is addition, but I thought they had one for multiplication as well (you open the page and you flip around each page to see addition facts - my son has used this so much..

    #17593 - 06/08/08 11:13 AM Re: The Dreaded Flash Cards? [Re: Belle]
    Dazed&Confuzed Offline

    Registered: 04/05/08
    Posts: 1815
    I love Rightstart Card games for drilling math facts. There is a totally fun game called Corners. You have to make 5, 10, 15, or 20 by putting two numbers of the same color together. You then keep score by ... I forget the term, but it's all mental math and you right down only the answer (running total?). You can do it w/ addition or subtraction.

    My 5yr old loves it. He uses strategies such that 75+15, he do 75+10=85+5=90 or he might do 75+5=80+10=90. You can also start at say 1000 and subtract scores mentally.

    there are many other games in the book for multi, div, fractions etc.

    I found while my son was quick at these games, it was much slower on worksheets. Most of the hang up is handwriting speed and translating visual problem vs oral problem of the games, onto the paper.

    #17607 - 06/09/08 04:13 AM Re: The Dreaded Flash Cards? [Re: Dazed&Confuzed]
    Grinity Offline

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    For Adding I love the card game called 'Cassino' and some family variations.

    so much fun! Played with regular cards.

    Coaching available, at

    #17620 - 06/09/08 12:57 PM Re: The Dreaded Flash Cards? [Re: Grinity]
    Cathy A Offline

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    Play math war. Use any deck of flashcards. Deal out all the cards. Players flip their top cards and call out the answers. Highest answer wins.

    Edited by Cathy A (06/09/08 12:58 PM)

    #17622 - 06/09/08 01:43 PM Re: The Dreaded Flash Cards? [Re: CFK]
    Val Offline

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: CFK
    I never required my kids to memorize addition/subtraction facts or their times tables. My two youngest, the ones I post about on this board, both hate rote memorization. I never made that a requirement to exposing them to higher level math, either. Granted it took them longer to do the calculations on the more advanced concept, but eventually the math facts sank in and in the meantime their love of math was being continually fed . Both are working three grades or more above level in math now, so not learning the facts first has apparently not harmed them. I say let your son learn what he wants to learn. If he sees that the lack of knowledge of the facts is keeping him from doing what he wants to do he'll be more inspired to learn them than if you just keep giving him worksheets.

    Woof! You described my approach exactly (my husband too, but I'll write "I" to avoid sounding like the royal We here).

    I figure that my kids can learn the previous topic by doing the next one. I get them to a point where they have the basic idea down pretty well and move on. So, for example, long division forces practice at multiplication.

    I agree completely that this keeps love of math alive.



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