The effort is worth it. Cognitive scientists say that learning 6 x 7 and 8 x 9 by heart frees up the brain’s working memory so that students can focus on the more demanding aspects of problem solving.
Mathematicians debate how to make multiplication automatic. Some teachers argue against drills, stating that fluency will develop through everyday use. Others argue that schools should spend time helping children learn their times tables.
Even among proponents of memorization, it’s unclear which methods are the most effective. Should kids draw? They can create their own tables with color-coded numbers Should they play games or study their multiplication facts? Should they play? multiplication songs What about videos? They should learn tricks like the fact that the digits in the multiples nine add up to 9 (1+8, 2+7 etc.). My daughter’s gym teacher used to make students shout “7 x 5 is 35” and “6 x 8 is 48” as they did jumping jacks. It was a great way to make the jumping more interesting.
A team of learning scientists has compared two popular methods to help teachers: chanting or flash cards.
The 2022 experiment occurred in…