Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Three Times Two - Three Two Times

Several years ago, I was talking with a student as we left an after-school mentoring program. He said, "I just can't get those times things." I asked him to explain those times things. He said, "Like 3 times 2." I asked if he knew what 3 two times was. He replied, "6." We went on - 5 three times - 15; 7 one time - 7; 1 nine times - 9, etc. He spouted answers all the way down the hall. He knew how to multiply; he just didn't know he knew because he didn't understand what 3 x 2, one number times another number, meant. The next week, he couldn't wait to tell me all the multiplication facts he knew. That day I discovered how important it is to find the root cause of a child's struggle to learn a concept. In this case, the cure was as simple as turning two words around. Now, I routinely turn those words around when talking about multiplication.

No comments:

Post a Comment