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Essential Skills in Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division to 1000.
Introduction This guide you will teach you how to make and use materials that will help your pupils understand Mathematics better. It will cover teaching addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and cover the minimal set of skills students will need to be able to deal with those mathematical situations they may come across in daily life. The development of mathematical skills in young children. The development of mathematical skills in young children is very important. Before a child can start learning math in school, s/he has to develop the underlying skills first. If the child does not develop these skills well enough, s/he will almost certainly have difficulty mastering higher level skills. Therefore, if one of your pupils has problems with mathematics, you will need to check to see if he or she has learned all the skills of the first stage. Many children have not had enough experience manipulating quantities in their pre-school years and will need to work with the materials that will be described later in this chapter, so they can begin to develop all the skills needed to gain an understanding of higher order mathematical concepts. It is important that you show the child how to work with a concept through modelling the use of supporting materials. You basically do what the child should be doing whilst you also talk about what you are doing. When the child starts to handle the materials, you can, when necessary, talk the child through what he or she is doing. Later, the child should be able to handle the materials correctly without your help, after which the child should be able to solve problems without using these concrete materials. If you want to check if a child has understood what was taught you can ask the child to teach (explain) the math problem to you. Asking a child to teach a skill back to you, will also help in finding out what it is a child does not yet understand about a new skill. Developing an understanding of numbers and quantities. During this stage, the child has to learn the meaning and use of the following concepts:
Measure: the child learns concepts such as more and less; big and small; long and short; far and near; old and young etc. The child also has to learn that a unit of measurement can differ, e.g., when we measure out a quantity of rice with big cups, there will be fewer cups of rice than when we measure the same quantity of rice in small glasses. Or, when a big boy measures the length of the school yard in steps, he will have to take fewer steps than when his little brother measures the same distance in steps.
Conservation: the child learns that a certain amount or number of items is still the same amount if they are positioned in a different manner, e.g. OOOOO O O O is the same as O O. Children who have not yet mastered this, will often say
that the second row has more, because, when one line is placed beneath the other (see figure 1), it will appear to the child that there are more items in the bottom line, because that line is longer. You can show the child that there are equal amounts in both lines by creating two lines, using more or less identical objects in two colours (e.g. brown and white beans, or maize and beans) and lining them up, one beneath the other. Then you show the child that there is an equal amount in each line, first by counting the objects in each line and then by moving the objects in the lower line so they are lined up under the top line (see figure 2), after which you count the objects in each line again. Then, you move the objects in one line, after which you count the objects in both lines again. When you think the child has understood, you allow the child to move and count the objects.
Correspondence: This concept is closely related to conservation. The child has to learn that, when comparing quantities, he or she can decide on whether the amount is equal or different. The way in which a child learns this is by comparing two amounts of objects, placed in two rows below each other (see figure 3). The child can compare amounts by
placing an item from the bottom row under an item in the top row, so that each item is placed exactly under an item in the top row. If no items are left, the child then knows that the amounts are equal. If there is a greater or lesser number in any of the rows (see figures 4 and 5), the child knows that there are either more or less. If the child can count, the child can then also be taught that, e.g., 4 is more than 3 and 3 is less than 4. The child may also be taught that 5 is two more than three or that 3 is three less than 6. This may, of course be varied with other amounts.
This exercise can also be done with a group of children and a number of objects. Place five children in front of the classroom and have a sixth child hand out a number of items. The teacher decides on the number of items: 4, 5 or 6. The child who hands out the items has to decide whether the number of items is equal, more or less than the number of children. As a more difficult exercise, the child can be given up to three items more or
less than the number of children and he or she will have to say how many more or less items there are.
Classification: the child has to be able to see differences and similarities between items. For instance, the child should be able to put items that are similar in groups. A way of doing this in school is to draw two circles in the sand in the schoolyard and ask a child or small group of children, to put all the boys in one circle and all the girls in the other. This can then be varied by giving a number of children –boys and girls- a piece of paper. Ask some children to sort the group into children with and children without a piece of paper. To increase the level of difficulty, you could give one group of children a piece of paper and the other group a pencil. Some children will be given both. The circles now have to be drawn to overlap:
The children with both items will have to be placed in the centre, where both circles overlap. These exercises may also be done using paper shapes. Using colored paper, cut out shapes, e.g., triangles and squares in different sizes and in two colours. To begin with, the child may be asked to sort only the shapes or only the colours. Later, you may ask the child to sort by more than one characteristic, e.g. big, blue shapes and small, yellow shapes. • Seriation: The child has to learn to put items in order, e.g. big to small, order numbers, e.g. either from low to high: 1 4 7 or from high to low 7 4 1. The child will learn seriation only by being able to see and handle quantities. For instance: the child can build a high and a low pile of sand. The teacher will then tell the child that this is a high pile and the other is low. To show the child that the high pile is not always the highest, the teacher and the child can build an even higher pile of sand and the teacher tells the child that this is the high pile and the former highest pile is now the low pile, with the first low pile now becoming the lowest pile.
The child has to learn that this type of concept is relative to what it is compared with.
In class, for example, you can ask the children to order paper strips. Ask them to put them in order, from short to long or long to short and talk about their lengths in relation to each other. If number 5 is shorter than number 4, it is also shorter than number 3. If number 3 is longer than number 1, then number 2 is also longer, etc.
After a child has understood the above, he or she may be taught ranking numbers: 1st , 2nd, 3rd etc.
In addition to the above, the child also needs to learn to count to ten and it has to understand the meaning and use of the symbols +, -, X, and =.
When the child understands all of the above, he or she is ready to move to the next stage. Do ensure that the child is familiar with all of the above. Without this knowledge, the child will not be able to learn higher order math skills. It will be like building a house without a good foundation.
Basic number skills
It is very important that children are allowed to use concrete materials when working out math problems.
We all learn through doing. It is, for example, practically impossible to learn how to tie your laces by just watching somebody else doing it, or worse, by hearing somebody describe how they do it. The best way to learn a complicated skill is by having a person explain to you what they are doing whilst they are doing it. After that you can try to do it yourself, with help and/or further explanation of the person who is teaching you. The same is true for skills in math.
Making your own manipulatives.
Math skills can be taught using the following materials
Figure 1 Figure 3
The basis consists of small pieces of wood (figure 1) which represent units (also called ‘ones’. Using the word ones is less confusing for many children). The longer sticks represent tens (figure 2). These can be made by cutting thin sticks in even lengths. It is important that 10 of the smaller pieces, when put together, fit in the length of one longer stick. Hundreds can be created by tying ten tens together (figure 3) Thousands are made by stacking ten hundreds on top of each other
Ideally, each child has his or her own set consisting of at least twenty ones and twenty tens. In addition, the child should be able to use ten hundreds .
If it is not possible to have a set for each child, ensure that there is at least one set of hundreds for every three children. Each child will need a set of tens and ones, though.
It is useful for the teacher to have a set of the same materials, made out of bigger pieces and sticks. These are easier to see for the class when giving a whole-class instruction.
Addition and subtraction to 10
In teaching addition and subtraction to ten, you start with teaching these skills up to three. Three is a quantity that most young pupils will be able to picture in their minds. The child will be able to concentrate on learning the meaning of + and – without having to think about the numbers they are working with too much. It is important that children can work with addition and subtraction with these small quantities before they begin to work with numbers to 5 and then to 10.
Children should also be taught the different names for addition and subtraction:
Addition: add; plus; and; 3 is 1 more than 2; how many more is 3 than 1? Subtraction: take away; less; minus; 2 is 1 less than3; how many fewer is 1 than 3?
Many children will not learn these different names without practice.
Start with showing the children with your own set of manipulatives what it is that he or she does when working out, for example, 1+2:
Or when working out 3-2:
When working out subtraction it is important that the amount that was taken away is not put back on the larger stack of manipulatives. The child must be able to see whether s/he took away the correct amount. It is also important to show the child that addition is the opposite of subtraction by re- adding -on occasion- the amount that was just taken away, to show that you then arrive back at the original amount. By doing these exercises, the child learns that addition and subtraction are related actions.
The next step will be addition and subtraction to five. Once this is mastered, the child may move on to addition and subtraction to ten. Do continue to use manipulatives to support your instruction and allow the child to use these when working out number problems.
Memorizing number facts
Once the children have gained an understanding of how the above mathematical actions work, they will have to start memorizing the basic number facts to ten. They will need these when learning how to do math over ten. In order to help your pupils memorise these number facts, it will help to have a poster on the wall with all the pairs for each number. The number facts of 10 are very important and should –if possible- be given a different color. It is important to teach the children all number facts with a zero as well. Often these are skipped ‘because it is obvious that a number does not change when you add or subtract zero’. This is not so for many children, especially those who have difficulty understanding math. Zero is a concept that needs to be taught carefully. It is the same as nothing. Teaching the children this, will help them understand.
Do take care not to count from zero habitually, though, because some children will then confuse zero with one, which gives problems in later learning. However, children do need to be aware that zero comes before one.
Make a schedule for yourself in which you plan at least five minutes of each lesson for practicing number facts. These can be recited by the children to begin with. Later, you can ask individual pupils the answer to any of the number facts they have learned so far.
0 0+0 1 0+1 1+0 2 0+2 1+1 2+0 3 0+3 1+2 2+1 3+0 4 0+4 1+3 2+2 3+1 4+0 5 0+5 1+4 2+3 3+2 4+1 5+0 6 0+6 1+5 2+4 3+3 4+2 5+1 6+0 7 0+7 1+6 2+5 3+4 4+3 5+2 6+1 7+0 8 0+8 9 0+9 10 0+10
1+7 2+6 3+5 4+4 5+3 6+2 7+1 8+0
1+8 2+7 3+6 4+5 5+4 6+3 7+2 8+1 9+0
1+9 2+8 3+7 4+6 5+5 6+4 7+3 8+2 9+1 10+0
The same type of poster may be made for subtraction to ten:
0 0-0 1-1 2-2 3-3 4-4 5-5 6-6 7-7 8-8 9-9 10-10 4 4-0 5-1 6-2 7-3 8-4 9-5 10-6
1 1-0 2-1 3-2 4-3 5-4 6-5 7-6 8-7 9-8 10-9
2 2-0 3-1 4-2 5-3 6-4 7-5 8-6 9-7 10-8
3 3-0 4-1 5-2 6-3 7-4 8-5 9-6 10-7
5 5-0 6-1 7-2 8-3 9-4 10-5
6 6-0 7-1 8-2 9-3 10-4
7 7-0 8-1 9-2 10-3
8 8-0 9-1 10-2
9 9-0 10-1
Addition and subtraction to 20
When teaching addition and subtraction to ten, it is important to start with exercises that do not cross the 10: e.g. 10+6=, 11+7=, 13-2=, 17-7=. These exercises can be made easier by comparison with the corresponding number fact below ten: 2+3= 5 12+3=15 Ensure that the digits that are the same and have the same value –in this case 2 and 3- are positioned below each other. The same is true for writing down the answer. These exercises may also be done with manipulatives (see figure 7).
When the children are familiar with the above mentioned material, you can introduce crossing the 10 boundary. Crossing the 10 is a very important exercise that each child will have to master. Without this skill, the child will continue to have difficulty with acquiring further skills in math. The child will now begin to put to use all the basic number facts to 10 s/he learned by heart.
When teaching the child how to work out e.g. 14-5=, the child has to know to take away 4 and 1. 14-4=10 10-1=9 so: 14-4-1=9 so: 14-5=9
As you can see below, the child should know how many s/he should take away to make 10 and then s/he has to know how many of the original 5 are left , in this case 1, which has to be taken away from 10. The child should therefore know that 5 can be split in 4 and 1. In order to work out 10-1=, the child should also know that 10 can be split in 1 (what was left from the original 5) and 9 (which will be what is left after the 1 is taken away from 10). When working with manipulatives, the 10, in 10-1=, will have to be exchanged for ones, so the child can take away one. Basically, you take the 10 stick, put it to the side and exchange it for 10 units (see
take away 4=10
1=9 14-5=9 Figure 8
Exchange a ten-stick for ten ‘ones’. Result: 14-4-1=9
If the child becomes confused about which manipulatives to work with, you can teach him or her to use a sheet of paper-as shown in the example above-, upon which only those manipulatives needed for that particular part of the problem at hand are placed. All other manipulatives are placed away from the paper. In the
case of the 10 that needs to be exchanged for ones, the child first takes 10 ones, places them on the paper and then takes one ten, which is placed away from the paper. The child then has to count the total number of manipulatives, to ensure that the amount on the paper is still the same as before the exchange took place.
In subtraction, it is important that the child also realizes that, in order to make 10 of any number between 11 and 19, the units of the number must be taken away: 13-3=10, 16-6=10, 19-9=10 (see figure 9) You may need to practice this with your students before you move on to the step described in figure 8.
When teaching addition through 10, the steps are as follows: 9+5= First the child needs to know how much to add to 9 to make 10. Again, the child needs to know by heart the number facts of 10: 9+1=10. Then the child needs to know how many more s/he needs to add. S/he used 1, which means s/he has 4 more that need to be added to 10, because 1 and 4 make up the total of 5, which was the total amount s/he had to add to 9. Again, knowing those number facts is important. The child now adds 4: 10+4=14 (see figure 10). In this math problem it is not necessary to exchange 10 ones for a ten stick, because, as you can see in figure 9, the ones illustrate clearly how the problem was solved.
The next step is to add or subtract more than 9.
First, we add the ones: 3+4=7. Then we add the extra 10: 7+10= 17. 3+14=17
19-14= First, we take away the ones: 19-4=15. Then we take away the 10: 15-10=5
The reason why we teach children to take away the ones first and the tens later is because at a later stage, when long addition is taught, we also work from the ones, through the tens and so on.
On using manipulatives and teacher time
As you have seen, it is very important that all children memorize the number facts to ten. However, it is quite normal at this stage that they do not yet know these by heart. The manipulatives will help the child to learn them, as they can work with them through counting as well. Many children use their fingers for counting. It is better for them to use the manipulatives, because counting on fingers, especially when trying to solve a problem with more than one step, is confusing and more mistakes are made.
Please encourage your students to use the manipulatives when you see they use their fingers instead, but do not punish them for using their fingers. Children who are worried about punishment will have more problems with learning. Their fear of being punished will take away their attention from their learning process and as a result, they will learn less well. Also, a child who is afraid will not enjoy learning. Enjoyment is a powerful, positive emotion that enables learning. Praise will help children enjoy their lessons more. It is important to try to praise them whenever possible.
Once the children are familiar with solving math problems using manipulatives, they should be encouraged to work out these problems in their head, without the use of the manipulatives. This stage will be reached at different times for most of your students. Some students may not need the manipulatives very soon after you have first explained a math problem. Others may need them most of the time. You will probably find that those students, who have memorized their number facts, will stop using manipulatives sooner. If you find that a child has stopped using manipulatives, do check to see if their work is mostly correct. At least eight out of ten problems should be solved correctly. If this is consistently the case, allow the child to continue working without the help of manipulatives. If more mistakes are made, check that the child has understood what needs to be done and encourage him or her to use manipulatives.
The part of the lesson in which the children are solving math problems by themselves is a very important part of the lesson. The teacher should be present at this time to help students with what they find difficult. You may even decide to collect those children who have not understood the instruction very well and work through the instruction again.
Addition and subtraction to 100.
In the same way in which you have taught the students to work through problems to twenty, you can teach them to work on problems to 100. In figure 12 you see how to present 63-8=
Figure 13 shows you how to present 55+7=
You do build up the sequence in the same way in which you did with problems to 20. First you do not cross the tens boundary, so problems presented will be of the following type: 24+3=; 96-4=.
It is also important to work on problems like these: 56+4= 60, 87-7=80.
In order to help children see the similarities with the work they did to 20, you may present problems as follows:
3+4= 13+4= 33+4= 83+4=
It is important to start with problems that do not cross the tens boundary. For addition, the sequence in which problems are offered should be as follows: 33+4= (not crossing the tens boundary and only ones are added) 33+9= (crossing the tens boundary, only ones are added) 33+14= (the ones do not cross the tens boundary, a ten is added) 33+54= (the ones do not cross the tens boundary, more than one ten is added. The answer is not more than 100) 33+59= (the ones cross the tens boundary, more than one ten is added)
The principle stays the same: first the ones are added, then the tens. At this stage, it is important that the student exchanges ones for tens, if there are more than ten ones (see figures 12 and 13)
Children need to practice the value of numbers in larger amounts. When presented with the number 5 at the start of their math course, the child is taught that the value of 5 is five items. However, when presented with the number 55, the first five represents 50 items and the second five represents 5 items. This is called place value and can be taught using manipulatives, as can be seen in figure 14.
It is important to teach children this principle, as many children become confused by the change in value of a number due to its place in the number. Another way of teaching place value is the following. You make cards as follows, one for the numbers 1-9, 10-90 and 100-900:
These should be cut out and can be used to show the value of numbers by positioning the arrow end of each card on top of each other. The cards will then look like this:
If possible, use paper of a different colour. If this is not possible, use a marker of a different colour each for each value. It is important that the right-hand edge of each piece is not straight, so children know where the card should fit. This is
especially important when working over 100, when there is not always a card with a tens value, e.g. in the number 704.
The number line
Children can be helped to gain more understanding about larger numbers through displaying a number line up to 100 on the walls of the classroom. The line should run from left to right, with numbers big enough for children to see. For added clarity, the tens could be drawn in a different colour, such as red. This line is very well suited to show children how to cross through a ten. 26+7= would be worked out as follows: start with your finger or pointer at 26. Then add 4 by counting 4, ending at 30. Then add another 3 to end at 33. Explain to the children what you are doing, whilst you are doing it. Allow children to explain exercises in the same way, using the number line. The example below is part of a number line. This should be extended to 100
The hundred square
The hundred square can help children form a mental image of the place and value of a number relation to other numbers. It can help some, who have great difficulty working with manipulatives, to solve problems. It should never be used to the exclusion of manipulatives, though, as it will allow those children who have not memorized their number facts to ten, to use it as a substitute for counting on their fingers. It is important to teach children that steps to the right or left represent a difference of one and that steps up or down represent a difference of ten. It is also a useful tool for learning to count to 100 and for learning to count in steps of 10. Of course it is important to teach children to count in tens –this will be discussed in the chapter about multiplication and division- but also to count in tens starting from a different number than 10, e.g. 2, 12, 22, 32, 42, 52, 62, 72,82,92. This should also be done backwards: 92, 82, 72, 62, 52, 42, 32, 22, 21, 12, 2. Of course, the hundred square is a useful tool to show children in a different way how a particular problem is worked out: e.g. to show how to work out 35-18=, you first move your finger from 35 to 27 to illustrate 35-8 and then you move straight from 35 up to 25, to indicate you took away a 10 as well (35-10). This can be done after the children have been made familiar with the fact that the up or down step represents a ten. You may have to show them this several times by counting in steps of one from, say, 28 to 38, and then show them that you can go straight from 28 to 38 and call that step a step of ten forward –a step from 38 to 28 is then called a step of ten backward.
At the very least you should have a hundred square in your class that is big enough for all children to see. Ideally, each child should also have their own smaller hundred square. Perhaps they can draw their own and keep it in the back of their math book. If you let them draw their own, ensure that the lines are drawn straight, using a ruler and also ensure that all numbers are present in the correct spaces.
Addition and subtraction to 1000
The principals of addition and subtraction to 1000 are the same as the principal of addition and subtraction to 100. Ensure that the steps are build up as follows for addition:
If children find this difficult, you can offer them the following exercises: 1+2=3 10+20=30 100+200=300
70+60= (crossing the hundreds boundary using only tens) 76+60= (crossing the hundreds boundary using one number consisting of tens and ones and one Consisting of only tens) 76+62= (crossing the hundreds boundary, but not the tens boundary) 76+68= (crossing the hundreds and the tens boundary)
270+20= (using a number of hundreds, tens and ones and a number consisting of tens, not crossing into the next hundred) 270+60= (crossing into the next hundred, using tens) 276+62= (crossing the hundreds boundary, but not the tens boundary)
276+68= (crossing the hundreds and tens boundary)
270+320= 270+360= 276+362= 276+368=
In figure 18 you can see how to work with manipulatives when crossing a hundred. Often children, who have a good understanding of work up to 100, will not need to use the manipulatives hundred block. It is, however, useful to have these blocks to show the children how much a hundred is in comparison to other units of manipulatives. The same is true when they start working over one thousand. It is useful for them to be able to form a mental picture of how much a thousand is. For subtraction, ensure the steps are built up as follows:
If children find this hard, offer the following exercise: 5-3=2 50-30=20 500-300=20
140-20= (not crossing the hundred boundary, using only tens) 146-20= (only crossing the tens boundary, using ones and tens) 146-23= (crossing the tens boundary with tens, but not with ones) 146-27= (crossing the tens boundary using tens and ones)
140-60= (crossing the hundreds boundary, using tens only) 146-60= (crossing the hundreds boundary, using ones and tens) 146-63= (crossing the hundreds boundary, using tens and ones)
146-27= (crossing the hundreds and tens boundaries)
340-60= 346-60= 346-63= 246-27=
A final note on addition and subtraction
It is important to teach a child that, although it is permissible to change the position of the factors in addition, e.g. 43+231 is easier to work out like this: 231+43, it is not allowed to do so with subtraction, as the outcome will change completely: 241-20=221 but 20-241=
Of course we do not teach young children to work with negative numbers, so if you find a child has difficulty with this, you can ask the child to solve the problem they have reversed, e.g. when 5-3= has been changed to 3-5=, using manipulatives. The child will see that s/he does not have enough material to take away five from three.
Multiplication and division
When teaching multiplication and division, it is very important that the child understands what it is they are doing. If the child only learns the times tables by heart, s/he will have difficulty applying these when doing math work in this area.
The child must be taught the meaning of multiplication. Basically, multiplying is repeated addition. The meaning of 4x2= is 2+2+2+2. There are four groups of two. When using manipulatives, this is what it looks like:
Although the answer of 4x2 and 2x4 are the same, 2x4 is different in that it means 4+4; two groups of four (see figure 18)
If necessary, allow the children to work on this for quite some time, until they understand the concept fully.
Once they understand what they are doing, they should learn the multiplication number facts by heart. This may be done through reciting: one times two equals two; two times two equals four etc. Some curricula feel that children should learn number facts up to 12x12. However, if a child knows the number facts up to 10x10, they will be able to work out any other multiplication fact, as we will see later.
A times table that is hardly taught and explained, is the zero times table. This is often skipped, because all the answers are zero and so, should be easy to remember. However, the fact that something times zero remains zero is a difficult concept to understand for many children, especially those who have difficulty with mathematics. You may have to show the children what, say, 3x0 looks like (see figure 19). You will strengthen the child’s understanding by giving more than one example.
The tables of multiplication should also be put up on the walls of the classroom:
0x2=0 1x2=2 2x2=4 3x2=6 4x2=8 5x2=10 6x2=12 7x2=14 8x2=16 9x2=18 10x2=20 0x6=0 1x6=6 2x6=12
0x0=0 1x0=0 2x0=0 3x0=0 4x0=0 5x0=0 6x0=0 7x0=0 8x0=0 9x0=0 10x0=0 0x4=0 1x4=4 2x4=8
0x1=0 1x1=1 2x1=2 3x1=3 4x1=4 5x1=5 6x1=6 7x1=7 8x1=8 9x1=9 10x1=10 0x5=0 1x5=5 2x5=10
0x3=0 1x3=3 2x3=6 3x3=9 4x3=12 5x3=15 6x3=18 7x3=21 8x3=24 9x3=27 10x3=30 0x7=0 1x7=7 2x7=14
3x6=18 4x6=24 5x6=30 6x6=36 7x6=42 8x6=48 9x6=54 10x6=60 0x10=10 1x10=10 2x10=20 3x10=30 4x10=40 5x10=50 6x10=60 7x10=70 8x10=80 9x10=90 10x10=100
3x4=12 4x4=16 5x4=20 6x4=24 7x4=28 8x4=32 9x4=36 10x4=40 0x8=0 1x8=8 2x8=16 3x8=24 4x8=32 5x8=40 6x8=48 7x8=56 8x8=64 9x8=72 10x8=80
3x5=15 4x5=20 5x5=25 6x5=30 7x5=35 8x5=40 9x5=45 10x5=50 0x9=0 1x9=9 2x9=18 3x9=27 4x9=36 5x9=45 6x9=54 7x9=63 8x9=72 9x9=81 10x9=90
3x7=21 4x7=28 5x7=35 6x7=42 7x7=49 8x7=56 9x7=63 10x7=70
Times tables can be practised through reciting the whole sum. They should also be practiced, especially the 2, 3, 5 and 10 times table, by only reciting the answers. This is important, because these ways of counting are often used in daily life when counting or calculating objects.
Children can be helped memorizing the times tables by showing them the patterns in the answers of the times tables. The two-times table consists only of even numbers. Every other number of the number line is an answer in the twotimes table. In the four- times table, the answer always ends in the sequence of 0, 4,8,2,6. The five-times table has answers end in a 0,5,0,5 sequence. The nine times table has answers in which the first digit goes up in size: 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and the second digit goes down in size: 9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1,0. Take a close look at the times table and see if you can find other patterns that may help the child to memorize these facts.
Many children are also helped if a times table is marked out on a hundred square. A way of doing this is by making a hundred square with the numbers written in a colour that is different from the one you have displayed on your
classroom wall. You can then cut out the numbers of the second hundred square and stick the numbers of any given times table on the classroom hundred square. Do take care to use blue tack or another adhesive that will not damage your original hundred square.
Some children find it hard to remember e.g. 8x7, but not 7x8. You can teach them to reverse these problems, just like you can reverse addition problems, because multiplication is, in essence, addition. Although it is not a problem if a child reverses multiplication exercises when solving them, it is important that the child knows that the exercises are different, even if the answers are the same. If this was taught as described earlier on, the child should not have any difficulty understanding.
Multiplication beyond 10x10.
Numbers larger than 10x 10 can be multiplied as follows:
10x12= 10x10=100 plus 10x2=20 100+20=120
12x13= 10x10=100 10x3= 30
2x10= 20 2x3= 6
100+30+20+6=156 Always allow children the use of paper to work out a problem like this, so they will make fewer mistakes due to having to remember all the numbers whilst at the same time working out the remainder of the problem.
In order to save paper, you could also consider letting the child work out the problem in chalk on a piece of cardboard. The chalk can be wiped away and the cardboard reused.
Just like any other skill, division needs to be understood before a child can begin to apply it to math exercises. Division is repeated subtraction.
Division may be taught in two different ways. The first is to illustrate the fact that division is repeated subtraction. You take a number of manipulative ‘ones’, preferably no larger than ten, as this is a number that children can visualize quite easily.
The following example illustrates how you can show repeated subtraction for the exercise 8÷4=
Take 8 ones. Ask four children to come to the front of the classroom and place them behind a desk in such a way that the entire class can still see the table. Ask each child to take away two ‘ones’. With each child taking away his or her portion, you say the following: Teacher: Edna, take away two from eight, please. (Edna does as she is told.) Teacher: Eight take away two equals six. (You show the class that six are left.) Teacher: John, take away two from six, please. (John does as he is told.) Teacher: Six take away two equals four. (You show the class that four are left.) Teacher: Patience, take away two from four, please. (Patience does as she is told.) Teacher: Four take away two equals two. (You show the class that two are left.) Teacher: James, take away two from two, please. (James does as he is told.) Teacher: Two take away two equals zero. (You show the class that zero are left.) Now you ask all four pupils to hold up their share so the class can see that everybody has an equal share of the original eight. You tell the class that subtracting equal amounts is called division. You write on the blackboard: 8÷4=2 and you say: ‘This is how we can write down what we just did and this is how you say it: eight divided by four equals two.’
You then do several more exercises like this, with the entire class. Do include those pupils who have difficulty with mathematics, as doing an exercise like this in a controlled environment will help them understand. It is tempting to have only your best students at the front of the class for demonstrations, but, although they are less likely to make a mistake, they are also the ones who will need the extra exercise the least for their own learning process.
After this, the children should have the chance to work through several exercises like this, using manipulatives if necessary. Write a number of exercises on the blackboard that can be done in pairs, threesomes or foursomes, depending on the number of children seated behind each desk. Walk around the classroom to check if the children have understood.
Once the children understand this exercise, you can move on to dividing a number of manipulatives by dividing them as follows:
Children, especially those who have not yet memorized the times tables, often find it easier to divide objects equally into groups by putting these items, one by one, into each group. Children, who find it difficult to do this without a visual aid, could be given some small containers –e.g. tea cups- to put items in. In the case of 8÷4= you should give the child four containers
Once you are certain that your pupils understand this exercise, you must link division to multiplication. 8÷4=2 is the opposite of 4x2=8. You can show this by grouping the manipulatives like you do when teaching multiplication, in this case, creating four groups of two. Be careful not to introduce this too fast. It may take several lessons before all children understand division and the link with multiplication can be a bit confusing, especially when division as such is not yet understood fully.
The same sequence may be followed when teaching children division with a remainder, e.g 9÷4= Take nine ones. Ask four children to come to the front of the classroom and place them behind a desk in such a way that the entire class can still see the table. Ask each child to take away two ‘ones’. With each child taking away his or her portion, you say the following: Teacher: Edna, take away two from nine, please. (Edna does as she is told.) Teacher: Nine take away two equals seven. (You show the class that seven are left.) Teacher: John, take away two from seven, please. (John does as he is told.) Teacher: Seven take away two equals five. (You show the class that five are left.) Teacher: Patience, take away two from five, please. (Patience does as she is told.) Teacher: Five take away two equals three. (You show the class that three are left.) Teacher: James, take away two from three, please. (James does as he is told.) Teacher: Three take away two equals one. (You show the class that one is left.) Now you ask all four pupils to hold up their share so the class can see that everybody has an equal share of the original nine. You hold up the one that is left and you say: ‘One is left. Nine divided by four is two and one is left over. The remainder is one.’
Then, you write on the blackboard: 9÷4=2 r.1 and say: ‘Nine divided by four equals two, remainder one.’
Using manipulatives when dividing larger numbers. First you can teach children that it is possible to choose larger units when dividing, such as tens. When dividing sixty by three, the principle is the same as when dividing six by three. Instead of putting ‘ones’ into three groups, the children simply put tens in three groups.
It becomes a little more complicated when dividing, e.g., 72 by three, the child will have to take a ten and exchange it for ten ones. There will then be 12 ones, and these can be divided over the three groups (see figure 21)
Although it may be useful to put the tables of division on your classroom wall, most children will be able to find the answer by finding the corresponding times table fact. You should teach them that, in order to find the answer to a division problem, they should find the answer within the times table indicated by the divider, e.g. the answer to 32÷8 can be found in the 8 times table. How many times 8 makes 32? The answer is 4. So, 32÷8=4. For sums with a remainder, the child finds the nearest answer lower than the amount that has to be divided, then calculates how many are left by subtracting the answer of the times table fact from the amount that has to be divided. 35÷8=4 remainder 3, because 4x8=32 and 35-32=3.
In the examples for division, the groups were indicated by drawing a circle shape on paper. In order to use less paper, you may also form circles of pieces of string, which are reusable. In that case, for division up to ten, each child-or, if that is not possible, each group of children sharing a desk- will need ten string-circles.
A final word
From this guide it is clear that it is most important that children have enough opportunities to work through new math concepts, using manipulatives. Only then will most of them move beyond just using facts that they memorized. Memorizing takes an important place in mathematics as well, but it is only a means to help children work through math problems more efficiently. This guide is not a replacement for the mathematics curriculum you teach in your school. It is neither a complete manual to teaching all aspects of mathematics. The skills in this guide are the most basic a person needs to know to be able to do basic math in his or her daily life.
The use of concrete materials, as illustrated in this guide, is not limited to the subjects described. You can make your own manipulatives for many other areas of mathematics as well, for instance paper money and coins in the denomination of your country.
I hope you found this guide useful and that it will help you in the day-to-day challenges you face when teaching your, often large, classes and that it inspires you to make your own manipulatives for these and other areas of mathematics.
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