Many children never become confident users of the multiplication table. Their math anxiety grows every time they encounter a multiplication problem, which in turn stalls learning. Some educators might say that this isn’t all that important. We have calculators, after all. But if we think about the brain and brain development in relation to this, things begin to look different.
When we automize knowledge, for example by learning the multiplication table by heart, we free up capacity in our working memory. This is incredibly helpful when we learn mathematics on a more complicated level than basic arithmetic. In equations, for example, multiplication may just make up a small part of the computation. In this scenario, it is beneficial if the multiplication aspect demands as little from us as possible. This allows us to devote all of our focus to the more complicated and perhaps new aspects of equations.
How, then, should we teach multiplication? What is the best way to learn multiplication? There are probably many strategies that work very well.
Our strategy is based on JUMP Math.