In my last post, Motivated to Learn the Times Tables, I didn’t tell you why Gemma-Rose wants to learn all the different multiplication combinations. Why is she motivated? Has she some wonderful world changing problem she wants to solve? No. She wants to advance through another level of the maths game she is playing! Those aliens are bombarding her with problems and she can’t think of the answer fast enough: Sorry, game over! And for some reason she wants to continue the game.
The important point, I guess, is that Gemma-Rose wants to learn the times tables, not why.
So I have been thinking about times tables, and today I remembered a book I bought a few years ago called Teach Your Children Tables by Bill Handley.
Here’s the Amazon book description:
Bill Handley is well known for making maths fun! The first edition of Teach Your Children Tables challenged over 20000 readers — and Bill has been inundated with letters of thanks since from parents whose children have quickly become proficient in maths and problem solving. This not only pleases their teachers but does wonders for a child’s self-esteem. In this new, fully revised edition, rewritten for clearer understanding, Bill expands the sections on explaining multiplication to young children, on problem solving, and the correlation between the multiplication method and subtraction.
The blurb on the back of my copy of the book sounds even more interesting. Here’s an excerpt:
Using the methods taught in this book, your children will be able to master the multiplication tables in less than half an hour and solve problems like 96×97 faster than you can tap the numbers into a calculator. This innovative approach will have them playing with numbers and learning basic principles of mathematics while performing lightning-quick calculations. They will learn to understand what they are doing rather than just follow a set of rules…
Now the words that jump off the screen for me are ‘fun’ and ‘playing’. Children learn so much when they are playing. I like the idea of them learning basic maths principles while playing with numbers.
I have had a quick look through the book and I am wondering if Gemma-Rose would find it fun to play with some numbers, the Bill Handley way. Mastering the multiplication tables in less than half an hour? That claim motivates me to sit down with the book and find out more. Will Gemma-Rose want to join me? I shall wave the book under her nose and see if she is interested.
And I will report back later!