Sunday, March 29, 2015

Learn your multiplication facts

Multiplication facts are one of the most essential tools students need to go forward in math. I am always shocked by how many don't know them - even now in dealing with high schoolers. They used to simply turn to their calculator, but with the changes in common core, students can no longer rely on that tool. Even though understanding when and how to use mathematical tools correctly is one of the mathematical practices, the Algebra EOC has a no-calculator section. Included in this part of the test are questions about operations on polynomials, solving quadratics by factoring, and simplifying radicals - all these skills depend on students knowing their multiplication tables. I created this Tarsia puzzle for a conference presentation for elementary school teachers, but it is actually fun for my high school students too. I use it when I have students who need to fill a few extra minutes or to have a race and see which group can put the puzzle together first. Maybe someday I will have students who have times tables on automatic recall. Until then, practice makes perfect. Pick up a copy to use in your classroom at my TpT store here

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