Is this too much to ask of 3rd graders?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Bella2010, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Sep 3, 2014

    Have your kids actually learned/mastered the concepts of multiplication? If they haven't, it does not really make any sense to already have them memorizing the facts. We won't even touch the concept of multiplication until November or December. Only after we've thoroughly covered the concepts (done all the things that others have mentioned) will we start memorizing our facts. Also, have they mastered 2's, 5's, and 10's? Those are the ones we start with.
     
  2. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    Sep 3, 2014

    Memorizing multiplication tables was something that just never sat well with me. My third grade teacher would do drills where she would walk around the room and then point at a student and shout (it always seemed like shouting, anyway) a multiplication problem, and you had to answer within a second or two. All the stress of testing combined with public embarrassment for failure. You can guess how much I did not enjoy being in that class. :(

    Can such memorization be done, even by those like myself? Sure. I did it with my middle son, who is terrible at memorization (to the point where in third grade I think he hadn't memorized all his classmates names for three or four weeks.) We had him do math tables all through second grade. Having him finish could take an hour or an hour and a half, every single night, with him crying and complaining and resisting through the entire thing. Was it worth it? Well, maybe -- eventually we found a math video game on the Nintendo DS and almost overnight his time dropped from an hour and a half to under five minutes. When he got to timed tests in third grade he would have a hundred problems done in less than a minute, so they weren't a source of stress for him at all.

    Now he's in sixth grade, and his calculation ability is fast enough that our oldest (who is gifted, and particularly so in math) frequently relies on him for rapid calculation of triple-digit numbers.

    You might want to check with your two kids who got A's on whether this was the first time they saw the material. My bet is you could test them on the rest of multiplication and they'd still get A's, even for the things you've never taught.
     
  3. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Sep 3, 2014

    [
    I only do one fact a week. Last week was 3s, next week 4s (maybe).[/QUOTE]


    As a former 3rd grade teacher, I do think teaching one fact a week at the beginning of 3rd grade is too fast. I found it was better to spend more time on a fact to really make sure they know it. I wanted to make sure the students really were able to have them all known before they walked out of the door at the end of 3rd grade.

    Make sure you leave plenty of time for regrouping subtraction such as problems like 402- 134. It will take time for some to really get the hang of these. I usually taught this at the beginning of 3rd grade. I didn't touch multiplication until at least October.
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 4, 2014

    My daughter and I were just reviewing her 9s in the car for her timed test today. She's in 5th grade now, but I remember doing the same thing when she was in 3rd.
     
  5. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Same here. The CCSS (if you're a CCSS state) have 2nd graders learning about arrays, but multiplication doesn't actually start until 3rd grade. So, yes, I would think that is a lot to ask of 3rd graders at the beginning of the year.
     
  6. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Third graders are still developing their brains to the point where it's really unfair to give grades in a skill like multiplication.

    8 year olds can't do what they physically can't do. Why make them feel bad if it's not their fault?

    I would give progress reports to the family, but not a failing grade.
     
  7. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Sep 5, 2014

    The game of war played with a deck of cards with face cards removed is good practice for them, when they get more comfortable with the concept.
     
  8. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Sep 6, 2014

    3rd graders should know their multiplication facts fluently by the end of 3rd grade, so maybe it's a little too much for them at this point in the school year?
     
  9. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Sep 7, 2014

    Same here!
     
  10. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Sep 9, 2014


    As a former 3rd grade teacher, I do think teaching one fact a week at the beginning of 3rd grade is too fast. I found it was better to spend more time on a fact to really make sure they know it. I wanted to make sure the students really were able to have them all known before they walked out of the door at the end of 3rd grade.

    Make sure you leave plenty of time for regrouping subtraction such as problems like 402- 134. It will take time for some to really get the hang of these. I usually taught this at the beginning of 3rd grade. I didn't touch multiplication until at least October.[/QUOTE]

    Same here. And still, by the end of the year many of my kids were better at multiplication than subtraction with regrouping. That needs lots of attention I find.
     
  11. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Nov 21, 2014

    I remember spending ALL YEAR on multiplication when I was in 3rd grade. We were able to learn them at mostly our own pace, which for me was definitely slower than the rest of the class (12s were TORTURE, I still can't recall them very quickly haha). My teacher gave us tons and tons of practice just writing them and quizzing all year though, so it could be that a week just wasn't enough time for most of your class. I feel like it took me forever to learn my multiplication facts. :/
    Make it low-risk and give them more time -- the added anxiety of a timed test makes it so hard to remember facts you've just barely learned.
     
  12. showmelady

    showmelady Companion

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    Nov 27, 2014

    I too remember working on multiplication all year. But we had to memorize all the multiplication tables up to 12s. We didn't use flash cards, but rote drills. Do your students do both or just the flash cards?
     
  13. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Nov 28, 2014

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