Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Breaking Down Multiplication

We struggle with math..  from addition through.. well at the age of 11 we are on multiplication.  If we were in public school I am not sure what would have happened because I believe we are moving along at the rate that is possible.  Any faster and our time would just be a waste.  

So on multiple digit multiplication we ran into road blocks.  We use Math U See (love it) but needed more.  I started using Kahn Academy which also presented things in a slightly different manner but still, there were issues.

I tried tricky ideas that I believe came directly from God because I don't think these things up easily.  Kiddo asked, WHY do you have to CROSS over?  In ADDITION, you go up and down.  In my mind came a great idea.  Multiplication is an X.  So you CROSS over to do it.  It resonated with him.

Today we tried something new yet again.  He has mastered some parts of multiplication so I decided to make a game out of it.. video game style.  Each subset of multiplication was a 'level' and each 'level' had a Boss.  (If you don't know what a Boss is, go ask your kid.)

So here goes.. this is the initial breakdown of the first five levels.

Level 1.  You could start several places but this is where we started.

In this level there is NO regrouping/carrying.  But it does contain multiple digits.  (You can easily go back one and do no-regrouping, two digits on top and one on the bottom.)  This is where MUS started so that was my thought process.

Level 2.

In level two, you include regrouping but with just one digit on the bottom.  He got the Boss wrong and so he wrote "Game Over."  I told him we get multiple tries..  I also added in the following:

You know the show Who Wants to be a Millionaire.  This gave him some 'hints' he could use.  Also I included a "demo" button which is a feature on many video games.  He does NOT want me to teach.  He is HIGHLY resistant to it and wants to just KNOW how to do it.  This gave him an 'out' of sorts.  I intend to MAKE him use the Demo button from now on.

Mini-game level.  

At this point I recognized 1) we were about at the limit of working on 'hard stuff' and 2) We need serious drill work on the facts so I did a 'mini game.'  These are often found in video games.. games within games.  So we did a 'facts' sheet.  This was also a good exercise because it focused on the SYMBOLS.   You could do this however you want (and I have other mini-games in mind) but on this one he had to pay attention to if it was a +, - or X.   I think it helped get the brain working.

Level 3

Level three does regrouping with the units however does not include the complication of anything but a zero in the units in the lower number.  (I wonder, is there a math term for the upper and lower number in multiplication?  I am not a CERTIFIED math teacher and don't play one on TV so I do not know.)

Level 4

Level four puts a number in the units but does not include regrouping.  We are going to do this tomorrow.

Level 5

Level five has regrouping everywhere...

Of course this continues.  For example I gave him a "boss" that had a problem to the hundred's place and only units on the bottom with regrouping.  He didn't quite get that part so we will break that down even further.

etc.. etc.. etc...  I think you get the idea.  You can do this for I assume just about any math area.  And I plan to do it from now on.  Andrew has mastered how to do 'video screen talks' like in Kahn Academy although he demos how to do video games.  I think maybe I'll start my own tutoring site.  After I finish my day job.

 I will say even THIS only worked for so long.  But he was enthused about attacking math this way.

as a PS... Please note that EACH level we sometimes have worked on for a week or MORE to master.  In some cases a month or we work on it and then take a break.  I say this because this 'level game' has taken months to get to.

1 comment:

Lori said...

Love it! Brilliant!

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