[Numeracy 222] Re: Seeking for Understanding---Knowing the Multiplication Facts

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Julie Pangrac jpangrac at richland.edu
Mon Mar 22 19:44:52 EDT 2010

Our experience is that when students know their addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts quickly and accurately, they are able to control the numbers and not let the numbers control them. We have tried teaching without students being automatic in recalling the facts, and although they could intellectually understand higher math concepts, they were never accurate enough or fast enough to pass exams and/or work very many problems before becoming fatigued or overwhelmed. When they became automatic in facts, they started saying, "Did you know that addition and subtraction are related to each other?" "Knowing the facts helps me find multiples and factors." "I was always off when I used my fingers." "I think my brain can hold a lot more now because I don't have to figure out the facts." Our experience has also been that many of the timed entrance and placement exams do not allow students to use calculators.

Julie Pangrac, Literacy Program Coordinator
Project READ

From: numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov [numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov] On Behalf Of Denney, Brooke [denneyb at cowley.edu]
Sent: Monday, March 22, 2010 4:37 PM
To: numeracy at nifl.gov
Subject: [Numeracy 220] Seeking for Understanding

Welcome back to those of you home from the COABE/Proliteracy Conference held last week! There was a lot of great information given at this conference but in one of the sessions that I attended a question was asked about whether or not it was necessary for adults to “know” their multiplication facts to be successful in a mathematics course/exam? Or is it enough to understand the concept, that multiplication is repetitive addition enough to be successful in a mathematics course/exam? I thought this was an interesting question and therefore, I would pose these same questions to the forum. What are your thoughts about multiplication?

Good Day Everyone!

Brooke Denney
Math and Numeracy Moderator