Every year starting in 1st grade the children in our school district must pass an assessment test in math in order to move onto the next grade. In 1st grade they must master addition, 2nd grade subtraction, 3rd grade multiplication, 4th grade division. I'm not sure what 5th graders must do. When I went to school I do not remember doing this, but maybe we did?

Em is in 3rd grade and the first assessment test is tomorrow. They give you 100 multiplication problems and you must get 90 correct in order to pass. You have 7 minutes to take the test If you get 90 correct the first time you take the test, you do not have to keep taking the assessment. If you do not pass the test, you must take the test once a week until you pass it. Then the following grade at the end of the year the students must re-take the test and pass it within 5 minutes before they can move on to the next lessons.

That said, a few weeks ago Em came home with this packet of these pages of 100 Charts w/Skip Counting Circles. Basically the students are memorizing the answers. For example the multiples of 7 are: 7,14,21,28,35,42,49,56,63,70,77 etc. so they would highlight those numbers on the 100 chart and at the bottom of the page there are circles and they would fill in those circles with the multiples of that particular number.

So, last night we began studying for the test because she forgot to bring the packet home over Easter break. I wanted to study with her using flash cards, but she insisted she needed the packet. When I ask her what 7x6 is it takes her longer than it should for her to tell me the answer. When I went to school we memorized the problem and answer. I was having a difficult time studying with her because she is getting frustrated. I was wondering what the assessment test will look like, because the quiz they had last week they just had the students write down the answers to each fact family. The assessment tests in the previous grades were different problems mixed up on a sheet, so I am sure that is what tomorrow's test will be like. I think the way multiplication was presented is confusing her a bit when I ask her the problems point blank since they haven't learned that way. Em says the test tomorrow is a 7 minute test, so it must be the problems mixed on the page like previous years.

So, today after school I ask her how math class was and she says "

This article explains more about the importance of using skip counting before mastering memorizing the multipliction facts:

Em is in 3rd grade and the first assessment test is tomorrow. They give you 100 multiplication problems and you must get 90 correct in order to pass. You have 7 minutes to take the test If you get 90 correct the first time you take the test, you do not have to keep taking the assessment. If you do not pass the test, you must take the test once a week until you pass it. Then the following grade at the end of the year the students must re-take the test and pass it within 5 minutes before they can move on to the next lessons.

That said, a few weeks ago Em came home with this packet of these pages of 100 Charts w/Skip Counting Circles. Basically the students are memorizing the answers. For example the multiples of 7 are: 7,14,21,28,35,42,49,56,63,70,77 etc. so they would highlight those numbers on the 100 chart and at the bottom of the page there are circles and they would fill in those circles with the multiples of that particular number.

So, last night we began studying for the test because she forgot to bring the packet home over Easter break. I wanted to study with her using flash cards, but she insisted she needed the packet. When I ask her what 7x6 is it takes her longer than it should for her to tell me the answer. When I went to school we memorized the problem and answer. I was having a difficult time studying with her because she is getting frustrated. I was wondering what the assessment test will look like, because the quiz they had last week they just had the students write down the answers to each fact family. The assessment tests in the previous grades were different problems mixed up on a sheet, so I am sure that is what tomorrow's test will be like. I think the way multiplication was presented is confusing her a bit when I ask her the problems point blank since they haven't learned that way. Em says the test tomorrow is a 7 minute test, so it must be the problems mixed on the page like previous years.

So, today after school I ask her how math class was and she says "

**!" Oh Lord, why do I listen to this child! I guess they just***Guess what Mom? We studied our math facts at the end of class using flash cards and I knew all the answers! Mrs. Haas said I must have been studying**introduce*multiplication by using the 100 Charts with the skip counting circles, but don't expect them to study them that way (like Em thought, but she would not listen to me!)This article explains more about the importance of using skip counting before mastering memorizing the multipliction facts:

# The Importance of Memorizing the Times Tables

*"Allow them to discover the patterns in the numbers by exploring a 100s chart, skip-counting tables and the times table chart. This is the time that they can discover multiplication strategies. However, there eventually comes a time when we need to highlight the importance of rapid recall. Students need to know that they should recall the answer instantaneously. Demonstrate the speed of this by having them quiz you and by practicing together."*

I made up flash cards for Em and also printed out this nifty little multiplication table and laminated it for her:

× | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

1 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 |

2 | 2 | 4 | 6 | 8 | 10 | 12 | 14 | 16 | 18 | 20 | 22 | 24 |

3 | 3 | 6 | 9 | 12 | 15 | 18 | 21 | 24 | 27 | 30 | 33 | 36 |

4 | 4 | 8 | 12 | 16 | 20 | 24 | 28 | 32 | 36 | 40 | 44 | 48 |

5 | 5 | 10 | 15 | 20 | 25 | 30 | 35 | 40 | 45 | 50 | 55 | 60 |

6 | 6 | 12 | 18 | 24 | 30 | 36 | 42 | 48 | 54 | 60 | 66 | 72 |

7 | 7 | 14 | 21 | 28 | 35 | 42 | 49 | 56 | 63 | 70 | 77 | 84 |

8 | 8 | 16 | 24 | 32 | 40 | 48 | 56 | 64 | 72 | 80 | 88 | 96 |

9 | 9 | 18 | 27 | 36 | 45 | 54 | 63 | 72 | 81 | 90 | 99 | 108 |

10 | 10 | 20 | 30 | 40 | 50 | 60 | 70 | 80 | 90 | 100 | 110 | 120 |

11 | 11 | 22 | 33 | 44 | 55 | 66 | 77 | 88 | 99 | 110 | 121 | 132 |

12 | 12 | 24 | 36 | 48 | 60 | 72 | 84 | 96 | 108 | 120 | 132 | 144 |

Courtesy of MathsIsFun.com

Hopefully Em passes the test tomorrow, but even if she does, we will continue to study the multiplication facts because kids lose so much of what they learned during the school year during the summer.