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Didax "Class Ideas" Newsletter Archive
 [Newsletter Archive] « Previous Month March 2007 Next Month » "Basic Math Operations"
 In this Issue... Basic Math Operations: More than Memorization Downloadable Math Operations Activity Pages Basic Math Operations Internet Links April Newsletter Theme: Earth Day
 It feels like Spring is just around the corner here in New England and it's a busy time of year at Didax. Our new products that we worked on all last year are coming in and we're excited to finally see the finished results. This month, Class Ideas features Math Operations which fits perfectly with a new set of books that helps students learn their addition and multiplication facts. The author of this program, Dr. Carl Seltzer, has been kind enough to be our newsletter guest author. His article discusses the importance of math facts and how learning them is more than just memorization. Along with his article, this issue features a special, some fun Internet links and, of course, some downloadable pages for you to use with your students. Happy reading and please email me if you have any suggestions for future topics for Class Ideas. Anna Mullen, Editor Basic Math Operations: More than Memorization by Dr. Carl Seltzer ?It is more important to know when to multiply than it is to know how to multiply. But if you do not know how to multiply, knowing when to multiply is worthless.? It was once said that if a student does not know the basic facts, everything is problem solving. Worse yet, I believe that if a student does not know basic math facts, much of their motivation is destroyed, their passion for mathematics is dulled and their exuberance diminished. Yet too many students leave the primary grades without having learned about the basic facts and without having memorized them. I do a lot of training with secondary mathematics teachers and it never fails that they complain about students coming into their mathematics classes without knowing the multiplication facts. This problem is not only frustrating to the teachers, but also the students. Of course, one should not memorize anything until the concept is learned, so there is a first step in this process. Memorizing is step number two. I have come to believe that there are four steps in the mathematical learning process. 1. Concept development Mathematics must be learned with the students getting the concept before they do anything. Otherwise, everything is just memorized without really understanding what is going on. Manipulatives are often the vehicle used to give students the concept. 2. Learning facts Once the concept is grasped, students need to apply a skill to the concept. A skill without a concept produces a void in the learning process. At this point, the students learn the basic math facts. 3. Problem solving Next, after we have a concept and the corresponding skill, we need to know how to apply the idea in a problem solving function. Here a student could apply their addition skills to find the solution to a word problem in class. After all, why did we learn a concept and skill? We did so because we want to solve problems. 4. Applications The last step is what as referred to as an application, which is usually a real life situation. It answers the question, where will I use this stuff in real life? When a student is home, subtraction might be used to figure out how much more TV time he or she might have remaining for the day or multiplication might be used to figure out how much allowance he or she might have at the end of three weeks. These four processes must be done in this order. To miss any one of these steps means that the student has learned something, but has no earthly idea of what to do with it. This is exactly what happens when students begin by memorizing a set of facts without the concept. They are not able to apply anything to a problem solving situation of any kind. It?s like knowing how to drive a car, but not having a car to drive. This brings us back to the statement we began with, ?If a child does not know how to multiply, then knowing when to multiply is worthless.? Downloadable Math Operations Activity Pages This month's downloadable activity pages come from our brand new books, Addition in Seven Days and Multiplication in Seven Days. This new program from our guest author simplifies learning addition and multiplication facts into a seven-day series of strategically grouped facts. These free pages get you started with the theory behind the book, blank tables and the first day's letter and student worksheet. Basic Math Operations Internet Links This month's Internet links are not just about operations, they are about having fun. The Internet is a great place to find games to practice math skills. I've collected a few here that you can use to show your students how fun learning math facts can be. April Newsletter Theme: Earth Day April 22 is Earth Day and Class Ideas is celebrating! Our planet needs a lot of TLC and attention, we're going to talk about it. Join us for an article, activities, worksheets and Internet links.

 Related Products Addition Facts in 7 Days Grade 1-2 \$8.95 Multiplication Facts in 7 Days Grade 3-4 \$8.95

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