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Sandra D.

asked • 03/21/13

What is the best way to teach a 4th grader with ADD multiplication tables? He struggles with his lack of attention so memorization isn't working.

The school couldn't help and I don't know where to start.

 

Kevin S.

(I'm posting under Comments instead of Answers since my background is in Secondary education, Mathematics)

Someone had brought the page below to my attention within the last few days. She said she found the card game "Peace" described here helpful. (It was actually for her, and she is an older "student")

http://www.wyzant.com/help/math/elementary_math/multiplication

One thought which may also help - if you have access to blocks , coins, poker chips etc (as long as you have at least 144 of them of the same size), try using them to visualize the multiplication problem. For example, if it was 3 x 2, then place one row of 3 chips, then another row of three chips on top of it. 

If the student does this on a board (or something moveable), you can then rotate it 90 degrees to show (visually) that 2 x 3 is the same as 3 x 2. 

One additional thought... since multiplication is just repeated addition, you could show that one row of 3, added to another row of 3, is the same as 2x3. 

Someone once told me "I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand". I also heard once that the more senses you get into the educational process, the faster you'll learn it and the longer you'll retain it. 

Just a few thoughts. Good luck. 

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03/21/13

Echo Y.

I purchased a "push button" multiplication table for my own daughters when they were learning multiplication.  They both learned the facts so quickly that I thought I had wasted my money.  In reality, it was a wise investment because of the simple "race" to learn the facts so they didn't need to use the table.  Friendly competition can make learning the facts more fun but when peers have passed you by, you must learn to compete with the clock and just keep improving.

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06/30/13

Cindy H.

I feel you! I had two of four children diagnosed with ADHD. The key for me was to make learning fun. The more entertaining it is the more they will learn. Children, especially with challenges like ADHD, learn in a different way. Yes, the attention span is low because it is boring to them. Find a game on the computer, create one with cards, provide rewards, focus on the positive things not on the things not done. Make a big deal when the child focuses, even if it is only for a few minutes. And one last suggestion, don't expect them to fit into the square pegs of traditional learning. Get creative. You will both have much more fun. If you have more questions or if you would like more suggestions feel free to contact me.  

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08/12/13

Dart R.

I do not think traditional memorization drill will help at all, he needs a different way of learning that is enjoyable and not stressful for him (or you!).  Have you looked into using multiple intelligences to teach him?
Everyone has an intelligence they are dominant in.  As many people have commented, some people learn best by repeated memorization, others do better when material is presented with colors or in a song. For children with ADHD, utilizing movement (look into Brain Gym® for activities also), colors, music, rhythms  and spatial placement can be the key to keeping his attention and make learning more like a game.
 This system was lovingly created by a Brain Gym Certified math teacher using a child's 7 intelligences (supported by Gardners 7 intelligences research) to teach and retain multiplication tables 1-9. 
 
Please let me know if he is still having trouble learning or retaining the times tables.
 
http://www.multiplicationeducation.com/
 
 
 
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03/02/14

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Michael B.
Thank you for the great ideas in finding patterns with numbers in multiplication!
Kevin K.
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11/20/13

Dave R. answered • 06/17/13

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Heidi G.

Thank you so much Dave for your comment here...I so agree...while many children will be agreable to even trying out some of the suggestions, my son who is in 4th grade is not.  But if I try to incorporate some touchy feely things and music and movement, he may respond.  Memorization works after a lot of battle, which I'm so tired of and I can't see that it's helping him because he doesn'retain what he just memorized!  Each child is unique, Praise God!  therefore each one needs special attention.  As a parent, he fighs me but I so want to help him.  He has ADHD and dyslexia and is anxious and has been taking Concerta for the past 4 years.  We've been able to take him off of it on weekends and summer except when he works with the most amazing tutor 2-3 times/week.  Then, we give him the short acting methylphenidate which does not suppress his apetite as much.  He has no other side effects from teh stimulant except maybe anxiety...not sure if that's from it or not, he stays anxious when off the meds.  He is quite defiant when it comes to doing homework, but I think my husband and i need to change our style...how we teach him!  I just wanted to thank you and I will pray for you to be comforted in whatever teaching you are doing.  I praise the Lord that you have taught difficult kids in difficult situations and have cared for/taught/loved on LD teens too!  WOW!  You rock!
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Bonnie B.

I would encourage changing the diet to clear the head before medication. Sugar, milk, and other food allergies keep the gut from digesting food properly. If the food isn't digesting properly, it cannot give the body the nutrients it needs, especially in the brain! Try a nutritionist and look at bodyecology.com  for more natural answers. 

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04/29/13

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