Thursday, September 8, 2011

36 club addition tips

My kids elementary school have a program called the 36 club.  They have to pass off 36 facts in 1.5 min or less in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  Then they mix all the facts they've passed off into one massive pile called the Humdinger.  They get five min to pass it off.  It's an amazing program.  You would not believe how fast some of these kids can rattle off their math facts.

I love seeing how the kids answer the questions.  Some drawl out the answers like they are bored out of their minds.  Some dance on their chair and spit out the answers when it comes to them.  Some jump from their chair and point to the cards as they yell the answer.  I love seeing their excitement when they pass off their facts.  And it breaks my heart when they are sooo close. I can tell when they are stuck on the upper numbers so I give them hints.  I thought I'd share those hints so other people can help their little ones learn their math facts.

1- Close to double.  Most kids get their doubles right away.  My kid's teachers have drilled doubles into their heads starting with 1st grade.  They don't have a choice but to memorize them.  7+6 is almost a double.  They already know that 6+6=12.  So remind them that 7 is only one more than 6.  Once they understand this concept, they won't panic when they see 6+8.  Instead they can remember that 6+6=12 and then count up from there.

2- Nines.  We all know that 5+10 =15.  So 5+9 is one less than that.  I tell the kids when they are adding something to nine the answer is one-less-than-teen. So one-less-than five is four. Fourteen.  Once they understand this concept, they can apply it to 8 and 7.  8 is two-less-than-teen and 7 is three less-than-teen.  My kids sometimes do 6 too.

3-Take out the ones they get stuck on. When I have some extra time and I can see the student always gets stuck on the same two or three problems, I'll pull the cards out of the deck and go over them separately.  There is usually a reason why they hit a brain cramp on specific problems.  Focusing on the problem cards will usually help them sort it out in their heads. Then I put the hard cards first so they can get them over with. It also helps to inform them that they will never forget the problem again.  Somehow this solidifies the problem in their minds whether they want it to or not.

If I've been less than clear, please let me know and I'll try to reword it or draw pictures. When I explain these methods to the kids I can tell when they get it based on the look on their face. I'll do other posts on the rest of the math sets later. I guarantee a method to make sure your kids will never forget the answer to 7x8.

Subtraction tips
Multiplication Facts
Division tips
Humdinger tips

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