Change Up the Way You Teach the Times Tables

Change Up the Way You Teach the Times Tables

Times Tables Make Sense

Times Tables like you’ve never seen before! I’ve written a graphic novel series with a new system for teaching the times tables.

The new system would be a good one for adult students–it teaches for understanding, the exercises match the method, and it allows for the fact that our students often are not good at rote memory work and timed tests.

A kids’ book for adult students?

So how could you use this method with adult students, even though the book is written for 7-9 year olds?

Download Book 1 FREE from December 1 to December 5, 2022. Check it out here.

The ideal situation might be to work with a group of parents and guardians, and offer a mini course in helping their kids with the times tables, and carry on as I suggest below. Most instructors, however, won’t have that ideal situation. Still, many adult students have children in their lives who might be learning the times tables, or struggling with other math because they aren’t fluent or confident in their ability to remember the tables. Adults might be willing to learn a new method to help those kids.

You will meet resistance

Continue reading
A Math Book That Reads Like a Novel

A Math Book That Reads Like a Novel

I think of my comic as a math book for kids who like to read. It has all the elements of a novel–

Characters with strengths and weaknesses
A quest
A super hero
Conflict

Like any good quest, the characters find more than they bargained for. They learn about themselves and each other; they develop strength from bravely confronting obstacles, and come home again more confident to take on whatever life holds for them.

Continue reading
The Story Begins…

The Story Begins…

I learned a lot about teaching and story telling as I made the series Times Tables Make Sense. A comicbook was a new form for me, a form that uses few words, many fewer than I use when I’m actually in front of a class. But as I was making the comic, I had the same questions in mind: what do they know, what do I want them to learn, and how are we all feeling about it.

I like to get clear with students what the task at hand is.

We can’t all get to the same destination unless it is circled on the map.

__

__

Continue reading
Times Tables Make Sense

Times Tables Make Sense

I made a comic (well, three of them)

When I taught basic math in ABE, students were lost when it came to the times tables. They all remembered struggling with flashcards and timed tests. They remembered feeling frustrated. They remembered parents and teachers urging them to “try harder” when they were trying as hard as they could.

I saw how the times tables had been a stumbling block to all the math classes that followed. When you cannot recall the times tables, it is very difficult to understand and work with fractions and per cents, which come next. I saw how the teasing, and the feelings of failure or not being smart enough had taken all the joy out of math learning, and followed them into their adult lives.

Continue reading