Posted on Sun Apr 9, 2017
Some people think that to teach basic arithmetic you can rely on “nursery rhymes”, so there are cute songs about multiplication tables:
Maybe it works with verbal thinkers; I’m more a visual/pattern thinker, so nursery rhymes are nothing to me, beyond cute. You would have killed my kid self trying to teach me addition and multiplication with rhymes; I need pictures, and very specific kinds of pictures! Pictures that show the right details.
For example, there are the regoli:
I had them as an elementary school student; not the computer version, the actual plastic sticks that come in a box (I still have them, and now they are my niece’s). The regoli are not good with me: they associate length and colour to numbers, but there are no unit markers on the sticks; if you look at the stick 3 you just see a green rectangle, with no markers showing that it is the union of 3 squares, which would have made the right pattern for me.
This “line of 20” thing is maybe better for kids thinking the way I think:
but in my opinion a simple drawing on the notebook with squared paper is even better.
Now if your kids have troubles learning basic arithmetic, my not–humble opinion is that you must be very aggressive in looking for alternative ways to teach them.