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MULTIPLICATION (Math Gear: Fast Facts) Board book – July 4, 2005
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On to the more pertinent details.
We already have flashcards by Trend. But the Math Gear format is just so much easier to work with. The flashcards are a little bulky and tend to slip out of your hands if you're doing a set. This eliminates that problem altogether. These will also travel easier without the worry that you will be losing one of the flashcards!
I also like how the Math Gear set up helps students understand the concept that multiplication is simply adding on. When you start out you can just allow the students to multiply in order (3x1, 3x2, 3x3 and so on) so they can see the relation to repeated addition. Once they've grasped this concept you can still mix up the order quite simply.
The glue that Ikids used to hold the flaps together that keep the simple rotating function working is not as strong as I would like on the multiplication booklet. We've already reinforced on set of flaps together with tape and I can see that we will be doing this for the rest as time passes. The tape does not interfere with the functionality. Even so I've purchased a new one from Amazon.
For the multiplication set (in ours anyway) the function sign for the "12 family" is marked as "+" instead of "x". We just wrote over the addition sign and made it a multiplication sign. This is a pretty big oversight.
That said, this is a must for every family who wants to make practicing the math facts fun and effective. I put it right just below our "Times Tables the Fun Way CD" by City Creek Press.
Special note for parents & teachers: If your child is losing their math confidence and struggling with the times tables the City Creek Press CD mentioned above will help you wipe away the tears and lift their spirits. I kid you not. One student told me, "I wish I'd started learning the Times Tables with this." This particular student understood higher math concepts and yet was struggling with the tables. So to see the math smile come back on his face was a big sigh of relief for me. Not every child is good with rote memory and the CD gives them a more visual and auditory way to remember. They also have some tactile reinforcements (magnetic story board). It's worth every penny, especially if you can get it on sale.