Okay, so this post is nothing exciting. It is just a little something that I did with my oldest son today during his math lesson. Let me just say that he use to LOVE math until multiplication and division came along. Now, the typical math lesson includes anxiety, frustration, sometimes tears. We are finishing up math for the year - Hallelujah, Praise the Lord!!! WE BOTH NEED A BREAK!
Today was more review of double digit multiplication. He was really having a hard time remembering the order and what should go first and second and so on. He was getting so frustrated that I told him (okay, insisted) that he go to his room and take a break. I looked at the work, which seemed so simple, and tried to figure out a way to organize it for him.
I typed the top number in black and then the bottom numbers in two different colors. The first was in green and the second was in red. This allowed his mind to really understand which number to multiply first. I told him to multiply all the black numbers by the red number first. Then add the zero and multiply all the black numbers by green. I reminded him to add both partial products to get the answer.
TA-DAH!!! It worked. It made so much sense to him. He just needed it to look more organized and fortunately color coding usually works for him. He also prefers larger font because his handwriting is large. Keeping things lined up can be a complete melt down.
One more modification that works is only having two problems on a page. If he sees a page with 10 or 20 problems he will quit before he evens starts. It doesn't exactly save on paper (or trees) but it helps with his anxiety and my sanity!
When things like this work out it makes me want to want to jump, dance, and praise God they way Whoopie Goldberg does in Sister Act!!!
It was something small but made such a huge difference!