How To Understand Multiplication

How To Understand Multiplication

Multiplication can seem difficult for a student at first. With this video, you will quickly learn the basics of multiplication and times tables inside out!

Hi, I'm Peter Edwards from Bluetutors. We teach children of all ages, right from primary school to degree level, and we find the highest quality tutors. Today, I'm going to teach you some maths.

What we're going to talk about now is how to teach multiplication to students. So, this is something that is obviously a fairly simple straightforward idea, but it can confuse students when they begin to learn it. So the first thing to do is actually talk about what multiplication is.

For a student, when they first see, let's say, two times three, they won't fully understand what it is. But if you tell them it is two threes, that makes more sense to them. So simply saying, two times three is three plus three, they will understand.

Similarly, you could say three times two is two plus two plus two. Make it clear that that's what multiplication is. Something that's very interesting which may be a lot of students don't know is that if you were to say to them “Why is two times three the same as three times two?” A very simple way to explain it is just to draw a grid.

Now, this grid could obviously, if we say that the columns are two and the rows are three, would represent two times three. But obviously, we could draw a grid on its side, exactly the same, which would be three times two, which will communicate to your students why those two are the same. So the next thing to talk about is how to develop students at multiplication, how to make them better at it.

There's no real big secret to this. What they need is practice. You need to give your students lots and lots of practice so that they become familiar with multiplying two numbers together.

So, it's no longer a thought process, it's more of a memory response. Obviously, we do want them to understand the thought process behind their memory response, but to become better at math and not have to think so much about multiplying two numbers together, we really want it to be a quick process. So the best way to do that is get them to do lots and lots of examples.

If your students are doing three digit numbers multiplied by three digit numbers, the important thing is that if they see, say, six times seven within that calculation, they can say forty-two very quickly and continue with their sum. So, if we do any example of that just now, let's say we have one hundred and seventeen multiplied by two hundred and forty-six, when a student's doing this calculation and when they see six times seven, you don't want them to spend a long time doing that. So if they immediately are like “That's forty-two,” then that's brilliant.

Obviously, you don't expect them to do one one seven times two four six in their head. But knowing their times tables up to at least ten will make a calculation like this take virtually no time at all for them. So that's really it, if you're teaching multiplication from scratch, you really want to explain the basics and then give your students lots and lots of examples to make sure that they're practiced in doing those very simple, quick multiplications. .