TO LEARN THE MULTIPLICATION TABLES
Learning the multiplication tables poses several problems to children:
1. It requires monotonous learning, and can become tiresome for many of them.
2. It is based on memorizing, since reasoning would make it slower and therefore less
3. It is an abstract process which does not use specific or controllable support.
4. Its acquisition demands continual practice.
HOW THE MULTIPLICATION TABLES ARE LEARNT
The traditional way of checking a child’s progress with the multiplication tables is to ask the child the different multiplications one by one. Whenever the child hesitates, they start guessing and giving the wrong answers. The child is repeatedly asked until they finally come up with the right answer.
This procedure poses a problem from the point of view of the laws of learning, because the child mentally associates several wrong answers to the question being asked. This makes the most important association: STIMULUS (the question) and the CORRECT ANSWER, more difficult. All other associations hinder learning, above all because they have not been followed immediately by the correct response.
WHAT DOES AUTORUEDA PROVIDE?
The aim of Autorueda is to assist in the acquisition of this important instrumental strategy. The advantages of this method:
1. It is based on self-learning:
- The child does not require the presence of an adult to learn.
- It can be carried out at any time and place, either at school or elsewhere.
2. It uses a controllable procedure, making it more motivating.
3. It uses the visual channel. This means that a sensory process that is different to the
auditory channel is for learning purposes.
4. It provides a very efficient structure, in accordance with the laws of learning:
- It starts with a question
- An answer is given
- If the correct response is given, the self-checking reinforces the learning
- If the incorrect response is given, the right answer is immediately provided.
- It includes a small picture by way of reward or support.
TIPS FOR USE
1. Saying the answer aloud reinforces the correct question-answer association.
2. It is a good idea to teach the child to programme their own learning: for example, they
should not finish with one table until they have managed to complete the wheel without a
3. A few minutes’ practice a day is better than longer sessions that are further apart.
4. Once the child has learnt a table, ask them to repeat the process in your presence. This
helps the child and also enables us to control their learning.