Learning the Basics: Multiplication Facts

Brian KissmanSome people think that a “Progressive American Education” is great to help students to explore and be creative, but it misses on high expectations for the achievement of core knowledge and skills in math and science. This is not the case at New York Academy.

Take a basic knowledge and skill set such as learning and memorizing the multiplication facts. We have implemented the program Rectangle 150 Multiplication Mats. It is a study program students in grades 3 and 4 complete over the course of a year to gain a deep understanding of multiplication (patterns, skip counting, multiples, common multiples, and least common multiples) and to memorize the multiplication facts.

Many school systems throughout the world expect their students to memorize the multiplication facts by the end of grade 3 or grade 4. And, some approaches aim to help students understand multiples while memorizing the multiplication facts.

That said, while most school systems around the world expect this, unfortunately, too many students enter grades 5 and 6 without their multiplication facts memorized. This limits a student’s ability at a time when they should be learning higher and more complex math; advance math depends on the automatic recall of the basic multiplication facts and concepts.

At New York Academy, we take a “tortoise over the hare” approach. A commitment of 5 to 10 minutes per day over an entire year allows students to develop an understanding of the big ideas of multiplication and to permanently retain memorization of the multiplication facts.

And, as early as Kindergarten, we begin engaging students with patterns and skip counting activities so that they arrive to grades 3 and 4 reading to effectively and efficiently learn multiplication.

At New York Academy, we not only expect our students to memorize the multiplication facts by the end of grade 3 or 4, we also expect them to gain a deep understanding of the underlying concepts.

New York Academy is a progressive, American international school that guides its students to learn to learn.


Brian Kissman
Head of School
New York Academy

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