Tips to Helping your Fourth Grader with Multiplication Homework

Here are some ways to help your child learn multiplication and make fourth grade math homework fun.

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Multiplication can be a difficult concept for kids to master. But, believe it or not, there are many tricks that make multiplying easy to learn and easy to use. You can begin teaching your 4th grader his or her multiplication tables by practicing with these fun tips and soon they will be multiplying any number they see.

Getting Started

First, you should always concentrate on learning one set of multiplication tables at a time. You should begin working on 2's, then move onto 3's, then 4's, and so on. As you work with your child you can begin to build a collection of flashcards. Write down the problems and let your child figure them out. Have them write down answers on the backs of the cards. They can then use these to study with you or by themselves. As they learn one set, you can have them fill out new, blank flashcards to make sure they understand and know the set.

Trick #1

To help your child with multiplication sets that have two as a factor your can remind them that the multiplication facts with 2 in them can be worked just like adding the other number to itself. For example: 2 x 4 is really 4 + 4, they both equal 8. This can help you child to see that multiplication is a lot like addition, just written in a more compact form.

To continue with this idea, the multiplication facts involving 4 are just like adding the other number 4 times. Some call it the 'double and then double again' approach. 4 x 4 is 16 because 4 + 4 = 8 and 8 + 8 = 16.

Trick #2

The number 5 has two tricks. When your child multiplies 5 by an even number all they have to do is halve the even number and put a zero after it. Half of 6 is 3, so 5 x 6 = 30.

For odd numbers subtract 1 from the odd number then divide the answer in half and put a 5 after it. For example: 7 - 1 = 6 and half of 6 is 3, then put a 5 after it to get 35, so 5 x 7 = 35.

Trick #3

There is also a trick for the multiplication facts involving 9. Teach your child the - 1 approach. For example: 2 x 9 = 18 since 2 - 1 is 1, 9 - 1 is 8; put them together and you get 1! Similarly, 3 x 9 = 27 because 3 - 1 is 2, 9 - 2 is 7; put them together to get 27.

Or, you can use the finger approach. Hold up all ten fingers, then put the one you're multiplying by 9 down (if your doing 9 x 6 then put your thumb down on your right hand). The number of fingers that will be left standing on your left hand represent the digit in the tens place(5), the number of fingers left up on your left hand represent the digit in the ones place (4). So, that means the answer to 9 x 6 is 54.

Other Multiplication Tricks

In order to come up the answers for other multiplication problems, you can draw lines on a piece of paper. To find the answer to 5 x 4, have your child draw 5 horizontal lines and then 4 vertical lines intersecting them. There are 20 intersecting points of these lines in all, and 20 is the answer to 5 x 4. Another easy way to visualize multiplication equations is to use little candies or crackers or something similar to represent each part of the equation. This way your child can learn how to multiple quickly by using the addition and subtraction skills they already know.

These are just a few of the many ways to learn how to multiply and you can help your child to find the way that is most easy for them to remember. The most important thing when helping your fourth grader is to show them how easy it is to learn multiplication. Once they find a way they enjoy and understand, they can multiply anything like a pro!

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