Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Multiplication with Ping-Pong Balls!



I'm becoming more and more interested in using my Montessori training with children who have special needs and with the elderly.  It dawned on me that this old Coca-Cola rack could become an easy-to-use multiplication work with a child between 5 - 6.5.  (More on that in a bit.) 

For the Younger Child

But I wasn't prepared for how fun 31-month-old Alleluia thought this new little game is!  She likes to put the Ping-Pong balls into the compartments and take them out over and over!

This is 4 packages of balls from our local drug store at about $2 per package.

It was getting past her bedtime, but she still wanted to play.....

For the Older Child



Part of the Math Memory Work we use to teach multiplication is this Multiplication Board.  It's perforated with 100 holes in rows of 10 and it represents the next step towards abstraction for children who have already used the Multiplication Bead Bars. It's used for the memorization of multiplication tables.  The red circular counter along the top shows what number will be multiplied, and the counter along the side shows how many times the number is taken.We start with a blank times table and choose a number (in this case 3).  The child moves from left to right, top to bottom (as with just about all of the works), filling in each line with the tiny red balls and counting as he/she goes.  With a blank chart and a pencil he fills in:
 "3 x 1 = 3,  3 x 2 = 6..." and so on.

You can see how the Coca-Cola rack/Ping-Pong ball combination could serve a similar function.  If you don't have a nifty old rack like this, consider temporarily re-purposing one of those white melamine shoe organizers from your closet.  (I need to tweak my design in rows where the wooden divider wasn't large enough to keep the balls separate).

Make sure to provide some kind of control of error (such as a written chart of the times tables) so that the child can check his/her answers.




1 comment:

  1. I just looked up the multiplication boards to see how much they cost...surprisingly, under $20! I can really see the value in this and plan to order one soon. Thanks!

    Meredith

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