Math lessons for kids can be boring or fun. When I taught my kids how to multiply and divide my goal was to make it fun. I needed to keep the kids engaged in the math lesson and have them play an active role.
Task initiation can be difficult for a student with ADHD. They might not be sure WHY they have to learn a new concept or HOW they will use this information. Making the topic relevant to the kid is crucial.
I grabbed a snack food from the pantry, a muffin tin from my kitchen, and sat down on the floor with my kids. The muffin tin provides perfect compartments for separating groups of items – in this case cereal. But other times I have used small pieces of candy.
I explained that multiplication problems are asking you to take one number and repeat (or multiply) it a certain amount of times. I demonstrated this by adding pieces of snack food to the wells of the muffin tin. We counted the numbers out loud together and repeated this process several times. I also allowed the kids to eat the solution (product) to the multiplication problems!
We also reviewed how a division problem is taking a larger group of items and splitting it into smaller yet equal groups. I would often use the example of, “You are bringing 20 cookies to the park where you are meeting friends. Including you there are 4 kids. How many cookies will each kid get if you divide the 20 cookies evenly?”
The snack analogies always worked for my kids. Using actual food to carry out multiplication and division problems in the muffin tin kept my kids engaged and made the math problem suddenly relevant to real life. Not enough math problems in books and online programs mimic real-life situations encountered by students. In order to have success at motivating the kid to practice and learn the math concept you must demonstrate that the concept is actually meaningful in real life.
I hope you enjoy the video explanation of how I show kids how to multiply and divide with snack food! Please share with friends who might also find this helpful.
Math Homework Hack Video – Multiplication and Division with Snack Food
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