Math Flashcards – Master Multiplication!

Math Flashcards

My wife and I raised my nephew, because both his parents passed away. We got an email from his math teacher saying he was failing math during his 4th grade year. They wanted to retain him. I tried paper flash cards, but he resisted. He would pretend he didn’t know the answer when I knew he did. I suspect he hoped I would become frustrated and give up.

I searched for computer based Grade School Flash Cards. All I could find were tests or games. Games were more about entertaining the student. Test programs asked each question one time and gave a percent correct. I didn’t want games because I wanted him to succeed. I already had a report card, so I didn’t need a test. I wanted a practice program.

So, I wrote free Math Flashcards. It creates a virtual deck of Grade School Flash Cards and randomly displays a math flashcard. If the student provides the correct answer in less than eight seconds, it removes that card from the deck. Students continue answering problems until they input all 144 answers in less than eight seconds each.

 Click here to view it!

Instead of grounding him, I told him he could not have any entertainment  when he came home from school until he completed one virtual deck of free Math Flashcards every day for a week.  His total study time was 2.5 hours.

I will never forget how my nephew burst into my office after school.  He went from 50% to 100% in one week and he was the first student in his class to complete the test.

The first school to use my Math Flashcards has renewed for their seventh year and my nephew is a Senior now.  He can still complete 144 problems in ten minutes.  Students normally retain mastery throughout High School and College if they use my math flashcards.

I believe you can have the same success.

Public Schools

The paid version of this app (Smart Flash Cards Online) is very successful in Public Schools.  Here is a quote from my first Public School Customer.  This quote was approved by the Principal and Lead Teacher at Madelia Public Schools:

Smart Flash Cards Online has been proven effective in Public Schools.  Madelia Public Schools, in Madelia MN, has used it for 7 years.  They began using the program with eighth grade ELL (English Language Learners) and Special Needs students. Currently it is used with all the Pre-Algebra students in the district and has been used with younger students as well. Ms. Bergeman leads the project for that school.  Ms. Bergeman states “I have been teaching for over 20 years and have found no other program on the market as effective for the mastery of basic math facts.  Many of my students, after years of frustration, finally experienced success in their math classes following the use of Smart Flash Cards Online, and were able to move forward in their math education with a feeling of competency. I only wish I had discovered the program earlier in my career when I was teaching grades K-6.” 

Note:  If you use the free version, please do not disable advertisements, it’s how I keep the free website running.  Thank you.

If you are a parent or teacher, please give this a try.  We need to give students the support they need so they are not retained or advanced to the next grade without mastering the curriculum.  If you can’t directly help a student, please share this with others who can help.

Please send me an email if you are a school and would like a free trial.

Before You Begin (Read First)

Before you study you need to do two things.

1.  Understand the concept of multiplication. Multiplication is an easier way of writing repeated addition.
Example:
You could write:
5 X 4 = 20 (read five times four equals twenty)
OR
4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 = 20
The first way is just a shortcut.

2.  Learn seven simple rules. These rules make most of the table easy. The following pages cover each rule.

Rote Learning vs. Reasoning

While writing Smart Flash Cards, I read several articles about which was best, Rote Learning or Reasoning.  Reasoning is being able to figure out the answer and Rote Learning is memorizing by repetition.

I think the answer is obvious.  You need both.  First Reasoning then Rote Learning.

Why you need reasoning.

If you can reason you will never be stuck.  Let’s look at the example 9 X 12.  If you know 9 X 11 = 99 (Rule 5) and you know that multiplication is simply repeated addition(Before You Begin), then then you will know 9 X 12 = 99 + 9 = 108.  Everyone needs to be able to do that.  If you can’t Reason then Rote Learning will be very difficult.

Why you need Rote Learning.

Reasoning steals focus from the concept you are trying to learn. If you are studying Geometry your focus should be on the Pythagorean theorem  not reasoning out “What is 8 X 8?”  The multiplication table should be automatic.  You should know the answer to every problem like you know your own name.  It saves time, reduces mistakes and allows you to focus on the current lesson.

The First Time You Study

Don’t rush when you begin to study. Sometimes people join Smart Flash Cards Online after a student gets a bad report card. If a student did get a bad report card, they are probably upset, disappointed and concerned about discipline.

I think Smart Flash Cards Online is the easiest way to memorize the multiplication table. Having said that, it is still work. The first deck is the hardest. Below are some things you should consider before a student attempts their first deck of Smart Cards. Sometimes the fastest way to succeed is to wait a day before you start.

Make sure the student is:

  1. Not Hungry.
  2. Not Tired.
  3. Not ill.
  4. No TV in the background.
  5. No Radio in the background.
  6. Not worried about discipline. If they just brought home a bad report card, you may need to give them some support.
  7. The study area should be quiet peaceful, with good lighting.

It’s very important that the student can focus when they study. Try to eliminate distractions.

If you are a parent or teacher and want to add something, please post a comment to this blog.