Archive | 8:38 pm

Be Fruitful and Multiply

7 Apr

Multiplication Practice Sheets

(and add and subtract)

Multiplication Practice Sheets for kids

Certain skills require some rote practice; there aren’t any short-cuts to just spending time doing them. I think being fast at basic math facts (single-digit multiplication, double-digit addition/subtraction, and common fractions) are that kind of skill.

Recently I have gotten pretty tired of buying (or Googling and printing) multiplication, addition, subtraction, long-division, and fraction worksheets for my kids. As an author of much younger-kids educational iPhone/iPad apps myself (see iTot Apps), my wife and I first tried several different practice apps for 3-7th graders, but only Sakura Quick Math stood out. Unfortunately it doesn’t actually teach kids well, the handwriting recognition isn’t good enough. We also tried web-sites like IXL and TenMarks – these are both sites I recommend, but to date I have to say that nothing beats pencil-and-paper time, where you are focused on simply the math problems, your memory, speed, and accuracy. Period. Things like jazzy graphics, motivational badges, and the keyboard and mouse actually get in the way of the muscle-memory and visceral eye-hand feedback of writing answers with a pencil onto a paper.

I thought there must be a web-page that would generate printable multiplication (and other) practice sheets for parents. Searching revealed nothing useful within the first few pages of Google and Bing results, so I dutifully started slinging some HTML using the latest and greatest MathML HTML5 web technologies. What a mess – I can display a quadratic equation or a complex integral or matrix in HTML but somehow it’s 2013 and I can’t show stacked 2-digit multiplication (except in Firefox — good for you guys) without drawing it by hand with tables and borders. So, I searched a bit longer and bumped into @drdrang‘s blog post of Math Practice Sheets which has done the layout well already.

Thanks @drdrang – I tweaked your page for multiplication to allow you to set the number of digits for the upper and lower numbers, and to refresh itself dynamically, and to print itself directly.

You can find my page here. We try to have our kids do two of these every day – it’s 5 minutes of work to do in the car or before or after breakfast that just makes sure the brains are working and these basic math facts are down cold.

I’ll add some additional pages based on his fractions, addition, and subtraction down the road.