• Quick:  What is 46 times 5?  Is it easier 46 x 5 =  ?

    Most people cannot answer this question quickly,  several people will do 40 x 5 and work from there.. That is great.

    Now I am going to ask you a different question:  

    You and your brother are splitting $46, how much do you get?

    I think most of you have the answer to this question quickly.  You might even tell me a $20 and three ones.

    46 x 5 is the same problem.    46 x 5 =230     46 x 0.5 = 23.0

    You knew the answer to the top question all along, but just in a different context.  We all have the ability to cut things in half, hanging a picture, dividing up the chicken wings, etc.  Well multiplying by 5 is the same skill set, you may not have linked those 2 skills before.

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    New one what is 35 x 35 =  ___ ?  Now it looks like it could be on a test.

    Well you know that 35 is bigger than 30 and less than 40,  so what is 3 x 4?    And what is 5 x 5?

    So 35 x 35 = 1225,   45 x 45 =2025,  55 x 55 = 3025,  65 x 65 =  _________

    Or students can be quite clever with fill in the blank problems:  6, 12,  20,  30,   ____,   ____,  ____

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    This year I am going to teach Algebra 2, but also give your son/daughter some insights into the wonderful patterns of Mathematics.  It will take practice, but what seems like a complicated problems can be solved quicklywith a simple knowledge of simple patterns.

     

    If 45 x 55 = 2475,  what is 75 x 85 =  ____.  Parents put an extra potato on their plate when they get this one.