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MathBait™ Multiplication: An Outstanding Approach to Master Fact Fluency

Updated: Apr 15

Marco the Great is awarded Best in Children's Education with the Independent Press Award

With the one year anniversary of our first publication fast approaching, this is an exciting time for MathBait™. As we continue to grow and impact students across the world, improving both their perception and understanding of mathematics, we are excited to announce Marco the Great and the History of Numberville has been named the 2024 winner in Children's Education by the Independent Press Award.


As we began to brainstorm how we could possibly celebrate this achievement, we turned to parents and educators and asked What is the biggest barrier in mathematics education?


What is the biggest barrier in mathematics education?

The answer was clear. Across the board we saw hundreds of complaints, questions, and queries about building fact fluency in multiplication. It's true that knowledge of multiplication facts and the ability to recall is vital for student success in mathematics. While multiplication may seem like an elementary topic, as students advance to higher grades multiplication becomes one of many steps students must complete to solve a problem. An inability to quickly process products results in anxiety, lower confidence, and diminished performance as even if a student comprehends the new material, they can get caught up in the basics, time constraints, and low motivation.


We scoured the internet. We found niche (and pricey) programs that promised to have your students memorizing facts along with a plethora of unimaginative games that force a multiplication problem every now and again. It was evident that students, parents, and teachers need a strong and pedagogically sound program to not only learn and practice multiplication skills, but to enjoy the process while building a solid foundation that supports higher learning. As a thank you to our supporters in celebration of our achievement, we went to work bringing our unique approach of game-based conceptual learning to create a comprehensive multiplication program.


We are excited to announce MathBait™ Multiplication. Over the next 7 weeks we'll be releasing an amazing set of activities, games, and resources to help your students master multiplication and have a blast in the process. With dozens of activities and an unprecedented number of free digital games we cannot wait for parents and teachers to dive into this groundbreaking series and help their students to master multiplication fact fluency.


What is MathBait™ Multiplication?

Our multiplication program consists of 7 publications to build fluency, each building on previous understanding. The key tenet behind our resources is Memorization Does Not Work.


That's right, throw away those programs that help your students through quirky songs or mnemonics. It won't last. Memorizing skills stores information in short term memory. It will absolutely help for tomorrow's test, but with nothing to anchor or connect the information to, as soon as students stop daily practice the skills will disappear along with it. The problem is, students need multiplication throughout their educational journey and fact fluency is also necessary in daily life (both in understanding the world around us and in mundane tasks such as calculating your running total at the grocery store, party planning, or scaling). You need a program that helps build long term retention and understanding. This is MathBait™ Multiplication.


Not only does memorization not support long term understanding, it has other unintended consequences. Memorization can instantly flip a switch that is nearly impossible to undo. It causes students to begin to see math as a series of remembered steps. This not only leads to a dislike of the subject, it also inhibits their problem-solving skills; the very reason we teach mathematics in the first place. Memorization also creates a rigid view of numbers. As described in our first novel, Marco the Great and the History of Numberville, one of the greatest powers a student can have is flexibility in how they see, interpret, and work with numbers. At higher levels, a good curriculum will help students to manipulate numbers by breaking them down to prime components. When students have memorized their times tables, they begin to see expressions like 4×6 as equivalent to 24 without even thinking. Why's that a problem? In fractions, radicals, quadratics, and so many other areas, a student who can instead manipulate 4×6 into various forms will be much more successful.


In each part of MathBait™ Multiplication, we build on previous understanding, not only helping to anchor the concepts in long term memory, but also help students feel successful and confident as these baby steps turn into huge leaps in the blink of an eye.


Even better? MathBait™ Multiplication is 100% free (no ads, subscriptions, login, or collection of information required), our activities are easy to follow, require few if any supplies, and every resource is designed for having fun. Our games differ from what you may be used to as we don't attempt to unnaturally force math into strange situations. Your students won't be racing a car that suddenly stops to ask them to quickly recall 7×8 in order to continue. Instead, our games often highlight how math is all around us. For instance, students will mine for gold to build their city by distributing the wealth to their workers, avoiding an uprising and applying the distributive property to build a fluency and flexibility with products. They'll use a growth laser to scale a dinosaur and help save its hatchlings, apply problem solving skills with emojis, and build their own version of the first practical calculator to quickly compute very large products while increasing their knowledge of multiples. Get ready for lots of smiles and laughter as your students build lasting fact fluency and have a blast in the process.


What does MathBait™ Multiplication Include?

Our program includes 7 parts, each building on the previous. To begin, students should feel comfortable with counting by ones. While our resources can be used with students as young as 4, our games and activities are attractive to children of all ages. Our test group included kindergartners to 8th graders and students loved the activities (and regularly asked to play again and again!) despite their age or skill level.


Below is an overview of each part of the MathBait™ Multiplication series. Once the entire program is released, parents, teachers, and students can head to www.MathBait.com/multiplication (note, our full program will only be available once all 7 parts have been released) to continue to use and enjoy the resources. While each part of our program includes full lessons, educators find MathBait™ games great for warm-ups, stations, review day, substitute material, and more.


We can't wait to see how you incorporate MathBait™ in the classroom. Tag us on social media or reach out at info@mathbait.com to share how your students have thrived with MathBait™!



Beginning Multiplication

Part 1 in the series starts at the beginning. Building on students' ability to count, we tackle skip counting, skip-skip counting, and even skip-skip-skip counting to introduce students to new ways to tally while also aiding in number sense and helping to construct relationships between numbers. This not only provides a solid foundation, it will support students in higher-level skills such as factoring. Kick-start learning with 9 activities plus 3 digital games that get students ready to multiply!



Dual Processing

One barrier to multiplication fluency is dual processing. Students must learn to keep track of two values: what they are skip-counting by and how many. In Part 2, we help students build their dual processing skills with 13 activities plus 3 more exciting digital games. These are student favorites! Building on previous understanding, students learn through play, developing an intuitive understanding of multiples.



Let's Multiply!

The next step in our series formally introduces students to the multiplication symbol. Rather than focus on memorization or fact recall, we use novel approaches to problem-solving. Imagine you are building a gas station. You wouldn't want only one entrance to your establishment, you want cars to be able to turn into the station from every direction or you risk customers passing by. This is akin to our approach; we are not simply directing students to recall 4×6=24 (one way), but manufacturing multiple paths in their brain to retrieve the stored information.



Methods of Multiplication

In week 4 we shift our attention to multi-digit multiplication and explore the many methods used in today's schools. We break down the meaning of each method, why it works, and provide the best ways to help students understand and thrive. We'll also give you our ratings of each to better understand their usefulness and the ideal time to introduce a method to students.



Dem Bones

Napier's Bones are considered the first practical calculator and you may be surprised to know they fit in the palm of your hand! Part 5 of our series shows you how Napier's Bones are an outstanding tool for learning multiplication. We'll show you how to make your own set of bones, as well as release our digital bones helping students to learn how to use this amazing calculator while increasing their fluency and understanding of multiplies and multi-digit multiplication (and division!).



Bones in Action

In Part 5 we introduced Napier's Bones and helped you to make your own set, now it's time to play! We provide lessons, games, and activities using the bones to supercharge your students' multiplication skills in both fun and novel ways. Students will develop an increased number sense and understanding of place value while also improving their fluency, recall, and ability to quickly compute large products.



Primal

We close out our series with explorations into prime numbers. Prime numbers are the building blocks of the integers. This is so important they call it The Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic. Knowledge of prime numbers is vital in middle and high school math as well as university courses such as Number Theory and Analysis. By building a deep understanding of the primes, students will also strengthen not only their multiplication skills and basic fact fluency, they will also continue to develop the relationships between numbers setting them up for success with fractions, factoring, radicals, and even polynomials.




Mastering Multiplication Fact Fluency with MathBait™

Fact fluency is a huge barrier for students and the current resources do not do enough to help them build the understanding and flexibility they need to succeed in the long run. MathBait™ Multiplication is a fun and pedagogically sound aggregation of amazing activities, resources, and games that help students master multiplication and have a blast in the process.


Subscribe to our newsletter for first access each week and get started helping your students build this crucial skill.



Marco the Great and the History of Numberville



Grab your copy of the award-winning novel today and help your students develop a love of numbers!








Want even more fun and games to help students master math through joy? Explore our online program, The Kryptografima.


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