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Math Cafe is an informal discussion with leaders in the fields of mathematics and mathematics education. You can meet these leaders face-to-face or online, ask questions, and chat with other participants.

If you are in the Raleigh-Durham area, NC, join us for some tea on February 18th at 6 pm EST at Cafe Carolina on 137 Weston Parkway, Cary. Bring a device to participate in text chat. If you are elsewhere, grab a cup and a cookie and join us online. If you want, get together with friends and family for your own local chat. We will do a short sweet presentation on the surprising and wild science behind multiplication. Then we'll answer questions from online and local participants - while you informally discuss the ideas.

**Registration is free and open: your entry ticket is a question about multiplication.**

**1. Reply here with your question about multiplication. Yes, you can ask more than one!**

**2. At 6 pm EST on February 18 ****come to the event page **http://moebiusnoodles.com/mathcafe/** for an embedded video stream and live chat, or use Twitter hashtag #MathCafe to participate.**

What is multiplication? Well, it’s when you multiply one number by another number. Hmm, that doesn’t sound very helpful, does it? What does it mean to multiply a number by another number? Your child’s experience with multiplication will depend on the answer (or several) you have to this question. It will also determine where you will look for examples of multiplication - multiplication tables, a mirror, your child’s drawings, a stroll around your neighborhood… And researchers suspect that early experiences with multiplication (or lack of them) largely determine the future success with all math and science. That's because multiplication is the cornerstone of algebra.

How will learning these critical concepts fit your and your child’s day-to-day activities? And how will it help enrich your and your child’s relationship with mathematics? We will discuss these and other questions in our upcoming Math Cafe.

It is open for sign-up now. Even if you can’t attend, sign up anyway, and we will send you the recording. Ask us your question, tell us your or your child’s multiplication story, share your successes or concerns. The power to shape you child’s view of mathematics is in your hands - and it all starts with asking questions!

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Comment

**Answer** by Dani
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Feb 18, 2014 at 11:09 PM

I am trying a method of tapping or making sounds like (Ta Ta Ta)X3 times to ask short puzzles (the answer is 9 in this case). He is five years old and seems to like this method.

**Answer** by Silina
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Feb 18, 2014 at 09:08 PM

The subject facinating us now is Mutiplication part in solving proportions.

**Answer** by shiekha
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Feb 18, 2014 at 06:53 PM

Multiplication is repeated addition ,but how can I make it interesting for my kid to learn.

**Answer** by dawnpeluso
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Feb 17, 2014 at 11:16 PM

how can I make multiplication fun for my kids

Learn multiplication while having fun with a song! Table top manipulatives add to the playfulness. And, so too, having the children stage the action with all that want to join in the "dance."

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrahThe ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrahThe ants go marching one by one,The little one stops to suck her thumbAnd they all go marching down to the groundTo get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching two by two, hurrah, hurrahThe ants go marching two by two, hurrah, hurrahThe ants go marching two by two,The little one stops to tie her shoeAnd they all go marching down to the groundTo get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching three by three, hurrah, hurrahThe ants go marching three by three, hurrah, hurrahThe ants go marching three by three,The little one stops to climb a treeAnd they all go marching down to the groundTo get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

etc.!

**Answer** by jbeaudin
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Feb 17, 2014 at 06:55 PM

I was thinking today that I might say, "I notice that for every light switch, there are two screws" as a way of describing a relationship in terms of multiplication (perhaps?). Beyond "X by Y," what other ways are there to verbally describe patterns in terms of multiplication?

In daily life, what are some of the very first comments we might make that can lead to more observations about multiplication? For example, would it start by saying something like, "hmm, I notice there are 4 cookies in this package. I wonder if every package has the same number of cookies." Should there be a period of just observing descriptions like these without even attempting to arrive at a totally count?

It seems like being able to skip count goes hand in hand with multiplication and I wonder about ways to make it more than just a chant. Is it okay for a parent to simply demonstrate (re-order a pile of raisins into pairs and then count 2, 4, 6, 8...) or does that jump ahead before the child makes a discovery on their own? As an adult, it's hard not to automatically begin counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s!

Thank you for providing this wonderful resource and I'm excited to try to integrate this way of seeing patterns into daily conversations with my kiddos!

**Answer** by Shines
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Feb 17, 2014 at 05:23 PM

Are there good early learning techniques to helping my preschooler?

**Answer** by joshuazucker
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Feb 12, 2014 at 08:27 PM

What is it about multiplication that lets it combine or change the unit of measure, in a way that addition can't?

**Answer** by chandlerhockaday
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Feb 12, 2014 at 10:39 AM

I want my children to have a better experience with math. How early can you teach multiplication. Can you do it for K5 after addition?

**Answer** by sherylmorris
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Jan 31, 2014 at 04:39 PM

When I was in grade school, many years ago, multiplication was presented as "repeated addition." The terms "fractal" and "scale" I learned as an adult. Your graphics, here, help make them easy to understand. "Folding" (snowflake making) was merely a craft that made a paper mess and pretty window designs. "Splitting" I related to fraction lessons and is fairly easy for youngsters to grasp, I assume, especially at snack time. I really appreciate your encouragement of early and casual conversation with young children about math in our daily lives. This, surely, can only ease "math anxiety."

When you say, "That's because multiplication is the cornerstone of algebra," I lean in wanting more; I want to understand. Your goal is to make math easier for children; you must realize that caregivers, teachers, parents, and grandparents learn, too, as they help their children and their own moments of realization and surprise can infect pleasure.

What would you say to a young child who asks, "What's algebra?"

Best.

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