Thanks, Alycia for sharing your wonderful activities, and to everyone who has contributed! This really is a treasure trove. I have seen children memorize the multiplication facts with outrageous ease through chanting the facts while using rhythm sticks and a different set of motions for each group of facts! Tapping sticks, touching the floor, and flipping the sticks and different melodies and rhythms are all used in a different combination for each group of facts. This is very flexible, and the kids love making new rhythms and different patterns of movement. Example: 2_is_1x2_1x2is2_ _ _ 4_is_2x2_2x2is4_ _ _6_is_3x2_3x2is6_ _ _,etc. (The underscores represent pauses, or musical rests, to create the rhythm of the voice, while continuing to move the sticks on the vocal rests.) They can use a hand clapping rhythm with a partner, as well. This is incredible to watch. I have seen children with different learning styles doing this, and it's a little difficult in the beginning for the kids whose dominant style is not kinesthetic. I have some kids who are slower processors, and need to go slowly at first, but they pick up tremendous speed as they go. It gets easier as they learn each group of facts. IT IS ESSENTIAL that each group of facts retains the same rhythm and pattern of movement each time, at least until the table is learned, as the pattern is the signature and creates the neural pathway. Each time it is practiced, the pathway gets stronger. When the tables are memorized, it's fun and helpful to create new rhythms and patterns for the groups. Also, each group of kids can make up a different song for the same facts. These activities use multiple intelligences and facilitate differentiated instruction, besides being unbelievably fun!
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