Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Improving Multiplication Skills with Channie's {A Homeschool Review Crew Review}

I decided it was time for Hannah to start working on multiplication a bit more consistently this year. She's been working on learning her multiplication facts, but I figured she was up for the challenge of learning how to do two-digit multiplication as well. I honestly don't know if I would have thought of pushing her ahead yet if we hadn't been given the opportunity to review the One Page a Day 2 Digit Multiplication Practice workbook from Channie's Visual Handwriting & Math workbooks. As the workbook is designed for children in 3rd through 5th grade, I decided Hannah (my 4th grader) would be the one working through this review product we received thanks to the Homeschool Review Crew. 

We received this 50-page 2 Digit Multiplication Practice workbook.

This soft cover book has pages that are 8.5" x 11" in dimension, like a normal sheet of printer paper. It is one of eleven different math workbooks Channie's has available for elementary aged students. This is in addition to Teacher Reams and the Dry Erase chart. Plus there are also 27 different products available for handwriting. In fact, it was the handwriting pads that started it all. Channie's was born four years ago when Chan Bohacheff realized her son required something to help him practice his handwriting. Two years ago, we had the privilege of reviewing the Easy Peasy Cursive Workbook. Hannah was again the recipient of that review product. If you would like to see what we thought of that workbook, I invite you to check out my review

Like the handwriting workbooks, Chan Bohacheff has incorporated different colors to help visually guide the student in the math workbooks. There are actually three different kinds of pages.

The first 14 pages have only a one-digit multiplier.  The area where the student is to work out the problem is white, then green, then white again.

As you can see, each section is actually broken up into little squares with plenty of space for a child to write the number. The columns are divided by double lines instead of single lines. The tens and ones columns are labeled at the top of the page. The book follows a logical order in that on the first page the child is multiplying every problem by 1, on the second page the child is multiplying by 2, and so on for the first nine pages. Each of these nine pages also follows the pattern of the multiplicand (the first number) increasing by tens from 10 to 90, then back to 10, and from there increasing by 1's from 10 though 19. The page finishes up by having the child repeat several of the same problems from earlier on the page. 

Pages 10-14 give a child practice with random numbers, though I did just notice that pages 10 and 11 are identical.

After practicing multiplication with problems with a one-digit multiplier, the book moves on to two-digit multipliers. These problems now have three colors. In addition to white and green, there are now blue sections. As a child multiplies, they are aware that when they multiply by the number in the ones column they put the results in the green boxes, and when they multiply by the number in the tens column they put the results in the blue boxes. This helps to keep the child from getting confused, especially with the numbers that have to carry to the top. 

The children start out just multiplying by 10 for a full page, then move onto multiplying by 11 for a full page. Then there is a page that mixes the 10's and the 11's, before the book moves on to a more random selection of multipliers. There are 26 pages that follow this format. 

Then the child gets to practice without the colors for eight pages. 

The book concludes with a two-page answer key.

How did we use this multiplication practice workbook?

Well, at the beginning I had Hannah work on it one page a day for a few days a week. I had her use it independently, but then it came to my attention that she didn't quite understand the correct way to be using it and she was struggling. I admit, I would have noticed sooner if I had checked her work every day, but she hadn't expressed any concern or confusion, so I thought she understood. Once I realized she was having problems, I started guiding her through the problems at the beginning of the page, reminding her that there is a multiplication chart on the inside of the front cover,

then letting her go off on her own, if she so chose, to finish the page. But I made sure to check and have her fix any mistakes right away. 

Obviously, this means we didn't get quite as far through the workbook as we could have. However, I feel confident that she now knows what she is supposed to do. At least with one-digit multipliers. We'll be moving on to two-digit multipliers next.

There are a couple of things I did want to mention.

I was a bit surprised that there is no green box on the top of the tens column for children to carryover the number, if needed, on pages with one-digit multipliers. I think that reminder would have helped Hannah, made her realize she was supposed to do something with that digit that belonged in the tens column.

Also, we have found the best way to use this workbook is to take out the page as we are using it and store it in a folder.

There are a couple of reasons for this. First, the pages seem to fall out quite easily, and I don't want to get them lost. Second, when a child flips up the sheet to get to the page on the back of it, the child either needs to fold the book back or reach over the bottom page to work. Folding it back is probably what causes the pages to fall out now that I think about it. But, obviously it would be a bit uncomfortable to reach over the bottom page to work.

Maybe the book was purposely made so that the pages can be taken out for ease of work and are meant to be stored in a folder. Personally, I do prefer to keep a workbook intact if at all possible. Less chance for my children to lose their work.

Even with those little concerns, I think this is a great workbook for children to work on their multiplication skills, especially if they are struggling. The separate colors help to clarify the steps. And they can focus on perfecting these steps even if they don't have all their multiplication facts memorized, as they can use the multiplication chart to make sure each step has the correct answer. If your child  needs help with their multiplication skills, and more clarity while working out these steps, I would definitely advise looking into the One Page a Day 2 Digit Multiplication Practice Workbook from Channie's.

You can find Channie's on Facebook and Instagram

Don't forget to click on the banner below to see what my fellow Crew Mates had to say about this and a few other great Channie's products. 

You will find reviews of 

Alphabet, Number & Sight Word Dry Erase, Neat Numbers & Page a Day 2 Didgit Multiplication. {Channie's Visual Handwriting & Math workbooks Reviews}

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