Thursday, March 7, 2013

Musical Math #2: Multiplication Mountain

We've been pressing on with our memorization of math facts.  Autumn just finished up her addition facts on  and was excited to begin her subtraction facts.

A month ago, I posted a review of a skip-counting cd, 100 Sheep and Counting, that my family has loved.  Today I want to post a review of a second cd:  Multiplication Mountain by Hap Palmer.

Hap Palmer has been making educational kids' albums for many years.  Multiplication Mountain was published in 2009.  Many of his cds are a mixture of different concepts, but this one focuses solely on multiplication.  The cd has two tracks for every number.  The first fills in the answers for each multiplication fact.  The second song leaves a blank for children to fill in the answer to the multiplication facts.  My daughter likes this a lot.  Each song is a different tune--which I think matters.  A child is trying to remember the facts and the tune will run through his or her head. But, if it is the same tune over and over (like rap), the songs would quickly get confused together.  And then it wouldn't be very helpful.  Amazon doesn't have any samples of the tracks on this album, but cdbaby does.  You can hear them here:

It was hard to find a good cd with multiplication facts that weren't rap.  And I found two!  This cd by Hap Palmer is the first.  I'll be reviewing the other in another post soon.  

Do I think this is a great teaching aid for kids learning their facts?   Yes. Definitely.  I used to think Hap Palmer's music was very old fashioned.  I had bought into our culture's idea that newer is always better.  But, it isn't.  Hap Palmer's music is very kid friendly.  It's easy sing along with and listen to.  It sticks in your head--which is exactly what you want with a cd like this one which is intended to help kids learn their multiplication facts.  

I've talked to a lot of moms and learning the arithmetic facts is something that most kids struggle with.  It's a long climb up a big hill.  They'll get there, but I think that anything we can do to help them on that journey is a good thing.  Simply looking at flash cards doesn't work for a lot of kids.  Especially if a child is an auditory learner.  Music is a great teaching tool that sometimes I forget to use as a teacher and as a mom.

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this cd for review from Hap Palmer.

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