Activity:
Common errors in multiplication
Mathematics
teachers have to be careful to analyze written work in arithmetic
so that error patterns in children's work do not go unnoticed. Careless
errors can affect any question, but greater consequence are the
errors caused by applying a defective algorithm all of the time.
These systematic errors may go undetected because they often yield
correct answers to some questions. It is important for the teacher
to understand where the student is having difficulty and employ
teaching strategies specific to each child's problem.
Teaching
strategies may include: 

leading
children to see that their method is incorrect by demonstrating
their answer is not possible.


using
calculators to check answers.


orally
solving problems as a group and discussing the mathematical
concept applicable at each step.


Using
place value material such as MAB.


ensuring
that students are competent with each stage of the multiplication
algorithm (e.g. by single digit) before moving on to the next.
For more information about the stages, see Teaching
algorithms for multiplication.

Given
below are the written responses of some children to multiplication
questions. Study the various examples to develop an understanding
of the common error patterns seen among children.
Click
here to go back to the previous page
Kim
Explain
the error in Kim's method.
Did
Kim get any question correct using this method?
Complete
the following questions the way Kim would.
Click
here to see Kim's response and possible
teaching strategies.
Jane
Explain
the error in Jane's method.
Did
Jane get any question correct using this method?
Complete
the following questions the way Jane would.
Click
here to see Jane's response and
possible teaching strategies.
Jolly
Explain
the error in Jolly's method.
Did
Jolly get any question correct using this method?
Complete
the following questions the way Jolly would.
Click
here to see Jolly's response and
possible teaching strategies.
Sid
Explain
the error in Sid's method.
Did
Sid get any question correct using this method?
Complete
the following questions the way Sid would.
Click
here to see Sid's response and possible
teaching strategies.
Tom
Explain
the error in Tom's method.
Did
Tom get any question correct using this method?
Complete
the following questions the way Tom would.
Click
here to see Tom's response and possible
teaching strategies.
