More than ever

After happily teaching Latin for two and one half years, I am now in my eighth month teaching algebra in an excellent college prep school. The importance of multiplication confronts me every day as I prepare for class. There is hardly a topic in algebra that does not require a knowledge of the single digit multiplication facts, yet many of my students, far too many, have failed to master these few facts. This problem begins early in grade school when students are not required to memorize these facts and where the simple meaning of multiplication is not enthusiastically taught. After all, multiplication is a powerful arithmetic operation and deserves enthusiasm.