When my children were memorizing their multiplication facts, I noticed that writing the facts over and over weren’t always helping. We tried using multiplication charts but there always seemed to be a disconnect between the chart and the fact they were trying to memorize.
As I told my mother, a former teacher, about the situation she referred back to her own childhood. This surprised me because I was looking for insight from “the teacher”, but my mom always had great ideas about educating and tutoring, so I ran with the idea.
What we had both noticed was that children often would write their multiplication facts in the fastest way they could which often was for example, all the sevens, then all the multiplication symbols, then one through twelve, then all the equals then the answer. Because they had written all the number is order, they were now essentially just skip counting.
The result was that every time my son needed to write the answer to a 7×3 problem he had to skip count, 7 14 21. What was worse he didn’t have memorized that 3×7 was the same thing so he would skip count 3 6 9 12 15 18 21. What a waste of time!
Multiplication Circles require the student to write the equations out completely so that they are thinking a complete thought, like a sentence. I even made them read the sentences out loud to me after they finished a sheet, so they were also hearing, “seven times three equals 21” for example.