Tables reduce multiplication of effort

21st February 1997 at 00:00
Further to the letter from Peter Critchley (TES, February 7), surely addition and multiplication are commutative. Therefore 4+3 could be seen as an operation applied to the 4 or the 3, since the outcome is not affected.

If the multiplication was 1x24, then one is not going to treat it as "1 repeated 24 times", merely "1 lot of 24".

Since 4 and 3 are consecutive, one could view them as "4 lots of 3" or "3 lots of 4" with almost equal "effort", but with 5x3 or 3x5, surely one would use the 5 times table regardless of which was asked for - i.e. 5, 10, 15 and not 3, 6, 9, 12, 15?

BEN WHITLEY

23 Chaucer Way Wokingham Berkshire

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