One day on a late afternoon, one of the Zee Zees human friends Max found himself having trouble with his math homework. Luckily, the Zee Zees resident teacher Beezy was available to give him a hand. After all, Beezy can teach anybody, not just other Zee Zees!
'What's wrong?' Beezy asked.
Max shook his head, 'I can't figure out multiplication. I think I get it one minute, but the next I'm all turned around!'
Beezy knew just what to do. Having taught Zee Zees of all ages, math was one of her many specialties.
'You just need some practice. I have an idea,' Beezy said. She reached down and pulled out a pack of her favorite snack, Honey Roasted Sunflower Kernels. Max was confused.
'What are those for?' He asked.
Beezy opened the bag of seeds and poured it on the table in front of Max. 'They're for math!' Beezy replied.
Max still didn't understand. How could these seeds help him with his homework? Lucky for him, he was about to find out. Beezy looked at the first question in his workbook: What is 5x3? She grabbed five seeds and put them in one pile. She grabbed five more, and put them in another. Then, she grabbed five more seeds and, sure enough, put them in a third pile.
'How many seeds do you see?' Beezy asked.
Max counted each seed in each pile until he had counted them all. 'Fifteen,' he said.
'That's right! Now, how many are in each group?' she asked.
Max looked back at the seeds. 'Five.'
'Very good,' Beezy said. 'And how many groups are there?'
'What do you get when you add five together three times?' She asked, pointing at the three piles one by one. 'Five plus five is 10, plus 5 one more time is 15.' 'Oh, I get it five times 3 is really just five 3 times! Like, 1 five is five, 2 fives is 10, and 3 fives is 15?' Max asked.
'Exactly! That's multiplication, it's just a way to add faster. You take one of the numbers and add it up as many times as the other number tells you to. Add 5 three times.' Beezy said with a smile.
Max closed his eyes a moment to think, 'So, it doesn't matter which is first? 5 + 5 + 5 is 15, but 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 is 15 too! '
Beezy was ecstatic. 'See! You can do multiplication! Now, let's do a few more.'
For the next hour, Beezy gave Max a number of multiplication problems to complete. With a bit of guidance from Beezy and a little boost from Zee Zees Honey Roasted Sunflower Kernels, Max was on the right track to getting an A on his math test! But, the next time the two met for a study session, Beezy knew she'd need to bring a few more bags of kernels just to eat'her and Max couldn't stop themselves!
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