Top tips for helping your child learn their times tables: 1) Learn a

Top tips for helping your child learn their times tables: 1) Learn a
Top tips for helping your child learn their times tables:
1) Learn a little at a time.
If you start a new times table,
don’t try to master it all
overnight. Start with 1 x 5, 2 x
5 one day, then add more in
when they are used to the
2) Try different strategies:
all children learn in different
ways, so what worked for an
older sibling may not work for
another child.
3) Constant revision of all of the tables is
important, as they are easy to forget when you move on
to a new set.
4) Demonstrate using concrete apparatus so that
children can see, for example, 3 lots of 4 as 3 rows of
4 matchsticks.
5) Use real-life situations to develop understanding
of times tables, for example: “If you save 3p every day,
how much do you think you would have saved in a week?”
6) There is no ‘right’ way to learn the times tables,
and it helps to know lots of tricks, ‘cheats’ and links
between times tables facts. The next few pages will
help you to identify some ways of making the times
tables more fun and relevant than just rote learning.
It’s just a quick way of doing a LONG addition sum:
It is very important that the children understand how the tables are
compiled so that they can start to find their own tricks for speeding
1 x5=5
This means there is 1 ‘lot of’ 5
2 x 5 = 10
This means that there are 2
‘lots of 5’ i.e. 5 plus another 5
(5 + 5 = 10)
3 lots of 5
5 + 5 + 5 = 15 etc.
This knowledge is especially helpful for the higher number tables.
If a child, does not know what 7 x 7 is they do not have to start
right at the very beginning of the 7 x table but can leap in half way:
5 x 7 = 7 x 5 =35
6 x 7 = 3 5 + 7 (w e n o w ha v e 6 l o t s o f 7 ) = 4 2
7 x 7 = 42 + 7 (7 lots of 7) = 49
Once they have learnt that they can start from 5 x the number to
find higher multiples, they will be able to solve multiplication
problems much more quickly.
Multiplication is Commutative
(Commutative means that it doesn’t matter which way around the
numbers go, so 3 x 4 is the same as 4 x 3).
This can be demonstrated very easily by drawing a
rectangle 4 squares by 2:
Here you have 2 rows of 4 squares but it is exactly the
same if you turn it around so that there are 4 rows of 2
You still have 8 squares in total.
This is another good time to get out the sweets!
Large bars of chocolate are ordered into these
rows and columns, or you could lay out Smarties
into different arrays.
Use mnemonics to aid the memory
I ate and ate `till I was sick on the floor: 8
times 8 is 64!
Wakey, wakey, rise and shine: seven 7s are
Make up some of your own : 7 x 8 = 56 56 = 7
Odd and Even Numbers
The following rules always apply:
2 x 6 = 12
4 x 5 = 20
9 x 2 = 18
7 x 3 = 21
Therefore, the only time you get an odd answer is when two odd
numbers are multiplied together.
Talk the tables:
Count forwards and backwards in 2s, 3s, 4s, etc.
Put one more finger up every time you move onto the next
number in the sequence, if this will help the child to remember
which number they are up to.
Chant the tables in the old fashioned way .
Working on only one table at a time, try saying them out
of order, like: 3 x 5 = ? could be followed by, 3 x 7 = ?
Give them the answer, for them to work out the question.
Like, 35: how many 5s make this?
Using fingers to calculate the nine times tables:
Lay both hands flat, palms down, on the table.
Number the fingers, from left to right, 1 - 10.
If you want 7 x 9, wiggle the third
finger and then curl it under.
On the left of this finger there are
6 fingers (6 TENS).
On the right of this finger there are 3 fingers (3 UNITS)
9 x 7 = 63
Look for number patterns in the tables
Ox: Think of `empty pockets'. Ask your child how many
pockets he or she has in the clothes they are
wearing at the moment. If there are three
pockets, all with nothing in them, then they have
nothing. It doesn't matter how many pockets they
have, if they are all empty, then there will be
nothing. 3 x 0 = 0 etc.
2x: After 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, the pattern is repeated in the last digit ,
like: 12 14 16 18 20 22 24.
3x: The numbers follow the pattern of: Odd, Even, Odd, Even, like:
3, 6, 9, 12, 15.
4x: All of these are double the two times table:
(2 x table)
20 (4x table)
5x: Any odd number times 5, ends in a 5. Any even number tunes 5
ends in a O:
2 x 5 = 10
3 x 5 = 15
4 x 5 = 20
6x: These answers are just double those in the 3x table:
6 9 12 15 18 21 (3x table) 6 12 18 24
30 36 42 (6x table)
8x: These answers are all double the 4x table:
8 12 16 20 (4x table) 8 16 24 32 40
(8x table)
9x: All of the digits add up to 9. This even works for really high
multiples of 9, but you need to keep going until there is only
one digit:
9 x 4 = 36 (3 + 6 = 9)
9 x 101 = 909 (9 + 0 + 9 = 18, 1 + 8 = 9)
There is an additional trick to the 9 x table, more information
on the next page!
10x: All numbers end in a zero! (Please note we are not `adding a
zero'. What is actually happening is that the digits which are
being multiplied move one column to the left, to make them ten
times bigger – they are ‘held’ in that position by putting a zero
into the empty column).
This column
means that the
number is ten
times bigger than
it was in the units
A zero has to go in
here to keep the
digit in the correct
11x: Both digits are the same (for answers up to 100). You can also
think of it as 10x tables, plus one more ‘lot’ of the number that
you are multiplying by 11:
9 x 11 is the same as 9 x 10 + 9.
12x: If you've learnt all the other tables - there actually should
only be one thing to learn by this stage: 12 x 12 = 144
Praise for progress:
As the tables are learned, they can be
coloured or highlighted both horizontally and
vertically. You can use this opportunity again to
emphasise that 3 x 6 = 6 x 3, so therefore as well
as learning the entire 3 x table, part of the 6 x table
has also been leaned so this can be coloured in as
Therefore, by the time all the tables up to
and including the 5x have been learnt, there is
actually only one quarter of this grid left to commit to memory.
Record your own tape or CD
It is supposed to be far more effective if a chi id
listens to his/her own voice on a tape (rather than a
presenter). It is better if the children follow a
`script’ when making the tape. The children should
say the first bit into the microphone then leave a short pause before reading the
answer. This is so that, when the tape is being played back, they will have
chance to say the answer themselves before checking that it is correct with the
answer given by the tape.
One5 is--5 One2is- --2
One 10is---10
Two5s are---10 Two2s
are---4 Two 10s are - - 20
Three 5s are - - - 15 Three
2s are - - - 6 Three 10s
- - 30
Four 5s are---20 Four 2s
are---8 Four 10s are - - 40 Five 5s are---25 Five
2s are---10 Five 10s are--50 Six 5s are---30. Six 2s
- -12. Six 10s are--60
Seven 5s are-- 35 Seven
2s are---14 Seven l0s are--70 Eight 5s are---40
Eight 2s are--- 16 Eight
10s are--80 Nine 5s are--45 Nine 2s are--- 18 Nine
10s are - - - 9 0
Tents 5s are ---50 Tents
2s are---20 Ten 10s are - 100
Eleven 5s are - - - 55
Eleven 2s are - - 22
Eleven 10s are - - - 110
Twelve 5s are - - - 60
Twelve 2s are - - - 24
Twelve 10s are - - - 120
One 3 i s - - - 3 One 4 i s -4 One 6 is - - - 6
Two3sare- --6 Two4sare-
-8 Two6safe--- 12 Three
3s are---9 Three 4s are--12 Three 6s are-- 18
Four 3s are--- 12 Four 4s
are---16 Four 6s are---24
Five 3s are--- 15 Five 4s
are---20 Five 6s are---30
Six 3s are-- - 18 Six 4s
are---24 Six 6s are--- -36
Seven 3s are----21 Seven
4s are---28 Seven 6s are--42
Eight 3s are - - - 24 Eight
4s are - - - 32 Eight 6s are
- - - 48
Nine 3s are---27 Nine 4s
are---36 Nine 6s are- - 54 Ten 3s are ---30 Ten
4s are---40 Ten 6s are--60 Eleven 3s are - - - 33
Eleven 4s are - - - 44
Eleven 6s are - - - 66
Twelve 3s are - 36
Twelve 4s are---48
Twelve 6s are - - - 72
One 7 is - - -7 One 8 is--8 One 9 is- - - 9 Two 7s
are---14 Two 8s are---16
Two 9s are---18 Three
7s are---21 Three
8s are---24 Thee 9s are--27 Four 7s are - - 28 Four
5s are - - - 32 Four 9s are- 36
Five 7s are - -- - 35 Five
5s are - - - 40 Five 9s are
--- 45
Six 7s are---42 Six 8s are--48 Six 9s are---54
Seven 7s are.- - - 49
Seven 8s are - - - 56
Seven 9s are---63
Eight 7s are - - - 56 Eight
8s are - - - 64 Eight 9s are
- - - 72
Nine 7s are--- 63 Nine 8s
are---72 Nine 9s are - - 81 Ten7sare---70 Ten Bs
are----80 Ten 9s are---90•
Eleven 7s are - - - 77
Eleven 8s are - - - 88
Eleven 9s are - - - 99
Twelve 7s are - - - 8
Twelve 8s are - - - 96
Twelve 9s are - - - 108
Playing games is always a really effective way of learning. These are
some examples that can be adapted, but please see your child’s
teacher if you want some more ideas.
Buy a set of blank business cards from any good stationer. Snip
one corner of each card so that you can tell which way up they
should be when the cards are face down.
Write a variety of times tables questions and answers the
Pelmanism (or Pairs):
Shuffle the cards and arrange them in a neat order
on the table, face down.
The players take it in turn to
reverse any two cards; the cards must
be left on the table face upwards so
that everybody gets a good chance to
look at them.
If the two cards are equivalent
the player gets to keep the pair and has another go.
If the two cards are not a pair they are turned over
once more and left on the table.
The game continues
until all the cards have been claimed.
You could write 'questions' on half of the cards and
'answers' on the other half.
• Half of the cards should be the
`question' (2 x 5) and the other half of
the cards should contain the answer
• Shuffle the cards and divide them
equally between two players.
The players keep their cards in a pile,
face down.
One person turns over a card and then the other
person turns over a card next to it so the two cards are
close to each other.
If the cards are equivalent, the last person to have
tamed over a card keeps all the cards in the two upturned
piles. (it is better not to have a ‘speed’ element of
competition in the early stages of learning, as they may
need thinking time).
The winner of the round then starts the next round.
Each player selects five
`answers' from one of the times
Roll two die, add the dots
Multiply that total by
whichever table it is you are doing
e.g. you are learning the 6 x table
five and two is rolled on the dice
five and two is 7
7 x 6 = 42
Any player who has 42 on their `Bingo card' can
cross it off. The next player rolls the dice.
Fishy Fingers
• Two player stand facing each other with their
hands behind their backs.
• They say ‘Fishy-fishy fingers’ and then present
their hands with numbers shown by raised fingers
(like in Rock, Paper, Scissors).
The players then need to multiply the number on
their hands with their partner’s number.
The first to say the answer wins a point and play
Times Tables Table Tennis
Each player holds an imaginary table
tennis bat and one player starts with the
first number in the times tables that they
are learning (e.g. 3)
Players try to build a rally by
‘batting’ the next number in that times table back to their
partner (e.g. 6).
The aim is to say the times tables as quickly as
possible in order.
Multiplication Three in a Row
This game can be played with the tables 1-6, or with the tables 1-12.
Tables 1-6
For this game use two dice, or skill cards with multiplication facts on each
one, or two spinners with the numbers 1-6 on each. You will also need four
markers for each player. Print out one game board, and laminate for
durability if required.
Tables 1-12
For this game you will need two 12-sided dice, or skill cards with multiplication
facts on each one, or two spinners with the numbers 1-12 on each. You will
need four markers for each player. Print out one game board (left side and
right side). This larger game board is designed so that it can be pasted into a
file folder for easy storage (cover with contact paper to make it last even
longer). If you don't wish to use it with a file folder, you can of course join the
two halves with tape.
How to play
Each player in turn shakes the dice, draws a card, or spins the spinner to find
the product. He places one of his markers on the product on the board. On
his fifth turn, when he has already placed all four of his markers, he will have
to move one of his markers to a new space. The object of the game is to get
three markers in a row (horizontally, diagonally and vertically). You may
choose to add a few more markers to each person to make the game a little
easier (but older children will enjoy the challenge with just four markers). If an
opponent's marker is on the space which you require, his marker is removed
and replaced by yours.
Variation: if using skill cards, you could throw in a few wild cards for added
fun. These allow a player to place a marker in any empty space on the grid.
You could also add cards such as: "trade spaces with any opponent marker".
3 in a row
Tables 1 to 6
Multiplication Touch
This game is played with a similar grid, but the product (answer) spaces are
blank, and need to be filled in with the product cards (counters) provided.
There are game boards and cards for two levels of play: the first with tables 16, and the second with tables 1-12.
How to play
The product cards (counters) are placed upside down in the centre of play,
and seven are drawn by each player. One additional card is drawn and
placed on the playing grid where it would be the correct answer. Remember
that each number can be placed in at least two spots (for example, 21 can
be placed for 3x7 or 7x3) and some can be placed in several spots (for
example, 24).
After the first card is placed on the board, players take turns adding a card.
However, in order to place a card it must touch the edge of a square which
already has a card in it. If the player cannot place a card, he must draw one
from the centre pile and his turn ends (even if he can place this new card).
The winner is the first player to place all of his cards.
To use the spinners, cut them out and stick them onto card.
Make a hole in the middle and push a straw through.
To make the 12 sided dice cut out the shape and stick onto thin card. Lightly score the edges of the
flaps and sides and fold along the creases. Stick the flaps onto the down with glue.
This 12 sided dice shape is blank and could be decorated before assembling.
This coloured 12 sided dice shape could have number stickers added or numbers drawn on in pen
before assembling.
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