Learning times tables or multiplication facts can be a challenge. It is often a struggle for children to recall them and they can be very boring and tedious to learn. So I thought I’d put together a collection of tips, tricks and strategies to make recall of multiplication number facts faster and more accurate.
Usually schools start by teaching the 2,5 and 10 times tables, followed by the 3,4 then the 6,7,8,9s. I don’t believe the 11s and 12s are taught anymore.
My approach is more 2,5,10 (which most children learn early on), followed by 11,9. Then 4,3. After that they will be able to fill in most gaps when it comes to 6,7,8s. I find this easier because the 11s and 9s have some tricks that make them easier to learn and therefore boost the confidence of the student learning them.
Here are a few confidence boosting tips/tricks to help your child learn their multiplication facts:
4x Double 2s
5x Half 10 times tables
9x Using the finger trick (see trick below)
10x Write a zero on the end
11x Write the same number twice
8×8=64 – I ate (8) and (x) ate (8) until I was sick (6) on the floor (4).
56=7×8 – Consecutive numbers, 5,6,7,8.
6s are easy enough if you think about it being one set more than the 5s.
It is important to be able to instantly recall the multiplication tables and that is only made possible by practising them a lot. Here are a few ways of doing that:
Times Tables raps or songs – TV or radio adverts with jingles are effective because they stick in our head. Times tables raps are much the same. You can find songs on CD, i-tunes, YouTube or with a simple google search.
Rote learning – Though it is boring, it can be very helpful to write and re-write a set of multiplication tables until they are retained and can be instantly recalled.
Posters – You can purchase large posters of the multiplication tables to display in your child’s room but you can also have your child create their own set to display in a location that is regularly visited, such as the toilet.
Games – Online and off line games are a great way to make learning these important number facts fun. You can practise with flash cards, dice or simple playing cards. Hit the Button is a favourite online game of mine but there are many others that can be found with a quick search.
Real life practise – Asking your child to solve multiplication equations in real life settings helps them to understand the importance of learning their times tables. Whether you are preparing dinner, hanging washing or organising a birthday party, there are plenty of opportunities to multiply.
Modelling using various materials – Creating arrays and grouping everyday items is a great way to make the times tables come to life. Using play dough, peas, beads or toys to show the various sums might help to make the multiplication tables easier to remember because they can be linked to a visual memory.
Teaching others – Encouraging older students to teach their younger siblings or school mates a set of multiplication tables is a great way to cement the number facts in the older child’s mind while also helping the younger child.
You can find more tips and fun ways to practise multiplication facts by heading over to Flying Sprout’s Times Tables Pinterest board.