Additional Information for Times Tables
Why are times tables important?
You would be amazed at how much of our maths at school and in real life is based on tables. It is important that your child knows all of their times tables (up to 12x12) by the end of Year Four.
How you can help
There are masses of maths games online, including ones to help your child with their tables. Percy Parker is another very popular sing-a-long programme which we use in school. This can be downloaded as an app at home or watched on YouTube.
Age 5 – 7
Encourage your child to practice counting in 2s, 5s and 10s. Try some of these strategies.
_ Counting parts of the body such as hands, ears, fingers, etc. One person – how many hands?
Two people – how many hands? One dog – how many paws? Two dogs – how many paws? One
hand – how many fingers? Two hands – how many fingers?
_ Counting 2, 5 and 10 pence coins.
_ Reciting number rhymes such as ‘One, Two, Buckle My Shoe’.
_ Talk about odd and even numbers. Make pairs from piles of socks, shoes or gloves. This helps
children to understand the concept of odd and even.
_ Try counting steps on a walk or going up the stairs.
Age 7 – 9
_ Build up new times tables gradually and keep on practicing the ones they know already.
_ Chanting times tables is a good way of practicing facts they already know. But don’t use it
when breaking new ground.
_ Encourage them to say their tables backwards as well as forwards. Saying them in reverse order, from 10 back to 1 will help to find ways of figuring out the ones they keep forgetting.
_ Number hunt. How many different ways can they find to make 36 – or 48 – or 21?
_ There are certain key facts that are useful and easy to remember. Help your child to practice
them. They include the doubles, the 5 and 10 times tables and the square numbers such as 3 x
3 = 9.
Age 9 – 11
Colour in the tables they know on a 100 square and look for patterns. Encourage them to look for patterns. The more they understand about how numbers work, the easier they will find it to remember their tables. For example
_ the tens all end in a zero
_ the fives end in a zero or five
_ some tables are all even
_ the four times-table is double the twos
- the three times-table add up to multiples of 3
_ the digits in the nine times-table add up to nine.
Some facts, particularly in the 7 and 9 times tables, just don’t seem to stick.
Encourage your child to find their own way of working the hard ones out. For example, if they can’t remember 7 x 8, try doubling 7 x 4.
Useful tips to help your children to learn their tables at home
· When your child has begun to learn a table, practise the table for five minutes each
day with them.
· It is important to say the whole table, not just the answers, again and again and
again and again!
· Break down each table into manageable chunks. For example, ask them 1 x 6, 2 x
6 and 5 x 6 until they know the answers. Then add the next one.
· Work on pairs of tables, for example if your child is learning the two times table they
can use their doubling facts to calculate the four times tables.
· Test your child by firing questions at them, out of order reminding them that they can
use facts that they are confident with to work out trickier ones. For example if they
know 4x6=24 just double to find 8x6.
· Keep checking that they still know the facts they have learnt and revisit previously
· Encourage your child to write out the table they are learning again and again,
perhaps as a spider diagram grouping the facts that they are confident with and
those which they are less confident with. Display tables around different parts of the
house so that your child sees them everywhere (even in the bathroom!)
· Use a range of vocabulary—times, multiply, lots of, sets of…..
Make it fun!
Think of catchy rhymes to help your child remember a tricky table.
Can you make some up?
I skate and I skate on a slippery floor
8 x 8 = 64
Look for patterns or clever tricks.
For example, you can rearrange
7 x 8 = 56 to 56 = 7 x 8
The numbers are now in order - 5, 6, 7 and 8!
If your child has learnt their four times tables, they can double these to learn the eight
Say tricky tables in silly voices or even try singing them. Even young children learn song
lyrics very quickly and easily!
See if you can remember your times tables! Let your child test you!
Remember, practice makes perfect!
Use a multiplication square
To use a multiplication square, choose a number from the first column and a number
from the first row. Follow the row and column until they meet in the middle, for
example, 6 x 7 = 42
Try blanking out some of the numbers. Does your child know what numbers are missing?
Look for patterns!
How many calculations have the same answer?
Try these websites!
Interactive multiplication games at
http://www.multiplication.com/interactive_games.htm A wide range of games collected
from different websites. Fantastic!
Arrays and grids at http://www.taw.org.uk/lic/itp/mult_facts.html This website is used
as a teaching tool to help your child to understand multiplication as repeated addition.
BBC Mega-maths at http://www.bbc.co.uk/schoolradio/maths/megamaths.shtml
An excellent site. You can play the games and read the top tips.
Times table rhyme at www.times-tables.com
This site uses different maths words to test the times tables. These are words we use
in school too.
BBC skillswise at
A variety of games to make and play
Gameaquarium at http://www.gamequarium.com/multiplication.html
Games and activities to test yourself.