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When do Students learn the 7 times table?
The 7 times table forms part of the Year 4 national curriculum in the UK (approx 8 years old).
By the end of Year 4, all students should know all their times tables 1-12 and in June 2020 students will be tested nationally for the first time with something called the “Multiplication Tables Check” (here’s a link to a lot of information on the MTC).
In Years 5 and 6, students will use this knowledge to approach problems in geometry, fractions,.., and of course in more difficult multiplication problems.
What do students need to know before learning the 7 times table?
Before learning their 7 times table, students should know:
- how to add 7 to any number (year 1)
- the concept of multiplication (i.e. 3 groups of 7 objects)
- the 2, 3, and 5 times tables
- how to use manipulatives to workout a particular times table.
How are times tables taught in schools now?
Learning times tables is one of the few things that most people remember from their schooling and those that possess a good knowledge will always proudly demonstrate it.
20 years ago, and still in a number of Asian countries, times tables are memorised by chanting and repeated testing.
Nowadays, teachers spend a lot of time making times tables fun to learn using games such as Times Tables with Emile, using songs and dance or involving other subjects (cross-curricular learning).
Why is the 7 times table so difficult to learn?
Some believe that the 7 times table is the hardest to learn because 7 is a prime number and the numeric pattern isn’t quite as obvious as for other numbers.
There are no obvious patterns or quick tricks like for the 9 times table.
However, there is an easy way to help students remember 7 x 8 = 56. The answer to 7 x 8 is the two numbers that come before the numbers being multiplied (i.e. 5, 6, 7, 8).
7 Times Table Rhyme*
We’re not huge fans of rhymes, but it works for some students.
Three candies each for seven days, that would be fun, 3 x 7 = 21
7 and 4 are running late, 7 x 4 = 28
7 and 5 went for a drive. Who’s in the back seat? It’s 35
I know now and you do too, that 6 x 7 is 42
7 x 7 has four straight lines, which will = 49
56=7 x 8 (5, 6, 7, 8)
9 and 7 climb a tree, 9 x 7 = 63
12 x 7, clean the floor, 12 x 7 = 84
Times Table Facts
Always remember that there are only 12 x 12 (144) maths facts to learn for the national curriculum.
Once you remove the 1 and 10 times tables that leaves 102 maths facts.
Know your 2, 9 and 11 times tables and then there’s 60 maths facts left – fewer than half the 144.
The 7 times table is one of the hardest but a bit of work, patience and a growth mindset will lead to success.
Regular practice with Times Tables with Emile will lead to all your students wanting to practice them and knowing all their times tables in no time at all.
7 Times Table Games & Activities
Get them to Work it Out
Give students manipulatives such as buttons, pasta or dried beans.
As they will eventually need 84 manipulatives, it may mean working in groups and being prepared for a bit of a sweep up.
Get them in their groups to write down the 7 times table up to 12 x 7. Then check with adjacent groups.
Hopefully this exploration of the 7 times table will help embed their understanding of what the 7 times table is.
(To reduce mess, and the number of manipulatives required, you may want to explore up to 5 x 7 instead.)
View and Read Aloud
Work through their results as a class. Ask if anyone can see any patterns.
7 Times Table Grid
Ask students to complete an empty multiplication grid. It’s quite a useful exercise in itself to see where some students are struggling.
The grid could be selectively empty in the 7 row or column.
It can also be useful to remind children that they can reverse the order of a multiplication to make it an easier calculation.
A Variation on Fizz Buzz
So for those that don’t know Fizz Buzz….
Players generally sit in a circle. The player designated to go first says the number “1”, and the players in turn then count upwards. Any number divisible by three is replaced by the word fizz and any number divisible by five by the word buzz.
So numbers divisible by 15 become fizz buzz. A player who hesitates or makes a mistake is eliminated from the game.
So Fizz Buzz starts:
1, 2, Fizz, 4, Buzz, Fizz, 7, 8, Fizz, Buzz, 11, Fizz, 13, 14, Fizz Buzz, 16, 17, Fizz, 19, Buzz, Fizz, 22, 23, Fizz, Buzz, 26, Fizz, 28, 29, Fizz Buzz, 31, 32, Fizz, 34, Buzz, Fizz, …
I like to add “Woof” for any number divisible by 7!
So 1, 2, Fizz, 4, Buzz, Fizz, Woof, 8, Fizz, Buzz, 11, Fizz, 13, Woof, Fizz Buzz, 16, 17, Fizz, 19, Buzz, FizzWoof, 22, 23, Fizz, Buzz, 26, Fizz, Woof, 29, Fizz Buzz, 31, 32, Fizz, 34, BuzzWoof, Fizz, …