Learning the times tables is a vital skill and one that will shortly be tested by the Multiplication Tables Check. Before I get into trouble – learning here includes understanding not just reciting.
Below are some tips on teaching times tables:
1. Make Sure they know how to add up first!
It may sound silly, but good knowledge of the times tables comes from being comfortable manipulating numbers.
Make sure your children can add numbers 1-12 to any number below 150.
Make sure they can count up and down in any number between 2 and 12 from zero
Make sure they can count up and down from any number below 50 between 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10.
2. The fundamentals
Make sure they know their two times tables. If students know their two times tables they will understand the concept. If they can’t grasp it, then get some physical objects out. Get them counting things in pairs. Get Numicon out.
Praise and praise and praise again. Confidence with numbers in particular is built on praise.
Little and often. Every week at least have them do a few little exercises. Of course, introduce them to Times tables with Emile and they will practice in their own time and with a smile on their faces.
Show them the harder numbers are just made up of smaller numbers and loads of tricks. Show them that the 9 times table is easy when you know the 10 times table.
Show them that the 6 and 4 times tables are easy when you know your five times tables.
6. Go Cross-Curricular
Bring in some of their favourite activities – art – make a Waldorf flower, PE – if Rashford scores 3 goals in each of the next 5 matches, how many goals will he score?, .
It takes time to understand and assimilate information. If they don’t get it in a couple of weeks don’t worry they will with patience and perseverance. Teaching times tables is not quick!