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Deb Russell

Why Won't They Learn Their Timestables? What Can I Do???

By July 19, 2007

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I hear you! It just seems that kids today don't commit the multiplication tables to memory like they used to. Truly nfortunate too as there appears to be some research that states knowing those tables leads to greater academic success in math. So what can you do to help? Follow these ideas:

1. Play games to learn the tables. Use a deck of cards and play multiplication snap or roll a number cube (dice) and multiply the number rolled by the table being worked on. So if you are working on the 8 times tables, and you roll a 6 you multiply it by 8.

2. Buy the CDs called 'Multiplication Rap' and play them daily. Sing a table to a familiar tune. For example 8 x 8 is 64 to the tune of Mary had a little lamb.

Visit the multiplication worksheet and quick tricks index.

Best of all, reward each table learned over the summer!


August 18, 2007 at 1:47 pm
(1) Maths Teacher Martin says:

Some kids (kinesthetic learners) learn their “times tables” best by jumping around. Try these two:

1) Chalk a number line with the numbers 1,2,3,4 etc that you will need for your chosen times table, let’s say 7 times table. You and or your children / pupils jump from 0 to 7, 7 to 14 then (?). You can call out the number you want to jump to as an aid for Auditory learners.

2) Chalk a grid of the times table, in the traditional manner a 10×10 square as shown in almost any basic maths book. To multiply 7 by 3 you would jump 7 along and 3 up (or down), landing on the square marked 21 of course.

You can ask the Visual learners to draw the number line or grid for you. The Auditory learners can call out the numbers and commentate on what’s going on. The Kinesthetic learnes will love you (teacher or parent) for presenting maths in a way that truly speaks to them.

March 16, 2009 at 8:03 am
(2) dol88 says:

Play with the times tables.
On my site I offer some games with rather original approach of this issue.
Try them and enjoy !!

February 10, 2010 at 6:35 am
(3) jen says:

How can I explain that 10*10*10*10*10 is not 5000 but 1000?

February 21, 2010 at 2:13 pm
(4) Doug says:

For Jen – please don’t try to explain how 10 to the fifth power equals 1000! Get out your calculator first.

How about the kids who know that 8×7=56, but can’t see that 56 divided by either 8 or 7 gives the other number? I use old-fashioned division cards, and they seem to help some.

June 2, 2013 at 7:50 am
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October 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm
(6) Karin de Jong says:

It is close to impossible to get your child to commit times tables to memory when they hear in school they don’t have to know times tables. I attended a ‘math for parents of children in grade 6′ workshop at my daughter’s school yesterday where we were told that times tables were a cruel thing of the past. Instead children should be given the tools, manipulatives and the time (no more ‘silly’ time limits on exams) to find ‘their own creative way to get to the answer of math problems. My daughter is in grade 6 and doesn’t know what 4×6 is without using her fingers and I am beyond frustrated. I don’t want to criticize the school but I don’t want her to be one of many that will have so many problems with simple math questions that she gives up on it all together. We were also told yesterday that when we feel that the children need to know their times tables we are free to teach them at home. Isn’t this what schools are for? I am horrified and scared for the future of these kids.

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