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.

This is what we cover in each year group:

In Year 1:

Count in multiples of twos, fives and tens.

In Year 2:

Count in multiples of 2, 3, 5 and 10.

Recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 2, 5 and 10 multiplication tables.

In Year 3:

Count in multiples of 4 and 8.

Recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 3, 4 and 8 multiplication tables.

In Year 4:

Count in multiples of 6, 7 and 9.

Recall and use multiplication and division facts for multiplication tables up to 12 x 12.

In Year 5:

Regular consolidation of all times tables.

Multiply and divide numbers mentally, drawing upon known facts.

In Year 6:

Regular consolidation of all times tables.

Perform mental calculations, including with mixed operations and large numbers.

How you can help

Age 5 – 7

Encourage your child to practise 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 practising the ones they know already.
• Chanting times tables is a good way of practising 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 12 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 practise 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. 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 digits in the answers to the three times table add up to multiples of 3 e.g. 27 2 ­+ 7 = 9.
• the digits in the answers to the nine times table add up to nine e.g. 54 5 ­+ 4 = 9.
• 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.

• 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!
• 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 learnt facts.
• 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!

• 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 times tables.
• 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?

There are masses of maths games online, including ones to help your child with their tables.Try these websites:

Interactive multiplication games at

http://www.multiplication.com/interactive_games.htm  A wide range of games collected from different websites. Fantastic!