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How to get DS to learn his times tables ?

(35 Posts)
slouchingtowardsBethlehem Mon 04-Mar-13 18:35:28

We are not in the UK, and I am increasingly puzzled by the approach to maths adopted at DS's school. The pupils have not been taught their times tables, but they are given sums that assume a knowledge of the tables. This was confirmed today when a teacher said to the class ' you should know your four times table by now'. I don't want to to teach DS his tables myself if I can possibly help it - too much potential for friction. Please can anyone recommend some CD's or ideally online programmes for learning tables ? I see Carol Vordeman has one. Does any one have experience of this please ?

Ta in advance for any recommendations

mrz Mon 04-Mar-13 19:36:17

Percy Parker

YoullNeedATray Mon 04-Mar-13 19:41:37

Another vote for Percy Parker!

Depending on how your son learns, just writing the tables out, faster and faster works well.

This is fun, if he likes colouring. The patterns are very clever! Superb series of games - my class adore this.

Keep a record of which ones he can recite, answer at random and answer the related division facts - earn rewards as he progresses.

Good luck!

mrz Mon 04-Mar-13 19:51:30

Percy Parker workbook download

idiot55 Mon 04-Mar-13 19:59:06

times table snap available from the puzzle company is great.

loads of maths games online, bbc education has some.

if you google woodlands juinour school kent, they have online games

LegoIsMyFriend Mon 04-Mar-13 21:37:23

Another vote for Percy Parker but I hadn't seen the workbook so many thanks to Mrz for that. My DD (yr 1) also loves Squeebles app on iPad if you have access to that.

LegoIsMyFriend Mon 04-Mar-13 21:43:01

Sorry, one other point to make is the order in which you might tackle them. There will be others on here with far more expertise but just to say my DC's school does 2,5 and 10 x tables first, then 3 and 4 x and then 6x 8x, 9x,7x, 11x and 12 x.

mrz Mon 04-Mar-13 21:46:00

I teach 10X first then 2X then 5X

steppemum Mon 04-Mar-13 21:48:03

bribery - we have a penny jar, every time he says a times table he gets a penny, (even if it isn't right - penny is for practice) once he can do them straight, we give each one to him mixed up, and he gets a penny for each one we do.

Here in the UK we are expected to teach our kids their times tables. They come home as homework

LegoIsMyFriend Mon 04-Mar-13 21:52:40

Only on basis of having seen one DC learn, I'd agree with Mrz that 10x first, then 2x and 5x might be a better order

beansmum Mon 04-Mar-13 21:56:27

timez attack game. ds loves this.

bamboozled Mon 04-Mar-13 21:58:07

Squeebles is a good app for Iphone/itouch etc - alternatively we also did them bouncing a ball, it's just repetition repetition..
It's def something you need to learn at home unfortunately.. We did x10, x2, x5 etc, 7 & 8 are the hardest..., 9 is actually really easy, so keep it up your sleeve for when they are getting disheartened..
Best of luck

YoullNeedATray Fri 08-Mar-13 20:25:58

Percy Parker app is available for ipads too...

alanyoung Fri 08-Mar-13 21:37:37

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neolara Fri 08-Mar-13 21:43:58

You need Timez Attack. It's brilliant. My dd, 8yo, was totally resistant to learning any times tables in any form. I found Timez Attack recommended on here and she has nearly finished it and has absolutely loved it. Her times tables are brilliant. Not only is she accurate, but she is also quick. You can try it for free, but we upgraded for a year for about £25, which sounds expensive, but if it stops us having to get even one session of tutoring down the line, then it's already made it's money back. I've become a bit evangelical about the site because it's just made such a difference in a very short period of time.

ThreeBeeOneGee Fri 08-Mar-13 21:47:08

alanyoung: I am currently helping my third and fourth children achieve instant recall of multiplication and division facts; the exercises in that student handbook are exactly what I've been looking for. Thank you.

alsoaperson Sat 09-Mar-13 08:38:26

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alsoaperson Sat 09-Mar-13 08:40:23

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Feenie Sat 09-Mar-13 11:04:47

It's still against MN Talk guidelines to promote your own blog, alsoaperson, however helpful you feel others may find it.

Feenie Sat 09-Mar-13 11:07:33

I like Mad Minute tables worksheets which are working very well in my Y5 class at the moment.

PastSellByDate Sat 09-Mar-13 11:42:47

Try ensuring he's learning them in the order most schools follow:

1, 2, 5 and 10 are taught first (usually Y1/2 - and often by counting in 2s, 5s and 10s).

At some point you need to introduce anything x 0 = 0.

Then the concept of doubling is introduced. Once that's understood you can introduce x4 and x8 (x 4 = double and double again and x 8 = double; double again; and double again).

x3 (either by counting by 3s or learning them - many of which you'll already know from x1, x2, x4, x5, x8 and x10).

Once you know x3, then x6 is simply doubling x3.

x9 is all about patterns.

0 x 9 = 0
1 x 9 = 09
2 x 9 = 18
3 x 9 = 27
4 x 9 = 36
5 x 9 = 45
6 x 9 = 54
7 x 9 = 63
8 x 9 = 72
9 x 9 = 81
10 x 9 = 90
11 x 9 = 99
12 x 9 = 108

Several things here: up to x10 - the answer for 1x 9 to 10 x9 always starts with the first number one less than what you're multiplying 9 by - so 8 x 9 will start with 7. Then knowing that the digits in the answer always add to 9 means that you just have to work out what + 7 = 9. That's 2 - so 8 x 9 = 72.

Hand method - works to x10. Turn hands palm upwards with both pinkies together. Numbering starts at left thumb = 1, left index finger = 2, etc... to right thumb equal to 10. Fold over the finger that represents what you're multiplying 9 by - so let's say it's 3 - (folding over left middle finger) you'll have two fingers up to left of folded finger which represents tens and 7 fingers up to right of folded finger - that's units. So 3 x 7 = 27. Just remembr fingers to left are tens and fingers to right of folded finger are units.

That leaves 7. Which by now isn't so awful because you already know 7 x 0, x1, x2, x3, x4, x5, x6, x8, x9, x10 - so just need to learn 7 x7 = 49.

11s are fun because it's just double digits to x9 (i.e. 2 x 11 = 22). 10 and over there is a trick to 11s. Whatever number you're multiplying 11 by can be treated as follows: 14 x 11 (first digit / first + 2nd digit (may need to carry to hundreds place) / 2nd digit) - so with 14 x 11 = 1 / 4 + 1/ 4 = 154. With larger numbers that involve carrying over so say 29 x 11 = 2 / 2 + 9/ 9 = 2 / 11/ 9 but have to carry over 10 tens to hundreds so 2+1/ 1/ 9 or 319.

That leaves 12. Well we've learned everything except 12 x 12 which is 144. Memorise that and you've learned them all! Hurrah!

We've found learning by playing video games has slipped in practice without the DCs realising it. Practice ideas here:

As someone suggested Timez Attack: The free version has been fine for us. Tests your child and starts at where they're at.

Multiplication dot com:

Maths Champs (7 - 9 games have lots of multiplication/ multiples games):

Woodlands Junior school Times tables games:

Ambleside Primary table trees: (gentle practice of individual tables (great for more practice with that table that just defies learning).

Mumsnet has an interactive times table activity that mixes them up in grids:


slouchingtowardsBethlehem Sun 10-Mar-13 08:45:53

This is FANTASTIC information. Thank you all so much. I'm sorry I missed your responses earlier - I've only just seen these.

Very interesting too that many of you assume it's the parents' job to teach times tables. I'm going to try the online route first and see if I can get away without doing the tuition myself. But I was fascinated by your learning system Sellbydate - thank you!!!

I'll report back once we've started on some of the suggestions here.

Thank you all again

PastSellByDate Sun 10-Mar-13 15:52:59

Hi slouchingtowardsBethlehem:

If you want to go the on-line route you could consider times table school on Mathsfactor: - it's a one-off purchase of £19.99.

We've used arithmetic school (on monthly subscription) to great success. Others have recommended maths whizz or mathletics (just google them).


slouchingtowardsBethlehem Sun 10-Mar-13 18:58:56

sellby, how do you access arithmetic school please? Is it online, or physical workbooks that you subscribe to ?

Thank you again for all the great information - it's very useful

Eglantyne Sun 10-Mar-13 19:25:33

These all look great. Can anyone recommend a multiplication ap for Android? We spend a lot of time sharing my phone while waiting for siblings, was just thinking we could use this time for times tables. Dcs hate the cd I bought for the car with a passion.

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