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DS Y3 struggling with multiplication. Any advice?

(13 Posts)
XBenedict Wed 01-May-13 18:18:01

He can do the lower numbers but is struggling as the times tables are getting higher. I have bought some buttons so we can visualise the sums we are doing, I've bought a CD and downloaded Percy Parker was just after some other ideas, games/websites maybe?

Letticetheslug Sat 04-May-13 14:48:47

have a look at woodlands junior school site ( just google it) There are loads of good games online , I usually just google times tables games or similar.

Cat98 Sat 04-May-13 15:21:05

Timez attack is great, we downloaded the free version after reading about it on here.

juniper9 Sun 05-May-13 15:55:50

I would teach him to use other methods as well as basic recall.

For example, to times 25 by 12, you can do 25 times 10 then add on 25 times 2 (so partitioning the 12 into 10 and 2).

To times by 5, first times by 10 then half.

To times by 4, double then double again. To times by 8 double once more.

Rote learning is useful but having a good grasp of how numbers relate to each other is better.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sun 05-May-13 16:10:20

I do a combination.My 2 boys learnt them instantly,dd it's less speedy and she hates maths.

I've got a variety of workbooks(the time table colouring book is fab),make her write them out now and again,Squeebles app and I've just got the times table sticker book from TBP.

I also ask her random questions in the car.

Variety is the spice of life.grin

quip Sun 05-May-13 16:10:29

I found that reciting tables the old fashioned way worked well for mine. We got into the habit of doing three or four on the way to school. I also gave the kids a pound for each table they could do perfectly without hesitation.

PastSellByDate Sun 05-May-13 17:55:55

Hi X Benedict:

Not sure exactly how far your DS is along with times tables but lets presume he has x1, x2, x3, x5 and x10 fairly securely. (If not - these are the first tables children learn - usually x1, x2, x5, x10 and then x3). Also ensure that at this stage he's clear that multiplication is just a fancy way of explaining multiple additions of the same number (i.e. 5 x 5 = 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5) - but mathematians like short cuts so 5 x 5 is a lot easier to write, because it gets even worse when it's bigger numbers like 12 x 12)

The next step is to ensure that he understand the concept of doubling.

This is crucial so that he can benefit with x4 (if you want to know what 8 x 4 is then double 8 (effectively 2 x 8) then just double again for 8 x 4 - or in other words if he knows his x2 table he just doubles again for x4) and x8 (double, double again and double again or if he knows x2 table just double and double again for x8/ or if x4 is solid then just double for x8) and x6 (so if he knows his x3 table he just works it out for x3 and then doubles again). x 12 is effectively doubling the x6 table (or if you only know x3, then double (for x6) and double again (for x12).

So basically with understanding doubling you should then know:

x1, x2, x3, x4, x5, x6, x8, x10 and x12.

The next thing to explore is x9:

9 has great patterns:

First off the integers in the answers always add up to 9.
Second - up to x10 - the answer always starts 1 lower than the number you are multiplying 9 by

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

So if your DS can learn those tricks then he can think through 5 x 9 - the answer will start with 4 and what +4 = 9 --- that's 5 - so the answer in 45.

The next two aren't so tricky:

11 x 9 = 99 (9+9 = 18 and 1+8 = 9)
well that's pretty straightforward

12 x 9 = 108 (1+0+8 = 9)

12s sometimes can be easier to think about as (10 x 9) + (2 x 9) = (90) + (18) = 108

[You may want to introduce concept of tripling now with x9 table - so if 3 x 9 = 27 what would tripling it be (27 + 27 + 27 which effectively is 3 x (3 x 9) or = 9 x 9 = 81)

So that leaves the 7s times table and 11s times table.

Start with 11 first - again lots of patterning to explore.

1 x 11 = 11
2 x 11 = 22
3 x 11 = 33
9 x 11 = 99
10 x 11 = 110

now over 10 there's a trick

11 x 11 (with two digit numbers take the number you are multiplying 11 by - separate the two numbers so you have 1 - x - 1 then replace the x by adding the two separated numbers together - so you get 11 x 11 = 1 - 2 - 1 = 121

with numbers that a larger you may have to carry:

28 x 11 = 2 - (2+8) - 8 = 2 - (10) - 8 = (2 + 1 carried over) - 0 - 8= 308
28 x 11 = 308

Works and then is great fun to use and show off.

So at this point you know everything but your 7s - but in fact the only 7 you don't know is 7 x 7 which is 49 - so if you memorize it (or can add 7 to 6 x 7 = 42 quickly - you know it too!

That's the full 12 x 12 tables.

Practice helps tremendously and these days with all the video games out there and fantastic maths websites you have tons to help:

As others have suggested above:

Woodlands Junior school's Mathszone (mutliplication & division) are brilliant practice:

Multiplication dot com has all sorts of fun games:

Mumsnet also has a times table fill in the grid game which is very useful practice: - and Pearson's Maths Champ also has games which help practice these skills: - more challenging practice is available on 9 - 11 options as well.

Timez Attack (and the division game for inverse multiplication facts) are brilliant practice in a dungeon format where you're a little boy or girl ogre and go through solving multiplication / inverse multiplication problems. There's a free version or you can pay for more elaborate platforms. We found the free version was find. A word of warning when the big ogre comes out and quizzes you it can be very stressful - so be prepared - it is hard at first but the point is to know it under pressure and to build up speed. Great once the basics are known but speed needs to be built up. Link here:

Well that should be quite a lot to get on with. I think the real help for my girls was to understand and crack those patterns and similarities between different factors (times tables - so x2, x4, x8 family/ x3, x6, x9, x12 family and x5/ x10 family). Really work on concepts of doubling and tripling - which then will strengthen mental maths within the tables. And then encourage practice as and when.

There are a lot of APPS now available for smartphones/ tablets/ i-pads (i-phone or android formats) - nice article about that here: These are ideal whilst waiting to collect a sibling (or for them during a less - ballet/ swimming/ etc...).

As with everything little and often really does make a difference.

He will get there - keep encouraging him and really celebrate when he cracks it!


XBenedict Tue 07-May-13 20:37:59

Wow great answers, thank you so much smile

maree1 Tue 07-May-13 23:31:57

All the above advice is sound. Use whichever works best. However, it often offers a boost to have a large laminated 1 - 100 chart nearby to help observe patterns and indicate where numbers stand in relation to one another. Bedrooms (back of door) and bathrooms (on shower screen) are also good places to have them. Allow an opportunity to focus on/ glance at the chart whenever he might wish. In maths there is nothing better than familiarity and practice to eventually get there.

XBenedict Wed 08-May-13 11:57:24

That's a good idea, I will look out for one. I am going into town soon so I might pop into WH Smiths and see if they have one.

PastSellByDate Thu 09-May-13 10:02:11

Hi XBenedict:

Primary Resources has 100 square resources here:

6 down on right column is 100 Square (Gemma Briscoe) DOC

which is an A4 sheet you can print out.

Great to us crayons/ highlighters/ coloured pencils with to illustrate patterns.

Also really nice to colour in all the times tables you know as you're learning them and put up on a fridge or the wall - so that your DS can see he really is progressing!

Elibean Thu 09-May-13 10:20:49

dd1, when she was in Y3 last year, loathed and detested learning tables, even with Percy (who is a big hit with dd2), until.....

......I put Squeebles on the iPad and my iPhone, and let her play every single day during the summer holidays. She knew the whole lot by the end of the summer, and does refresher Squeebling once or twice a week to keep on top of it now.

Elibean Thu 09-May-13 10:23:03

Oh - and for the particularly tricky ones, we found silly rhymes or tricks helped, such as:

'I ate and I ate till I was sick on the floor' = 8x8=64

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