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learning times tables

(11 Posts)
weekendgirl66 Thu 27-Feb-14 14:11:48

Are there ( and if so which ones) any special fantastic CD's / DVD's that helped your child learn them, daughter 7.5 really stuggling

MrsPnut Thu 27-Feb-14 14:14:27

We used Percy Parker, we have the app and the mp3's too.

lostintoys Thu 27-Feb-14 14:34:38

The Squeebles app is brilliant.

PastSellByDate Thu 27-Feb-14 14:54:14

Now I'm older than the hills & from US hills at that - thus my name - and learned my times tables through this:

believe it or not these were shown as commercial breaks (sponsored by the government) on Saturday mornings between cartoons. And we kids got excited when rumours of a new one came out & would endlessly discuss the latest video (there were also videos for grammar & for explaining US democracy) - this was in the days before MTV when dinosaurs roamed the land.

Lots on Mumsnet about how to teach multiplication - just search multiplication. I've written a small novel here:

My main advice is use number families to make it easier:

Y2 should have learned to count by 2s, 5s, 10s by now - so in effect know x2/ x5/ x10 - but may not appreciate they do.

Often schools skip or quickly review x0 and x1 - but these are great and give a good sense of achievement. Definitely worth spending time on - because then you can say you know 5 times tables (0,1,2,5 & 10)

Anything x 0 = 0 - so 999,999,999 x 0 = 0. Instant genius child!

Anything x 1 is itself - think of 1 as a giant floor length mirror - so 999,999 x 1 = 999,999 - again instant genius.

2 is really important - because if they get doubling (x2) they have a head start to so many other times tables.

3 is tricky - but use your hands back of hand upwards to help count - using knuckles with fingers + knuckles & finger nail with thumb and you have a way of counting 3s quickly. Practice by playing snakes and ladders with multiples of 3. So roll the die - say it's 4 - so that's 4 threes - then use four fingers and count those knuckles. Keep practicing and it gets easy.

Once you've broken those you're really a long way there - because x4 and x8 are easy once you know x2

x4 can be thought of as x2 but double it - so 4 x 8 is the same thing as 2 x 8 but double the answer

x 8 can be thought of as two doubles of x2 - so 8 x 8 is the same thing as 2 x 8 = 16, double it = 32 and double that again = 64.

same idea with x6 and x12

6x table is simply double of 3x table (so 6 x 6 is the same thing as 3 x 6 = 18 and double that = 36)

12 x table is simply double and double again 3x table (so 12 x 6 is the same thing as 3 x 6 = 18, double it = 36 and double again = 72). You can also think of x12 and adding x10 + x2 results - so 12 x 6 = (10 x 6 = 60) + (2 x 6 = 12) = 60+12 = 72.

At this point (just with x3 & doubling skills) you'll know x0, x1, x2, x3, x4, x5, x6, x8, x10 & x12.

11 is just fun & there's a trick after 9 x 11 (see link above for trick)

and ditto for 9 - fun & great number patterns there (also tricks there - see link above)

and that leaves 7 - which you just have to learn. No tricks I'm afraid. But by saving it for last in fact you know all of them except 7 x 7 because you've done them with x0 - x6 and x8 - x12 - so if you remember 7 x 7 is a swine - that rhymes with 49.

There are tons of free on-line games to help:

Math champs (tables spread across 3 age bands 5-7/ 7-9/ 9-11):

Games on

and resources/ games on woodland junior school maths zone


Once tables are sound (but maybe a bit slow/ creaky in places) - to improve speed try Timez Attack (free version works just fine): Kids get so wrapped up in the game - they really don't realise they're practicing.


weekendgirl66 Thu 27-Feb-14 15:51:21

Oh my pastsellbydate can you move into our house pls grin

AbbyR1973 Thu 27-Feb-14 15:55:06

Percy Parker... It works, if you can put up with listening to the songs on repeat. I got it for DS1 but DS2 (4) adores it and can sing along to all of them (not that he really knows what it means.) Everytime we go in the car a little voice says "can we have Percy Parker mummy."

weekendgirl66 Thu 27-Feb-14 18:55:11

Thank you will try

staticdust Thu 27-Feb-14 19:37:27

Everything PastSellByDate recommended and don't forget to go parallel with division facts of timetables she masters;
That way she gets to learn her division tables as well.

PastSellByDate Fri 28-Feb-14 14:12:04

Hi weekendgirl66

just to comment on staticdust suggestion regarding inverse multiplication facts...

IMO & IME best to teach commutative law (that multiplication works the same way either way you place the numbers)

so 4 x 8 is the same thing as 8 x 4.

Once they know all the times tables -

then - learning inverse division facts (so 36 divided 9 = 4) - which actually isn't really learning (as your DC should know 4 x 9 or 9 x 4 = 36) it's really applying that multiplication fact in a new way.

Timez Attack actually has a game for this: - again there are fancy version you can pay for but the stripped down free version is absolutely fine.

Woodlands Junior school also has great resources: - highly recommend division machine from ambleside primary

The icing on the cake is to then apply this knowledge with word problems - some great resources here:


LindseyLM Fri 28-Feb-14 20:01:27

There's a new board game called PLYT that all the local schools near us have started playing and they're trying to encourage parents to play at home - it works for any age and any level of ability and the kids love it.

Might be worth a try

Effjay Fri 28-Feb-14 20:03:11

Another vote for the Squeebles app here - it's so, so good!

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