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How to teach a 6yr old Yr 2 his 2 x table!

11 replies

miljee · 22/11/2007 09:25

How do I set about this? Pure repetition and rote learning?

The DS2 concerned isn't the most academically able- he somewhat surprised me last term with his inability to reliably count up to 20!! In year 2! As for counting backwards from 20 to 1, all over the shop till 11 downwards! So I've been working on it and there has been some progress but I'm a bit stumped about how to approach the next bit.

I've been digging out 20 lego minifigs and putting them in pairs then doing the 'one group of 2 is 2, 2 groups of 2 are 4' etc but I'm not sure DS gets it! DO they rote learn it first THEN understand it?

His teacher told my DH at parents' eve that 'the great leap forwards' in adding up (which multiplication is surely an extension of) is when she says '4 + 5' and the DCs think 'I know that 4 + 4 = 8 therefore I need to add one more to that', NOT carefully unfolding 4 fingers on one hand, 5 on the other and counting them up from 1! We try the 'what's one MORE than 'x', one LESS than 'y' game' in the car, too.

Seriously SHOULD I be looking at 'help' at this stage? I mean, we're effectively 2 terms away from juniors and my DS2 who is average in all his other work is barely numerate!

OP posts:
Hallgerda · 22/11/2007 09:56

I think they do rote learn first and understand later, miljee. Just accept it's not the biggest thrill out and no gimmicks are going to make it so.

Just get your DS2 to chant the darn thing, then when that's reliable, test out of order, then test divisions out of order (16 divided by 2 etc). It works (eventually) and you don't need props.

There are children in DS3's Year 4 class who haven't got the hang of the two times table yet, so I wouldn't think about "help" just yet.

Mistymoo · 22/11/2007 09:59

Has your ds learned his doubles? 1+1, 2+2,3+3 etc. If he knows them off by heart then he should know his 2 x table.

singersgirl · 22/11/2007 10:05

Rote learning all the way. You've just got to make them recite it and then ask them random questions, of both the "What is 2x4?" and "How many 2s in 18?" type, so that they know the facts inside out.

I realised far too late the importance of rote learning with DS1 (now in Y5) and am starting far earlier with DS2 (also Y2).

3littlefrogs · 22/11/2007 10:14

KUMON. Google it. I know some people don't like it, but it is brilliant for children who struggle to grasp the basic concepts and to whom numeracy doesn't come naturally. It starts them off at the most basic level they can understand, and takes them slowly and carefully through a very structured programme with lots of repetition. The fact that children are given work that they find easy to begin with really boosts their confidence - they don't realise they are learning.

I have personal experience of children with severe dyslexia and the mathematical equivalent (can't remember what it is called)who couldn't even add 1, making great progress with Kumon.

IME many schools are not good at teaching the basics and children who just don't "click" very early on get more and more behind.

clutteredup · 22/11/2007 20:57

Hi miljee saw your 'hijack'!!
I would as Mistymoo suggested concentrate on learning doubles, just do a few at a time , 1+1, 2+2 to reinforce it, use the bricks for this. Make sure your Ds is really comfortable with this, then when he is more confident talk about '2 lots of' so what is 2 lots of 3 etc. once he is perfectly comforatble with this, then and only then introduce the concept of 'times'. the problem with maths is that it is extremely conceptual even from an early stage, and where it is perfectly evident to you and I that 2x is the same as double or 2 lots of all these are different concepts which happen to mean and'addup to' the same thing. many children struggle with the concepts of Maths, if you talk in relastion to sweets or lego bricks i.e. concrete thing they can understand, but move on too quicly to mathematical language and concepts and you lose them , as an adult it is sometimes hard to understand in the same way as a child. at this stage maths is moving towards the more conceptual but your ds needs to grasp hold of concrete ideas first and then help with slowly turning these ideas into abstract concpts of number. HTH

jINGLESbells · 22/11/2007 21:22

Hi Miljee...I have EXACTLY this problem! DS2, year 2, 6.5 good verbally and phonetically, appalling with numbers, we were even wondering about dyscaluclia. Anyway I started him on private tution a fortnight ago because he was getting seriously attitudey trying to do maths at home. She is an ex teacher and very well thought of, and is doing...
lots of writing numbers (his 4, 3, 6 are backwards)
loads on x2...using buttons and cars...1 lot of 2,..2 lots of 2...etc
lots of number bonds 4+5 5+4
ans is really encouraging him to use a 100sq for everything in the hope that visual aids are more successful.
Sorry, but I'm really pleased you posted,..I was starting to worry it was just us who a problem, the good news is tutor reassures me he WILL get it,...and repetition is the key

miljee · 23/11/2007 08:34

HI Jingle! Sounds very similar, doesn't it? By the 100 sq do you mean a 10 x 10 grid with all the numbers written in it? And do you use a number line?

We too get at least half the numbers written backwards!

OP posts:
Creole · 23/11/2007 09:26

My school started teaching the kids in yr1 how to count in 2s, 5s and 10s. This builds them up for learning their times tables.

When my son was confident in counting this way, I just explained that its the same as the times tables and it was easy after that. At the end of year 1 he could do 2,5 and 10 times table confidently.

jINGLESbells · 23/11/2007 11:42

yes miljee we use either the square or a number line,..he can do maths easily with this. I've just looked in his folder and have noticed a square with all the times tables on it as well. If you cat me I'll send you the addresses of the maths websites she's given me this week and also the workbook he's doing. He seems to be finding 2 particularly tricky, he can count in 5's and 10's but doesn't seem to see the pattern in 2's...Bizarrely DS1 yr3 is G&T in maths so I can't seem to really get a handle on what's average...

scoggins · 23/11/2007 19:10

Keep it visual with the times tables and another tip is to stay away from the multiplication sign for now and use the words, sounds a bit bizarre I know but it goes towards them actually understanding what multiplication is
e.g. instead of saying or writing 2 x 2 - instead write or say '2 lots of 2' whilst drawing a picture to illustrate this, or using dried pasta as objects to count.
Get you child to arrange the pasta in groups e.g. can you show me 3 lots of 2 - this is 1 lot - can you do me 2 lots now 3 lots. Great! How many altogether - (count them up) 6, SO 3 lots of 2 is 6.
Keep doing this and then when you feel he is confident then introduce the multiplication sign back in.
Cool websites are and

ValnBen · 23/11/2007 19:19

My DS (5 July this year) has been counting in 2?s since Reception ? don?t know if he just has a talent for math or whether he just ?gets? the count 1 miss one out concept?

Number 1 gets counted in your head ? 2 out loud ? 3 in head ? 4 out loud etc? can go up to 100 (and beyond if I can be bothered to listen ) ? he is confident enough with this concept now to be able to work out counting in odd numbers 1-3-5-7.
It?s just a matter of what they ?get? when it comes to math I think.
Keep trying ? good luck.

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