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Times tables dd (9) Y4 really struggling ...any strategies? good websites?

18 replies

Plonker · 14/01/2009 22:16

My dd is 9 and in Y4 at school.

She has always struggled in maths and as such her confidence is nil in the subject. Her latest trauma is times tables. She cannot keep them in her head! We are trying to teach her by rote but no sooner has she learned one of her times tables, she forgets it!!

We had a really big push on them before Christmas and she could just about say her 2, 3, 5 and 10's - we were working on her 4's. Now, she can't even remember her 2's

I'm sure she should know many more by now, but she really doesn't seem able to recall them. She gets very frustrated and the whole experience is fraught

How can I help her?
How can she learn them and keep them in her head?

Can anyone recommend any good websites/games that will help her?

OP posts:
samanthar · 14/01/2009 22:47


and am guessing lots more here

janinlondon · 15/01/2009 10:11

More than likely she finds them boring. What appeals to your DD? Is she musical? Can she remember song words? There are several times tables CDs available that might help. Does money motivate? We learnt the 5x pretty quickly when we were calculating in 5 pence pieces. We did 2x by counting in twos every time we went up or down the stairs and calling our the numbers with each step. There are easy tricks to 10, 11 and 9 times that she could learn, should that make it more interesting. The 9 times trick is in the film Matilda I think? Maybe if she watched it she could spot it an amaze her friends with it?

janinlondon · 15/01/2009 10:38

I have just tried to find that trick in Matilda and cannot - maybe I was imagining it??! Anyway, here's a short video clip of it. Hope it helps.

Blu · 15/01/2009 13:13

DS and many of his friends (7 / 8) have this CD which they enjoy...it has different voices and styles for each table, and they find it funny. It is less nursery-rhyme-isj than some other CDs.

maverick · 15/01/2009 14:00


Try the finger tables illustrated above. Some people find the instructions impossible to follow, but I can't think of a way to make it clearer -any ideas welcome from those who can follow it!

Also try, www.hughsexeymaths.co.uk/ Click on 'Times Tables': Download these MP3 files to your computer/IPOD/MP3 Player and try your best to say the correct answer before it is given. Just click to listen to it on your computer, or right click and save if you want to put it on your MP3 player.

lucysmum · 15/01/2009 14:04

my DD (aged 8) who loves music really liked a Ladybird CD and little book. She used to listen in bed and could sing lots of the songs (and therefore tables) off by heart. Her teacher also thought it was good - played some of them to the class.


Plonker · 16/01/2009 13:11

Will have a look at those - thanks all

OP posts:
ZZZen · 16/01/2009 13:14

We used the Ladybook booklet with songs on CD and it helped. I also got a couple of workbooks and we did one times table a week and she got there in the end. I started with the most difficult ones first (8,9,7).

It's less than you think then they know the 2 from doubling numbers at school already; 5 is quite straight forward - always a 5 ending and then a zero; 10 is easy too, just the number itself and plug a zero on the end.

Ingles2 · 16/01/2009 13:19

plonker, don't mean to worry you, but has your dd been assessed for any problems? It's just my ds2 is exactly the same and has dyscalulia. He has no long term memory for figures, tables and can't see any obvious patterns.
Have you talked to school about this?

Plonker · 16/01/2009 19:23

No Ingles, well not as far as I'm aware. Her teacher is aware that she struggles and she did 'Springboard' maths for a while although I'm not sure if she still does.

What does dyscalculia entail?

I will have a word with her teacher.

OP posts:
Reallytired · 20/01/2009 22:18

This computer programme is brilliant and good fun.

Timez attack

SAMS73 · 21/01/2009 10:16

Have you tried doing kumon maths for her as in the long run it will improve her maths and will build her confidence.

mumstheone · 21/01/2009 12:26

Step 1: write out the tables as folows


Step 2: look cover say and check - she may get up to 12 and get stuck the first time she does it but the second time she may get further. Do this daily five times.

Step 3: Use and apply times tables. Count on your fingers, 4,8,12,16 etc. forwards and backwards. Then start in the middle for example on 24 then count forward and backward in 4's. Write out the factors of all numbers. Factors are numbers that multiply to give a number. The factors of 5 are 1 and 5 because 1 times 5 equals five. The factors of 6 are 1,2,3,6.

Step 4: Teach shortcuts like if she can't remember 6 x 6 then if she know 6 x 5 = 30 (because thats five times table) then just add 6.

With 3 times table I use the grooves on my fingers to count in 3's.

As a teacher I know the importance of learning the tables. But what a lot of children find difficult is applying their times tables. She may know her 2 times table but does she know 2 x __ = 12. Try examples like these as well.

Nickoka · 29/01/2009 22:47

There is an American website which I used for my daughter. I had to pay about £10 to download the full book but there is trial material on the website so you can check it out.

It works by creating very short stories involving all the different combinations of number characters. For example, Nun Nine meets Nurse Trixie Six and asks her to put money in the poor box: FEED THE POOR - 54.

Sounds really weird I know, but it really suited my daughter - and me too if I'm honest. I'd forgotten my tables.

If this link doesn't work, just google 'Nurse Trixie Six and Nun Nine.


lisata · 05/02/2009 00:17

Plonker - My Year 4 DD is has exactly the same problems - we did all this practising of times 2 and times tables last year and then she forgot them all. I was almost as frustrated as her.

However this year the school has invested in Mathletics which is a internet based maths program which has a mental maths competion that you play live over the internet. Her mental maths has improved considerably with regular fast competions. She now has her fives and her twos cracked and her basic addition and subtraction has also improved considerably. However I do find it a bit frustrating because the program doesn't allow us to focus on just one times table.

Anyhow last week I discovered Tutput.com which is a free web site which does just the same thing except you can set up a competion just for a particular times table. It is absolutely fantastic - she has cracked her threes and her fours in a week and today we are working on her sixes. I am sure that with a little bit of competion every day she will continue to improve.

I've also noticed that just chatting about the tables as part of every day life has helped her feel more confident with them. We have been making up rhymes or particular tricks like "7 x 8 is 56 the age of Mr Bumble" which was one my grandmother made up. She loves the quaintness of a story to go with it.

Good luck

lisata · 05/02/2009 00:19

Sorry the website is Tutpup.com (not Tutput!)

optimisticmumma · 06/02/2009 23:15

Try interactiveprimaryresources.co.uk 'moon maths'.
As a teacher I have to say does she understand 'place value'? Until she really 'gets' numbers she will struggle to apply stategies for tables. Does she actually understand the underlying concept and does she work with beads or other concrete apparatus???
Keep plugging away but get school to run some tests...

smartiejake · 07/02/2009 17:48

Have a look topmarks

Lots of games to try.

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