# Times Tables

Helping your child to learn their multiplication tables…..

A HELP SHEET FOR PARENTS

Overview

Many of us can remember standing up in class and reciting our times tables, but how many of us really understood what we were doing? Learning tables does not have to be meaningless or boring. This article describes what you can expect of your child and suggests some activities to help them learn number facts.

Tables are useful. They are a quick way of handling large numbers and they will help your child to get a feel for whether an answer is sensible or not. However they take time to learn and your child will be building up their knowledge over several years at primary school. So it is worth knowing how you can help them.

Children may not start on tables until they are about six. That is because what we call tables are really multiplication and division facts and there is not much point in learning them until they understand what multiplication and division are. Initially children start to learn by counting in 2s, 5s and 10s. This is a rough guide to what you can expect your child to do, based on National Curriculum requirements.

Year 1

• Learn to count in 2s, 3s, 5s, and 10s.

Year 2

• Practise counting in 2s, 5s, and 10s.
• Learn to count in 3s.
• Learn and use the 2, 5 and 10 times tables.
• Know that times tables have corresponding division facts.
• Know that multiplication can be done in any order.

Year 3

• Practise counting in 2s, 3s, 5s, and 10s.
• Learn to count in 4s and 8s.
• Learn and use the 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 10 times tables.
• Learn what happens when you multiply a whole number by 10 or 100.

Year 4

• Practise counting in 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 8s and 10s.
• Learn to count in 6s, 7s and 9s.
• Recall multiplication facts for tables up to and including 12 x 12.
• Practise division facts for tables up to and including 12 x 12.
• Learn what happens when you divide a whole number by 10 or 100.
• Start to recognise square numbers.

Year 5

• Recall multiplication and division facts for tables up to and including 12 x 12.
• Identify multiples, factors and prime numbers.
• Multiply and divide numbers including decimals by 10, 100 or 1000.
• Multiply 4 digit numbers by a single digit number using the standard short method.
• Begin to multiply 4 digit numbers by a 2 digit number using the standard long method.
• Divide 4 digit numbers by a single digit number using the standard short method.
• Recognise and use square and cube numbers and the notation involved.

Year 6

• Recall multiplication and division facts for tables up to and including 12 x 12.
• Use times tables facts to solve problems.
• Multiply and divide numbers including decimals to 3 decimal places by 10, 100 or 1000.
• Use standard long multiplication to multiply 4 digits by a 2 digit number.
• Use standard short and long division to divide 4 digits by a 2 digit number and write remainder as whole numbers, fractions or decimals as appropriate.
• Identify common multiples, common factors and prime numbers.

How you can help? There are masses of maths games, including ones to help your child with their tables, on the internet for example:

www.topmarks.co.uk/maths-games/5-7-years/times-table

www.topmarks.co.uk/maths-games/7-11-years/times-tables

www.what2learn.com/home/examgames/maths/subtraction

Age 5 – 7

Encourage your child to practice counting in 2s, 5s and 10s. Try some of these strategies.

• Counting parts of the body such as hands, ears, fingers, etc. One dog – how many paws? Two dogs – how many paws?
• One hand – how many fingers? Two hands – how many fingers?
• One person – how many hands? Two people – how many hands?
• Counting 2, 5 and 10 pence coins.
• Reciting number rhymes such as ‘One, Two, Buckle My Shoe’.
• Talk about odd and even numbers. Make pairs from piles of socks, shoes or gloves. This helps children to understand the concept of odd and even.
• Try counting steps on a walk or going up the stairs.

Age 7 – 9

• Build up new times tables gradually and keep on practicing the ones they know already.
• Chanting times tables is a good way of practicing facts they already know. However be careful when breaking new ground.
• Encourage them to say their tables backwards as well as forwards. Saying them in reverse order, from 10 back to 1 will help to find ways of figuring out the ones they keep forgetting.
• Number hunt. How many different ways can they find to make 36 – or 48 – or 21?
• There are certain key facts that are useful and easy to remember. Help your child to practice them. They include the doubles, the 5 and 10 times tables and the square numbers such as 3 x 3 = 9.

Age 9 – 11

• Colour in the tables they know on a 100 square and look for patterns. Encourage them to look for patterns. The more they understand about how numbers work, the easier they will find it to remember the tables. For example:
• the tens all end in a zero
• the fives end in a zero or five
•  some tables are all even
•  the four times-table is double the twos
• the digits in the nine times-table add up to nine.
• Some facts, particularly in the 7 and 9 times tables, just do not seem to stick. Encourage your child to find their own way of working out/remembering the hard ones. For example, if they cannot remember 7 x 8, try doubling 7 x 4.

Another way for all ages

Once you have learned the easy 2s, 5s, and 10s and know the pattern for the easy part of the 11s there are only 30 individual ones left to learn because they are the same either way round.

Just learning the individual times tables rather than in order is another really good method and this strategy often lasts a lifetime with children and adults.

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