The Importance Of Times Tables

October 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

As much as children may hate them, times tables are one of the key foundation stones of good maths ability. Even when you get to GCSE level, knowledge of times tables is very important: it helps with factors and multiples, it makes long multiplication and long division considerably quicker and easier and times tables will crop up in practically every maths topic in one way or another.

For many children, learning times tables is hard and can be frustrating. But learning them is simply a case of practice makes perfect; the more you do them, the easier it will be to remember them!

But, it’s not just a case of learning the times tables in order. A large number of children will be able to learn their times tables when they are saying them all in the correct order, but will they be able to answer 6 x 5 without having to go through 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30? Being able to recall the times tables facts without having to think too much about it will be a great advantage for future maths work, so it’s worth putting in the effort to learn them that way.

Here’s something to try:
As an example, say that your child needs to know their 4 times tables. Start by making sure they can say them in order quickly and without having to think about it. To get to that stage, each day get them to say them all the way through, perhaps when they are having breakfast or before bedtime. Once they have mastered that, start calling out random 4 times tables questions for them to answer. Do 2 or 3 at a time and, for each one they get right, give them a star. Rewards make times tables considerably less tedious!

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