It is a superb idea to prioritise learning times tables they are SO vital and are the magic key for unlocking a range of concepts in maths - not just a whole range of multiplication and division problems, but also doubling, halving, factors, fractions, prime numbers, squares and square roots of numbers... even the area and volume of shapes! You just cannot tackle these mathematical ideas without knowing them!
Being able to fluently recall all times tables from 1x up to 12x is going to be a HUGE advantage and will make maths SO much easier! Test yourself - can you give the answer to any times table question within FIVE seconds? If you can, you know your times tables well!
Don't forget that there a whole range of little tricks and sneaky shortcuts you can use if you are struggling with a particular times table. For instance, the 4x table is just double the 2x table, and the 8x table is just double the 4x table! The 6x table is just double the 3x table, and the 12x table is just double the 6x table! If you need to times a number by 9, times it by 10 first and then just take away the multiple (eg. 10 x 6 = 60, so 9 x 6 would be 60 take away 6 which equals 54!). Keep practising, and good luck!
The order for learning times tables
Year 2: 2, 5 and 10 times tables
Year 2 is when children start to build their knowledge of times tables.
We recommend that you start off by learning the 2 times table. The 2 times table makes a fantastic foundation-block for learning other tables and will come in handy in maths more generally. For example, your child will soon realise that multiplying by 2 is the same as doubling!
Once your child has a good understanding of the 2 times table, move on to the 5 times table and the 10 times table. The 10 times table follows similar rules to the 5 times table, so learning them in this order will help build your child’s understanding of number-relationships more generally.
Year 3: 3, 4, 6, 8 and 9 times tables
With lots of times tables to learn in Year 3, learning them in a specific order can really help. The 4 times table is a great place to begin, as the number rules your child will have picked up from the 2 times table will come into play. To find 4 x 3, for example, they can work out 2 x 3 and double the answer!
Next, move on to the 3 times table. This is where things can start to feel a little tricky, but fear not! Pointing out rules, such as the fact that all of the answers are odd numbers, can help.
Once your child is comfortable with multiples of 3, introduce the 6 and 9 times tables. Be sure to highlight helpful number rules as they learn these multiplications. For example, if they were to double an answer from the 3 times table, they would have an equivalent answer for the 6 times table!
After this, head to the 8 times table. By building on their understanding of the 2 and 4 times tables, learning this table should be fairly simple.
Year 4: 7, 11 and 12 times tables
Move on to the 7 times table. Although it may seem trickier than other tables, reassure your child that they’ll be able to master it. After all, they’ve already learned lots of other multiplications.
Although tables over 10 may seem daunting, fear not! Start with the 11 times table and then move on to the 12 times table. Armed with their other times tables and having learned them in order, reassure your child that they’re in the final stretch to becoming a times tables whizz!
Year 5 and 6: putting tables to practice!
By these later years, pupils are challenged to apply the knowledge they have gained. By practising all of the times tables they have learned in the order above, children can keep their knowledge fresh and develop their instant recall.
At Abbey Village we subscribe to Times Table Rockstars. Children in years 2 to 6 will have individual login details. This is a great platform for practising quick recall of the times tables that their teacher has set. The easiest way to use it is by downloading the app in the App Store or at the Google Play Store.
INDIVIDUAL TIMES TABLE PRACTICE SHEETS