Our Top Tips for Times Tables Mastery!
Apps lend themselves really well to learning and practising times tables as the functions and interactivity mean that children can measure their success, challenge themselves and progress with confidence. There are some really super times table apps out there, but look for ones that allow you and your children to integrate the following top tips for times table success:
1) Confident counters – Multiplication is repeat addition so make sure your child is fluent with counting forwards and backwards from any given number. Number confidence – and having a good grasp of number concepts such as number bonds, addition and subtraction – is key.
2) Look for patterns – Using a multiplication 100-square (find one in the Squeebles app) ask your child what patterns they can find in each times table. Children love to find patterns such as sequences of odd or even numbers. Can they identity and test some rules? Does the 10 times table always end in the same digit? What about the 5s? What do they notice about multiples of 2s or 4s? So many fun patterns! And, if they colour the multiples in on the number square it’ll make some pretty (and regular) patterns too!
3) Vocab victory – Children need to be fluent in the vocabulary associated with, not such multiplication, but all four number operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). There are many ways to say the same thing and children should be asked the same multiplication sum in different ways so that multiplication vocabulary becomes part of their ‘tool box’. For example 2×3 can be asked as 2 ‘times’ 3, 2 ‘multiplied’ by 3, 2 ‘lots of’ 3, ‘two threes’ and what’s the ‘product’ of 2 and 3?
4) Make it visual- Many children (not just visual learners) need to associate mathematical number problems with a pictorial representation, to fully grasp an otherwise tricky abstract concept. Using counting blocks, counters, buttons or even sweets, show simple multiplication sentences in a visual way. Ask your child to group items or order them in simple arrays to match a given multiplication sum so that they match them together, making that association and cementing the image in their mind.