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Multiplication tables - make it easy and fun to learn your times tables

Updated on June 18, 2011

Everyone needs to know their times tables!

Learn your tables fast! Multiplication is an important skill, and your tables are just as important for everyday life as they are for maths at school!

Whether you want to practise your tables yourself, or help your children learn them, here are my top tips and links for essential multiplication:

Practising times tables...

The most reliable way to learn your multiplication tables is to practice, practice, practice - there's no easy way out.

Children enjoy counting from a very young age, so why not try counting up in times tables? Particularly at primary age, this is a great way to learn tables and become familiar with number sequences.

Games to play:

Try rolling two dice (ten sided would work best, I guess, but regular six sided will work just fine) and see who can multiply them together first, or write some numbers on a piece of paper and take turns to roll - whoever gets one of the numbers first, and works it out correctly, gets to cross it off in their colour.

What if I don't know all my tables? Top tips for "cheating":

Chunking

For harder multiplications, try to break the calculation into chunks in your head.  For example, the seven times table can be made much easier if you already know your twos and fives - which most people learn first!

For example, 7 x 6 is 5 x 6 plus 2 x 6 - fairly obviously making seven lots of six in total, but breaking it down like this can make it much easier to work out.  Five sixes are thirty, two sixes are twelve, so seven sixes must be forty two!  I use this method a lot, as a maths teacher, because every time a student asks what the answer is you can come straight back with a way to work it out!

Starting small

Alternatively, you could approach 7 x 6 by working out 7 x 3 first.  If you know that three sevens are twenty one, it becomes fairly easy to double it up to get forty two.  This works particularly well for the four and eight times table, again relying heavily on the fact that almost everyone knows their twos.

Swap the numbers

There are plenty of people who don't realise that multiplications can be swapped round.  Instead of trying to do 7 x 4 by counting up in sevens, switch it round to 4 x 7 (mentally) and count up in fours instead - if you find it easier.

The famous nine times table cheat

Many students find the nines hard - so cheat!  Simply use your fingers, for example to find six nines:

Hold your hands out, palms facing you and fingers pointing up.  For six nines, simply fold down your sixth finger and count the rest.  Each one before is a "ten", each one after is a "unit" - so in this case, 6 x 9 would be 54 because there are five fingers before, and four fingers after.  Easy!


Comments

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    • profile image

      Cool dude 

      5 years ago

      Not for a six year old !

    • profile image

      jessie 

      5 years ago

      new it

    • profile image

      sarah 

      6 years ago

      i didn't get it

    • profile image

      hatty 

      6 years ago

      it did noty help me at all

    • profile image

      rose 

      6 years ago

      there is also another way of learning your 9 times table.

      look close at these numbers there is a method

      9

      18

      27

      36

      45

      54

      63

      72

      81

      90

    • profile image

      victoria 

      6 years ago

      i don't get it and my parents im going to another site because thiss stupit im not to be mean but m saying it is

    • profile image

      Emily 

      6 years ago

      Very helpful video! Thanks!

    • profile image

      Melainie 

      6 years ago

      I saw the video now i know my 9 times tables

    • profile image

      Waza 

      7 years ago

      Useful, but already know my 9 times table.

    • Mr Homer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Homer 

      7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      Thanks for the comments - glad to be of help!

    • profile image

      Emma 

      7 years ago

      This is great!! Now I know how to multiply by hands.. Thanks!!

    • profile image

      waseem 

      7 years ago

      waseem,i like tis thanks for posting

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