How to become a times tables master

Learning a new times table? We’ve got the techniques to help you become a times tables master!

Start with objects and pictures

You can use blocks, counters, or anything really to show how your times tables work. If you were learning the 6 times tables, make one group of 6, then add another, and another.

Practice adding your groups together, taking them away, and then move to adding two or three groups together. 

Practice drawing arrays of your times tables

This helps with other topics like place value and area too. Does the total number in your array change if you draw it as 6×7 or 7×6?

This is one of the most useful facts about multiplication – that it is commutative – this means it doesn’t matter which way round you do the calculation (unlike division or subtraction, for example.)

Now you know this, you can use other times tables that you are confident with to help you when learning a new one.

If you were learning your 7 times tables, you may already know 1,2,5 and 10 times 7. You may even know 3, 4 and 6 times 7. This means you have less new things to learn, as you’ve only got 8,9,11 and 12 times 7 to go!

10 times table to the rescue

Once you know 10 times something, its much easier to work out 9, 11 and 12 times something.

Eg 9 x 7 is one less lot of 7 than 10. So rather than counting all the way up from 1 x 7 to 9 x 7, go straight to 10 x 7 (70) and then count back 7 = 63!

Use the same technique for 11 x 7 and 12 x 7 : start at 10 x 7 (70) and then add one lot of 7 ( 70 + 7 = 77) or 2 lots of 7 (70 + 14 = 84).

Get speedy!

There are lots of different ways to multiply two numbers together, and we’ve only looked at a few! Practice the ones that are most efficient for you, and time yourself at home. Each time your practice, try and answer one or two more questions in the same time. Can you beat your own record?

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