This article focuses on some tips and tricks to help your little one master the skill of time tables.
First, congratulations! By even reading this article, you are showing interest in your child and their learning. A child will always succeed when a supportive adult is there to guide, help, and nurture their learning. By showing an interest in these tips, you are helping your child, more than you think. As a teacher myself, I would use several different ways to engage and encourage my learners to flourish in the classroom. Follow these teaching tips and tricks to help your child study their times tables.
Tip #1 – Use the correct lingo
This may be obvious, but different people will use different words when working out multiplication. For example, one teacher may say ‘What is 4 times 2?’ whereas another adult may say ‘What is 4 multiplied by 2?’. Would the child understand that ‘times’ is the same as ‘multiplied’? Make sure you are using the same vocabulary that their main teacher is using to help avoid confusion. Also, introduce your child to the mathematical symbols used when working out equations and the terms given to them. Explain that x means multiplied by and = means equals. Again, make sure the correct terminology is used at home, as that that is used in the classroom to prevent confusion.
Tip #2 – Master the basics first
There is no point starting with 7- or 8-times tables, before the child understands the 2 times tables. Work with the smaller numbers, allowing the child to understand that to multiply means doubling the numbers. Once they understand the idea of this concept, move onto 3 then 4 and so forth.
Tip #3 – Start with a practical
When starting off, it helps the child to visualize what multiplication of things looks like. In relation to teaching strategies, this is an excellent tip for Visual and Kinaesthetic learners. To do this, take objects from around the home to help the child understand what you are trying to explain. Taking pasta shapes, make two piles of three pasta shapes. When you ask the child how many pasta shapes there are in total, the child will add the shapes. By introducing multiplication, you can explain a fast way to work this out. Explaining there are two piles, each with three pasta shapes, is equal to 2 multiplied by 3 is equal to six in total. Then add another pasta shape to each pile. Ask the child to find out the new total. Again, add another piece of pasta and ask what the new total is. By indicating that you are adding two to the total number of shapes, the child should be able to understand the concept of sequential adding and therefore, multiplication.
Tip #4 – Teach them some hints
Now that your child knows the basic theory behind multiplication, teach them some tricks to help with other times tables. They now know that 2 x 3 = 6, but do they know that 3 x 2 = 6 aswell. Indicating the change of order in the numbers will result in the same answer enables the child to exceed with their learning, helping them to advance onto the next number set.
Tip # 5 – Use a Multiplication chart
This is another excellent teaching strategy used to help the child visualize their learning. These charts can be bought online or created at home. With a grid used as the base, the numbers one to twelve are displayed along the vertical andhorizontal axis. The child must make their way along the grid, working out, and solving each answer. This will allow them to see each time table on display in their home or at school, helping them to become more familiar with each set of multiplication facts from 1 to 12.
Tip #6 - Rote learning
There is some debating about using this teaching strategy due to the lack of understanding. I, myself, was taught my timetables through rote learning as a rhythmic chant with the rest of my peers, over and over again until it was drilled into my head. Did that help me learn my timetables? Yes, absolutely. Did I understand the concept of multiplication? Probably not. As a visual learner, I didn’t know what the teacher meant by all these numbers. It wasn’t until I saw buttons on my desk in several piles, did I understand the idea behind the rhythmic chant. This is the downfall with rote learning. However, auditory learners may benefit from this type of learning style the most. While it is important to practice the times tables with your child, use rote learning at your own peril. Make sure the child understands the basics and logic behind it, before reiterating them repeatedly. I'll post some fun video song suggestions next week to supplement your times tables teaching.
Tip #7 – Make learning fun
There are lots of songs and dances online, encouraging children to learn through song and dance. If this is a learning style that your child prefers, have a go, and see if it helps. If not, dancing and singing is always a fun way to spend time with your child.
Tip #8 - Finally, remember that you are teaching a child. Not an adult as intelligent as you, but a child who depends on you for basically everything. Some children may struggle, while some may get this instantaneous. Understand that this is a difficult concept for them, and so, praise their efforts. Children love encouragement and will thrive when they see that their hard work is being noticed by someone they look up to. In doing so, you are not just enabling their learning, but building a relationship and nurturing an environment where they can learn.
Hopefully, these tips and tricks will help your child learn in a safe, loving, and fun environment. Good luck!
Do you have any special tricks or tips for teaching times tables to add to this list?
Thanks for reading this post. Be sure to grab the free multiplication worksheet activity below to give your kids some extra practice after learning the facts:
You may also like this Multiplication Facts 1-12 Math Mystery Game! Download, print and solve! Optional video hook included to gain attention.
Multiplication Review Math Mystery: Case of the Monster Mix-up - 3rd Grade Edition
Multiplication ReviewMath Mystery: the Case of the Monster Mix-up. This math activity is a fun way to review and practice mathematical skills in the classroom or at home. Ideal for spiral review, consolidation, math centers, homework, enrichment, early-finisher or the sub-tub.
EASY PREP, print and solve!
Students must complete math worksheets to unlock clues. Then, use their powers of deduction to narrow down the list of possibilities to solve the mystery case!
A 21st century School Teacher, Mother, and Wife.
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