There has been an educational shift in schools based on both state and country standards in the way we now teach multiplication tables. Students are introduced to the concepts of repeated addition in early elementary school, by 3rd grade they are learning the “why” behind multiplication, and then in 4th and 5th grade students are expected to know their times tables from 0 to 12 by heart, however the traditional teaching methods of memorizing the times tables are no longer implemented in schools. This means that as a parent, the responsibility falls upon you to help your child to know their fact families both quickly and accurately. This skill will help them to compute more difficult problems efficiently as they continue into higher levels of math.
One easy way to practice times tables with your child at home is to use flash cards. You can purchase an inexpensive set of flash cards, print out a set from online, or use a times table app on your tablet. While this may not be your child’s favorite activity you can make it more fun by trying to turn it into a game where they would earn a reward for memorizing a set of the facts.
In addition to memorizing the facts, speed is also important. The faster they can remember the facts, the faster they will be able to complete more complex problems. One way to improve their speed it to go quickly through the flash cards as you are working with your child. Another way to improve speed is to give them timed tests. Online, you can print modifiable worksheets to direct the instruction at home with the factors you want them to practice for that day. You then give them a set amount of time, typically 1 minute, to complete the worksheet. Lastly, you can also have them fill in a blank times table chart. This helps them to visually see the patterns of multiplication and will help them to make connections that they might not have made through the flash cards and worksheets.
Once your child has begun to master multiplication you can also introduce trips and tricks to make remembering their facts even easier.
Math Curriculum and Math Games by Smart Tutor
Article by Laura VanHellemont
Photo By Canadian Pacific