By Darlene R. Yost on May 25 2018 13:30:59

Using times tables is simple. Practice multiplying the 2’s, 5’s, and 10s first, then the doubles (6 x 6, 7 x 7, 8 x 8). Next, move to each of the fact families: 3’s, 4’s, 6’s, 7s, 8’s, 9’s, 11’s, and 12’s. Start by doing one sheet and see how long it takes you to complete it. Do not worry about how many right or wrong answers you get the first time you complete a worksheet. You will get faster as you become better at multiplying. Do not move to a different fact family without first mastering the previous one.

What it is about memorizing multiplication tables that make my kids throw their pencil across the room and shout, “I hate math?” It is because, unlike spelling or vocabulary, numbers don’t create pictures for us. Multiplication tables are strings of seemingly random numbers that our children are expected to not only remember, but keep in order and in context with the numbers they are multiplying by.

Learn one table at a time. Select one multiplication table to learn at a time. Start with the simple tables such as 2s, 10s, 5s, and 11s. By the time you learn the more difficult tables such as the 7s and 8s, you will already know several facts. Remember, 1 x 4 is the same as 4 x 1 so you only have to learn half of the multiplication table because the other half is just written the other way.

Like any new skill, learning multiplication takes time and practice. It also requires memorization, which can be a real challenge for young students. The good news is that you can master multiplication with as little as 15 minutes of practice time four or five times a week. These tips and tricks will make the job even easier.

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