By Rachel R. Mueller on June 21 2018 07:20:17

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.

Skip counting is counting at intervals of whichever number you choose. For example, if I was to skip count by 7 I would count, 7, 14, 21… and so on. Using this method you can do single digit multiplication with ease. Say the teacher asks you to multiply 4 x 7 = __. You simply skip count 7’s, 4 times, 7, 14, 21, 28. The answer to 4 x 7 = 28.

Relate the numbers and multiplication tables to everyday life. Try to find ways to incorporate the math tables into daily life. This will help you truly understand the numbers instead of simply memorizing the material. If you know that a special holiday is only 8 weeks away, you can use your multiplication facts to figure out how many days away it is. There are 7 days in a week, so 7 times 8 is 56. Your holiday is only 56 days away!

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.

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