The times tables learning tip every child should know

The times tables learning tip every child should know

Mastering multiplication tables is a well-known key milestone in primary maths. When your child achieves this - which is often at ages 8 or 9 - they also get an extra boost in confidence. 

There are many approaches to learning tables and they all have their merit - here's a learning tip you may want to try out. (Don't miss the idea for how to build this into a "kitchen table" activity, you'll find it at the end of the article.)

Have you ever noticed how it's easier to remember someone's first name when you hear their full name?

In a similar way, learning multiplication tables becomes easier when you make the connection to division. Each times tables fact is actually closely connected to three other facts - two division facts and one multiplication. 

So, for instance, learning that 56, 7 and 8 are connected actually means you've just learned:

8 x 7 = 56

7 x 8 = 56

56 ÷ 7 = 8

56 ÷ 8 = 7

When a learner makes this connection, they'll end up mastering their times tables AND division in one go.

Let's take a closer look:

The Multiplication-Division Connection

As the video suggests it's beneficial not to think of each times table fact in isolation, but instead as a family of multiplication and division facts.

The Square Numbers

There is an exception to the "learn one get three free" idea. Square numbers are only connected to one multiplication and one division so it's worth knowing these very special numbers: 

4  9  16  25  36  49  64  81

The Multiplication & Division Connection 2x to 9x

Activity Suggestion: Watch this series of videos with your children, use the pause button to see if you can recall all four facts:

Kitchen Table Maths Fact Activity

You can turn this learning tip into a Kitchen table card game using this printable example(pdf)   and this  printable blank template (pdf)

The idea is to print the blank template, cut it up, and write 2 of the 3 numbers of each fact card. Start off easy - with the two smaller multiplication facts ( eg 6, 7 ) and leave the answer blank (42) then move on to examples with the answer and one factor (eg 42 & 7 with 6 blank). Eventually move to only giving the multiple (42) and the learner finds two factors (6, 7).

To turn it into a game make a series cards using the template. Along the lines of Snap, the learner turns a card over and shouts out the missing numbers. If they answer correctly and fast (within 5 seconds) it goes on the "fluent" pile. If correct but hesitant it goes on the "hesitant" pile and if wrong or unknown ..... You can use the piles to target practice another day.

And what about the 11x and 12x tables I hear you say - We'll be back with these shortly!


I'm Ged, Co-founder of Komodo, ex-maths teacher and dad. If you have any questions please get in touch.

About KomodoKomodo is a fun and effective way to boost primary maths skills. Designed for 5 to 11 year olds to use in the home, Komodo uses a little and often approach to learning maths (15 minutes, 3 to 5 times per week) that fits into the busy routine. Komodo users develop fluency and confidence in maths - without keeping them at the screen for long.

Find out more about Komodo and how it helps thousands of children each year do better at maths - you can even try Komodo for free.

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