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Multiplication is a very important basic math skill that kids often start to learn around third grade. But for many students, it can be a difficult concept to grasp and can take a while to learn. Here are my top resources and recommendations for students to use to learn and practice their times tables:
Skip counting is one of the best ways for students to learn how to solve multiplication problems. If they can learn to skip count, they can solve any single digit multiplication problem. For example, if they are trying to solve 4 x 8, they can skip count by 4’s eight times (4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32) to get their answer. Using their fingers often helps students keep track of their skip counting. The Hopscotch YouTube Channel has catchy songs students can use to help them learn to skip count up to 11’s.
MegaGeex has awesome workbooks that really help students practice and hone their multiplication skills and learn their times tables. They have hard copies or printable versions, and they use illustrated stories featuring famous characters from history and motivational quotes throughout the book. Their Multiplication Playbook is great for helping students learn the concept of multiplication and practice learning and memorizing their times tables. They also have pages to help students practice their skip counting as well. And if you use code JEATON10, you can save 10% on your order!
Flash cards are often a good option for practicing times tables once students have learned the concept of multiplication and are now trying to memorize them. You can either grab some on Amazon or make your own using index cards. When practicing flash cards, I highly recommend having your student read the problem out loud each time you hold up a card so that they hear the problem over and over and it will start to stick in their memories (for example, have them say out loud “three times five is fifteen”). You can even have them say the problem 3 times for each card so that the repetition will help it stick faster. I recommend setting aside 10-20 minutes a day to have students go over their flashcards, again for the sake of repetition and retention.
Play Games to Practice
Once students start to learn their times tables, playing games can be a fun way to get the repetition they need to help them memorize them. Mulitplication.com is a free website with lots of online multiplication games students can play. You can also use a deck of cards and play the card game War to practice multiplication too. Click HERE to see my tiktok demonstrating how to play. I also created a collection of online games I have made over the years, including some to practice times tables, that you can find HERE.
If your student is still struggling to memorize their times tables and you’re looking for a unique approach to help them learn and retain them, check out Times Tales! It’s a fun program that uses stories and songs to help students memorize their times tables, and even teaches them how multiplication relates to division. I know many students who have said that flash cards just weren’t working for them and then they tried Times Tales and had their times tables memorized within a few days!
Although we do have calculators in our pockets at all times now and students can use those to solve multiplication problems, having their times tables memorized can really be helpful for future math topics and can increase their math confidence. When they are able to solve multiplication problems quickly, they will be able to solve higher level problems that involve multiplication much faster and will feel better about their math skills. If your student is trying to learn their times tables, give some or all of these options a try! And let me know in the comments if any of these methods have worked for your student(s), and if you have any others you think should be added to the list!