By Michael Hartley
Elsewhere on this site, I gave some general times tables tips. This page zooms in on the seven times table. The general patterns in the seven times table were given in the general tips page, so here I won't talk about the patterns in the table. Instead, I'll focus on specific tips that might help a child work out the seven times table in their head.
When I was in school, I found the seven times table one of the hardest to remember. I distinctly remember in grade 5, remembering at last that 8 times 7 is 56! So if your kid is struggling with the 7 times table, don't feel too bad!
Here's some tips to remember -
- If the seven times table is amongst the last your child has got sorted out, then they actually know most of the seven times table already. So, for example, if they know the 1,2,3,4,5,9,10 and 11 times tables, you could print out a "mini-table", just showing the answers for 6x7, 7x7, 8x7 and 12x7. Showing a child that actually, there's only a few sums left to remember, will hopefully encourage them.
- I've made times table mazes based on three of the rows of this mini-table. You may like to give them to your child to try out.
- If your kid knows the six times table well, then teach him or her that seven times something is six times something plus something. So, for example, 7x4 is 6x4+4, or 24+4, that is, 28.
- Or, he or she may find it easier to learn that seven times something is eight times something minus something. So, for example, 7x6 is 8x6-6, or 48-6, that is, 42.
- Knowing some squares can help a lot. If your child knows that 7x7=49, then the above two rules give 7x6 and 7x8 easily enough. And don't forget that 7x5=6x6-1 and 7x9=8x8-1 (See the general tips section entitled Less Than Squares). So knowing a few squares means only 7x1, 7x2, 7x3, 7x4, 7x10, 7x11 and 7x12 need be memorised. And most of these will probably be known sooner than the seven times table.
Before I close, let me show you something special. Not the seven times table, but the 142857 times table! Give your child a calculator, and have him or her work out the following.
- 1 x 142857 = ?
- 2 x 142857 = ?
- 3 x 142857 = ?
- 4 x 142857 = ?
- 5 x 142857 = ?
- 6 x 142857 = ?
- 7 x 142857 = ?
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