By Michael Hartley
If your kids are tired of times tables being just too much memorising, try them on some of the activities suggested here. You'll find times tables flashcards, times tables games, printable times tables charts, and coming soon, times tables tips showing the hidden patterns in each individual times table. It's my hope that these resources will transform times tables from a boring drill into something that's actually fun to learn.
Multiplication is a basic law of arithmetic that we just have to know. As adults, we use times tables in our everyday life all the time. Can you imagine, for example
- A new parent grabbing a calculator in the middle of the night to figure out much water to add to baby's milk powder?
- A host preparing a dinner party needing electronic help to multiply 4 brussel's sprouts times 7 guests?
- Not being sure you are getting the correct change, as the cashier counts out five-dollar notes into your hand?
- Needing 84 slices of bread (for 42 sandwiches) for a party, knowing loaves have 12 slices each, but still not buying enough?
The multiplication times tables summarise the basic facts of multiplication. As adults, we need these basic facts in our daily lives. Kids need them to do well in long multiplication in later years - which we also need as adults for those times we have a more complex sum to work out on paper.
Psychologists tell us that the most important key to long term memory is
Repetition
Hence, the hallmarks of traditional times tables learning :
- Drills
- Worksheets
- Practice
- More drills
And the games? I see the games supporting times tables learning in at least three ways
- Firstly, they, too, force repetition of times tables facts. Obviously, in a far less structured way - and far more fun way! - than drills.
- Secondly, just by being fun, they let kid actually enjoy thinking about multiplication. Hopefully, the child will begin to associate times tables with more positive than negative feelings.
- Thirdly, since the games reward players with a good grasp of their times tables, students become more motivated to learn their times tables, in expectation of future games.
- Fourthly, sometimes your kids just need a break from the drills!
So there you have it! Follow the links below for
- Times Tables Flashcards,
- Times Tables Games
- News flash! After a successful Kickstarter project, I've launched a professionally printed version of one of my games!
- Printable Times Tables Charts
- Times Tables Tips to make them easier to learn!
- These Speed Math Worksheets allow you to generate an almost unlimited number of different times tables worksheets.
- Amazon.com carries many Times Tables Books and other resources that come highly recommended by those who use them.