Turning the tables on maths

We’ve decided we need to spend more time on our middle two because their not doing as well as they can at school. Last semester we focused on spelling and managed to take Miss7 from 3 words a week up to ten. A fantastic turn around.

This semester, while continuing the spelling success, we’re teaching the kids their times tables.

When I was at school we learnt them by rote, meaning we didn’t have to think about why 6×7 equaled 42, we just knew it did. They don’t seem to do that these days, or at least not as much. They do have some ‘rainbow numbers’ though, and I’m in my forties and couldn’t understand what that was about.

We’ve begun our home lessons with the 2 times tables, and tonight the 3 times tables, and two nights in both Miss7 and Master6 are chaffing at the bit to outdo each other in the Times Table Wars. The first with the right answer gets to watch while the loser has to say the whole sum out loud.

I know it’ll be a long road, but these are basics and to be honest we probably should have been onto them before now.

On the bright side, we’re already through the 1x 2x and 3x tables. So we’re nearly a third done  🙂  I sure wanna believe that.


  • Ah the old times tables competition…..we used to do that with the girls also….can even recall doing maths competitions at high school myself….but with more complicated stuff of course

  • Just a note from a primary teacher who didn’t bother to learn the tables when she was at school, lived to regret it and has now had great success teaching students their tables. Do the 2s, 10s, then 5s (the 10s are easy and the 5s are half the answer of the 10s). Then the 4s (double the answer to the 2s eg. 2×4=8 so 4×4 is double that so is 16). Then the 8s (double the answer to the 4s). Then the 3s, then the 6s (double the answer to the 3s). Now the 9s (a range of strategies – let me know if you are interested), then the 7s and by this stage, the only one not known is 7×7 so there is only one to learn. Games for learning tables are the way to go and work so well for kids who have parents prepared to play with them. Let me know if you want game ideas. Kids just love them – so much more fun than the old rote learning (which didn’t work for me at all).

What do you think?

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