# How to learn times tables

Learning times tables is an integral part of mastering maths! If you have ever wondered how to teach times tables, including the best order to learn times tables, this guide is for you!

Author
Lucy Hart

Updated
May 2024

# How to learn times tables

Learning times tables is an integral part of mastering maths! If you have ever wondered how to teach times tables, including the best order to learn times tables, this guide is for you!

Author
Lucy Hart

Published
May 2024

# How to learn times tables

Learning times tables is an integral part of mastering maths! If you have ever wondered how to teach times tables, including the best order to learn times tables, this guide is for you!

Author
Lucy Hart

Published
May 2024

Key takeaways

• Mastering your multiplication facts is important in maths.
• Hone the skills of skip counting and repeated addition before teaching times tables.
• There is a correct order to learn times tables.
• Learning times tables in order reduces the number of multiplication facts pupils need to memorise and teaches number relationships. For example, understanding that the products of the 4 times table are doubles of the 2 times table, and vice versa.
• Keep practice short and sweet!

Learning your times tables may feel like a daunting task. With a seemingly endless string of multiplications to memorise, it can be hard to know where to begin! That’s why we have put together this guide–to make learning your times tables a breeze, and not to mention, fun!

## The best order to learn times tables

There is a proper order to learn times tables in. Working with smaller numbers is easier so we recommend starting there. Plus, as children memorise their first multiplication facts, they’ll begin to recognise number relationships. For example, the products of the 4 times table are doubles of the 2 times table, and the products of the 5 times tables are halves of the 10s times tables.

Below we outline the recommended order to learn times tables, in line with the national curriculum. Armed with our recommendations, your child will soon be on the road to becoming a multiplications master!

### Year 2 times tables

Learn the 2, 5, and 10 times tables.

Year 2 maths is when children start to build their knowledge of times tables. In this year, learning the 2 times table, 5 times table and 10 times table will give them a great foundation for learning other times tables.

We recommend starting off learning the 2 times table. The 2 times table is a fantastic foundation block for learning other tables and will come in handy in maths more generally. For example, your child will soon realise that multiplying by 2 is the same as doubling!

Once your child has a good understanding of the 2 times table, move on to the 5 times table and the 10 times table.

As the 10 times table follows similar rules to the 5 times table, learning them in this order will help to build your child’s understanding of number relationships in maths.

### Year 3 times tables

Learn the 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 times tables

With lots of multiplications to learn in Year 3 maths, learning them in a specific order can really help.

1. The 4 times table is a great place to begin, as the number rules your child will have picked up from the 2 times table will come into play. To find 4 x 3, for example, they can work out 2 x 3 and double the answer!
2. Next, move on to the 3 times table. This is where things can start to feel a little tricky, but fear not!
3. Once your child is comfortable with multiples of 3, introduce the 6 and 9 times tablesBe sure to highlight helpful number rules as they learn these multiplications. For example, if they were to double an answer from the 3 times table, they would have an equivalent answer for the 6 times table.
4. After this, head to the 8 times table. By building on their understanding of the 2 and 4 times tables, learning this table should be fairly simple.
5. Lastly, move on to the scary-seeming 7 times table. Although it may seem trickier than other tables, reassure your child that they’ll be able to master it. After all, they’ve already learned lots of other multiplications! Our guide to learning the 7 times table has many helpful tips for teaching these facts!

By using repetition and creative memorisation techniques, they’ll be able to learn it with practice, repetition and a little determination!

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## Sample questions

### Year 4 times tables

Learn the 11 and 12 times tables

Although tables over 10 may seem daunting, fear not! Start with the 11 times table and then move on to the 12 times table, using these helpful tricks to help learn these tables.

### Year 5 and 6 times tables

Putting times tables into practice

By these later years, pupils are challenged to apply the knowledge they’ve gained in maths more generally. By regularly practising all of the times tables they’ve learned, they can keep their knowledge fresh and maintain their instant recall.

## Tips for learning times tables

Children who know their tables by heart enjoy maths more because they don’t need to use their fingers to work out the answers to questions. Plus, they can experience the satisfaction of getting more questions correct!

When teaching times tables follow these tips:

• Teach the concept of multiplication as “groups of” a number before practising rote memorization.
• Make sure your pupil has a good grasp on skip counting and repeated addition–an important precursor to memorising multiplication facts!
• Use a variety of methods for teaching times tables. Listening to music, flash cards, using a multiplication chart, math games, and apps are just a few ideas!
• Learn times tables in the proper order. Don’t try to learn a new table until they have mastered the ones that go before. The typical order is 2x, 5x, 10x, then 3x, 4x, then 6x, 9x, and finally 8x and 7x.
• Keep practice short and sweet! Five to 10 minutes of intensive practice is ideal. We favour sticking to one table, and doing: 20 mixed questions with a crib sheet; 60 mixed questions with a crib sheet, timed; as many as you can in 2 minutes, no crib sheet. It takes 8-10 minutes.

## Fun ways to learn your times tables

Learning your times tables is really a matter of practice and repetition! A little creativity goes a long way when it comes to mastering your multiplication facts.

Here are some fantastically fun ways to liven up your child’s times tables practice, all of which will fit into your busy daily routine.

### "Tables" tennis

In this fun game of speed, you serve an imaginary ball by asking your child a tables question; your child returns it by answering a times table question as fast as they can!

If they’re correct, ask another tables question, and keep the rally going until they answer one incorrectly or get to a target you’ve set in advance (such as correctly answering 10 questions).

You can adjust the difficulty of the questions to encourage them as they progress through the game. See how long they can keep the rally going!

### "Time" tables

In this fun game of speed, you serve an imaginary ball by asking your child a tables question; your child returns it by answering a times table question as fast as they can!

If they’re correct, ask another tables question, and keep the rally going until they answer one incorrectly or get to a target you’ve set in advance (such as correctly answering 10 questions).

You can adjust the difficulty of the questions to encourage them as they progress through the game. See how long they can keep the rally going!

## Practise times table with DoodleMaths!

DoodleMaths is an award-winning app that’s filled with thousands of questions and games exploring multiplication, division and more! Plus, get free access to DoodleTables with any DoodleMaths subscription!

Designed by teachers, it creates each child a unique work programme tailored to their needs, doubling their progression with just 10 minutes of use a day. Try it for free!

### A Tables Fable

Create a ten-minute tale about different numbers embarking on journeys (such as ‘Timothy Three’ or ‘Susan Six’). As you tell your story, incorporate multiplication questions into it.

For example, ‘Susan Six has to answer a question to be allowed to cross the bridge… what’s three times six?’.

If your child answers correctly, the character can progress, and if not, they have to find an alternative route and answer a different question.

### Support learning with technology

Along with these suggestions, maths apps such as DoodleTables can be helpful. With thousands of interactive exercises and games tailored to your child’s strengths and weaknesses, it’s the perfect way to help your child become a multiplications master!

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