We’ve all been there at some stage – 4 x 1 = 4, 4 x 2 = 8, 4 x 3 = 12… and so on. It’s not fun, but it is effective. Unfortunately, knowing your times tables is incredibly important for maths students of any age and ability. That is why there is so much emphasis put on them.
But you don’t have to learn your multiplication tables by robotically reciting them, or writing them down on a piece of paper.
Our maths tutors are well versed in making the process of learning easy and enjoyable, and every student benefits from a personalised lesson with a variety of teaching styles to suit them.
If you want help learning your times tables when our tutors are not with you, here are a few ‘fun’ ways you can improve your maths skills without the monotony of the ‘old-school’ techniques.
1. ‘The mug game’
This one is very simple. Write some multiplication questions (for example – 8 x 4, 5 x 6 etc.) on a piece of paper, rip them off, scrumple them up and put them into a mug. Do this for a number of times tables (you can tailor this to the particular times tables you are struggling with – for example, if the student is struggling with the 8 times tables, you can focus on them). Then, get the student to draw a piece of paper at random from the mug. If they get the answer correct, the paper gets thrown in the bin.
If they get it wrong, the paper goes back in the mug. And will be drawn again. The game ends when there are no pieces of paper left in the mug. The randomness of this makes it more interesting for the student. And the aim of emptying the mug is something the student can aim for.
You can also time how long it takes to empty the mug – and keep track of the times. “Last week you emptied the mug in 3 minutes, can you beat that this week?” or “Can you empty the mug in less than 2 minutes?”. Parents can even do it too! Imagine how much more motivated the student will be if they have the chance to beat their mum or dad’s time!
2. Multiplication grids
Another simple time-related game. Draw a blank multiplication grid and ask the student to complete it. Prompt the student to correct any incorrect answers. Make a note of how long it takes them to do this. Again, week on week targets are a good source of motivation here.
This would be an easier game than the mug game, as the students just need to recall the times tables in order as opposed to at random. You don’t necessarily need to draw the full 12-by-12 grid either, you can make it smaller depending on the student’s ability.
This one will need a few more participants. Give each player a bingo card with a few numbers on (for example – 36, 45, 24, 50, 64, 100). Then read out some times tables (for example – 4 x 5, 6 x 6, 7 x 2) and the players will tick off the numbers when they are read out. And you know the rest. Just make sure you read out every number on both players’ cards!
4. Fizz Buzz
This one will also need a few participants. Choose two times tables, say the 5 and 4 times tables. You will go through each number in numerical order, everytime the number is in the 5 times tables you say Fizz, and every time the number is in the 4 times tables you say Buzz. If the number is in both times tables, you have to say Fizz Buzz. Simple enough, but surprisingly tricky.
So it would go like this, for the numbers from 1-20:
1, 2, 3, Buzz, Fizz, 6, 7, Buzz, 9, Fizz, 11, Buzz, 13, 14, Fizz, Buzz, 17, 18, 19, FizzBuzz, and so on….
This game works best with 3+ players.
5. Throw The Dice
This one is also quite low-maintenance. All you need is a pair of dice. You throw both dice, and the numbers it lands on you must multiply together. So, if you land on a 3 and a 4, the participant will say 12, because 3 x 4 = 12.
The obvious drawback of this game is that you can only practice your times tables from 1 to 6 on a standard dice. So it is best used for a student who has only learnt up to their 6 times tables. It’s more of a beginner’s game than the others.
If you want to discover more fun ways to improve your maths, click here to book a free taster session.