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Saturday, 16 July 2016

Times Tables Made Easy

This poster has been hanging in our house for a few months. 
It makes us do this:

SO many numbers and such a big task for little ones to muster some enthusiasm for. 

We crossed out the ones we already knew to make it more manageable and 'The Great 38' was born!

 It is a fun and motivating strategy for learning the 'juicy' times tables that are just a little bit tricky and the ones that we need to devote time to memorising. 

We removed the x0, x1, x2, x10 and most of the x11 facts that we know. We talked about why these are so easy.

We also removed all the 'TWINS' - for example, 3x4 is included but NOT 4x3. 

In my printable packet, I have included a students reference sheet clearly showing all multiplication facts and the 'Great 38'. 

This could be used as a desk mat or reference during activities. 

With times tables, I have no problem with 'copying' answers for a while, especially when first introducing them - the goal is memorization, not a conceptual understanding, so a visual aid will boost achievement of our aim, not diminish it. 

After several weeks, I would challenge students to not simply 'copy' answers, but test their memory! A poster for each set of times tables, with the 'Great 38' clearly shown in bold black boxes, is a visual reminder of just how few facts need to be worked on! 

I have included 2 sets (with and without answers) of drill / fluency flashcards and 5 timed test worksheets for practice.


Get your students ready to PARTY with these fun printables and celebrate the fact that their work just got a whole lot easier to manage!


Let's take a look at this x5 poster as an example. I am NOT asking students to attend in focus to:

5x0 - we know anything x0 is 0
5x1 - we know anything x1 is itself
5x2 - we have already covered doubles in addition, and my students would know these
5x3 - we covered that on the x3 poster when we learnt 3x5
5x4 - we covered that on the x4 poster when we learnt 4x5
5x10 - we know that when we times anything x10 we just add a zero
5x11 - we know that we just repeat the digit in the answer (for up to x9)

The remaining facts belong to the 'Great 38' and we will focus on them!


I have included other little reminder tips on the posters, applicable to each set. 




I see huge merit in repeating each of the practice pages more than once. Memorisation comes with systematic repetition!




A teacher reference page will explain the process of eliminating most of the facts, in more detail. Make sure you have a good understanding of why they have been removed and ensure your students know these well before moving onto the 'Great 38'! 


Find this packet in sale this weekend in my TpT store:

Thanks so much for stopping by today - have a wonderful weekend!