Every year the message is the same, tables, tables, tables! This is such a vital message and for a very good reason! Learning multiplication tables and their related division facts are an important foundation for learning different aspects of mathematics such as division, algebra, long multiplication, area, perimeter, factors, multiples, prime numbers and fractions. For children that don’t have a solid grasp of the times tables, they may find these other areas to be hard to understand as well.
It is also incredibly important that children have depth of understanding. To achieve this depth, it is also essential that children are given the opportunity to see, explore, and understand the mathematical structures and patterns that lie beneath. Really knowing and being able to apply these facts (and their inverse - up to 12x12) means that working memory is freed up, leaving space to process and think more about new mathematical ideas. With this in mind, offering a range of activities and contexts to support practice and application of pupils’ growing knowledge of times table facts is crucial. Learning opportunities that draw on real-life scenarios, combined with those that utilise interactive and online activities, really encourage the development of fluency and support every child on their journey to truly ‘knowing’ times table facts.
Below is a link to teaching mental calculation methods including times tables.https://dera.ioe.ac.uk/778/1/735bbb0036bed2dcdb32de11c7435b55.pdf
As you may be aware the government has introduced an online times tables check to be administered by schools to year 4 pupils from the 2019/20 academic year onwards. Please see the link below for more information:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/multiplication-tables-check-development-process
Below are some really great interactive online games which can also help: http://www.primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk/maths/timestable/interactive.htm