Teach Times Tables with Multiplication Songs

Order Now: Best Multiplication Songs EVER!Best Multiplication Songs EVER! can help children learn multiplication facts, but the songs are not a substitute for active teaching. There is much you as a parent, teacher, or tutor can do to help students learn times tables using multiplication songs.

Start with the easiest times tables first.  For the easiest progression of learning, try these groupings of multiplication facts:

Level Times Tables
Level One: 0, 1, 10, 11
Level Two: 2, 5, 3
Level Three: 4, 9, 12
Level Four: 6, 8, 7

Once students memorize all facts in a level, review that set of multiplication facts to fix the times tables into long-term memory.

Use visual aids.  Children will learn times tables better if they can see the numbers while they sing the songs.  Refer to printed or written multiplication charts during the first practice sessions. Having written facts accessible while doing practice sheets helps children focus on memory, not misery.  After a few practices, push children to work from memory or use a sense other than sight to reinforce learning. 

Count on fingers.  Teach students that they can discern sets of multiplication facts by counting on their fingers along with the songs. For example, counting on fingers while singing threes shows that three times four is twelve.  Tell students when they're stuck, try singing the songs silently and counting fingers.

Highlight the rhythm.  Have students clap the rhythm as they sing the songs.  Kinetic activity helps some students learn more quickly (see counting on fingers above).

Repetition rocks!  Most kids sing a song about ten times to learn it. In the classroom, try different ways to spice up the repetition.  Have just the girls sing, just the boys, all together, sing standing on one foot, and other variations. Make singing multiplication songs fun so kids learn more.

Make multiplication songs part of other routines.  Sing selected multiplication songs when the class lines up, as a transition activity, or when there are a few teachable moments before another activity. If your child is working on fives, sing the fives song several times a day as part of your daily routine at home, perhaps while brushing hair, putting away toys or setting the table.  Singing multiplication songs while driving is a sure-fire winner!

Combine Multiplication Songs with Traditional Teaching and Learning Methods

Practice, practice, practice.  Being able to sing a times table is one thing, knowing that three times four equals twelve is another. Use multiplication tables, practice worksheets, computer programs, and flash cards...whatever helps.

Treat students as capable.  Learning multiplication tables is a skill like nothing most students have done before. It is very difficult at first. Teach the concept of multiplication quickly, and get right into the business of memorizing.  Making it through the fives often results in an "Aha!" experience.  Once students feel successful in memorizing, they move through the process easily.

Remind students how much they know. Students don't start from scratch with each new times table. Remind them that they already know the 0, 1, 10, and 11 facts for a new times table at Level Two.  As they progress through the times tables, students will know more and more facts before they start on facts in a new level.

Work as a team in the classroom.  Approach times tables as a team effort with the whole class learning each set of facts. Have students help each other practice, pulling individuals until everybody knows that particular times table. 

Teach even/odd.  Make sure students know the difference between even and odd numbers (difficult for some!) so they notice patterns more rapidly.  Reminding students that a number times an even number always is even will help them with many times tables facts.

Teach the tricks.  Most times tables have little tricks that really help students learn the basic facts.  There is the nines trick, multiply by 10 by placing zero at the end, and 56 = 7 x 8 (see how the numbers are in order?).

Twelves aren't so bad.  Many students have trouble with twelves, especially because these facts often are saved for last. Remind students that the answer to a twelves fact is the last number in each multiplication song.

Celebrate success.  Celebrate when the whole class learns all the times tables, but celebrate in between, too.  Praise every time a student passes a times table test. Some students learn well with publicly spoken words recognizing their accomplishments; others react better to a written certificate attesting to their mastery of a new skill level.  Use whatever works!

Use Other Resources

Make your own flash cards.  Help students make their own flash cards for every times table. Try using 3x5 index cards, and store each set of flash cards in a separate envelope.  At first, simply practice individual fact sets as a learning tool.

Be smart with flashcards.  Teach students they don't have to practice all the times tables at once. Start with only the 0, 1, 10 and 11 facts. Then, one by one, add the more difficult facts.  As practice sessions go on, remove easier facts so students focus on the facts that give them trouble.

Download Best Times Tables Practice EVER!  This free software program is great because it is customizable.  Practice just threes, only the easy threes, only 6s, 7s and 8s -- you name it!  The program gives hints and doesn't let students advance until they give the correct answer.

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