Times Tables are Essential
The importance of times tables regularly appears in my column. You can see below what tables your child should know by the end of each year. The summertime provides a perfect opportunity to sharpen children’s skills. Knowledge of times tables is important for every school year but essential for children starting P6. In P6, pupils cover various topics where fluency in times tables is critical. I have outlined below what tables your child should know. Please do not worry if your child is in P5 and struggles with the x3 tables. Use that as a starting point, and only move on to the following table when they are confident.
P3: 2,5 & 10s
P4: 3, 4 & 8s
P5: All tables
The good news is that times tables tend to get easier mainly because they repeat each other, e.g. 4 x 8 and 8 x 4. Some tables are also more accessible to learn (such as 10s and 11s). Ask your child to visualise how good they will feel if they return to school in September with the confidence of knowing their times tables. A lot of practice is required, but it is most definitely worth it.
Take Learning Outdoors
There are numerous outdoor activities that you could apply to help master the times tables. The summer months provide a perfect opportunity to take learning outside. Children tend to respond better to learning through play and something other than a boring worksheet.
The only thing required for hopscotch is some chalk, a bean bag, or something equivalent. Play the game as you usually would, but the main difference is that each grid has a times table written on it. Ask your child to toss the beanbag on top of each square, and collect it on the way back while answering the question.
Times Tables Treasure Hunt
For this game, you only require some envelopes and a space to play. Give the child a page with times tables questions, and they have to hunt for the correct answers. Write the answers to particular times tables on the envelopes and hide them outside. You could even put a small reward inside the last envelope! The treasure hunt can be easily adapted indoors if the weather isn’t favourable.
Making natural arrays is another excellent activity combining learning and getting out into nature. Give children a particular focus question, e.g. 3 x 5, and then have to find natural materials to show their answer. For instance, they could collect 3 groups of 5 twigs or stones.
Inside Times Tables Games
Unfortunately, even over the summer, the weather is not always suitable to take learning outside. However, there are lots of fun indoor games that you can play at home.
Sticky Times Tables
Write out the answers to a particular set of times tables and stick them on the wall. Then ask children a question, and they must find the answer as quickly as possible. Sticky Times Tables is also a great activity if you are trying to improve their speed.
Sometimes it’s just easier to learn times tables on a device. Please don’t feel guilty; it is a fantastic method to practice tables on apps such as Hit the Button. It is vital to appeal to children’s interests, and technology is most definitely one of those.
Prevent Summer Learning Loss with Education Support Hub
Education Support Hub is now taking bookings for summer classes. Last year, many places were filled, so please get in touch with me early to avoid disappointment. It is vital that children switch off over the break; however, I feel it is equally important to have a weekly top-up session so they will not lose their progress over the long duration of the summer holidays.
Education Support Hub provides assistance to help primary school children reach their full academic potential. Your child's learning gaps and needs are identified following a free assessment, which will be communicated to you. They are then placed in a small group of similar academic abilities. The small group dynamic helps mirror a classroom environment whilst encouraging healthy competition! Each child is continually assessed throughout the session, immediately highlighting any areas of concern. I support children from Primary 4 to year 8, including GL and AQE Transfer Test preparation.
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