The Importance of Times Tables Knowledge
Knowing times tables facts is crucially important to your child’s progression in their mathematics education. Without a thorough understanding of multiplication and division facts, children frequently get ‘lost’ when it comes to do anything with fractions and any multiplication or division with larger numbers. Many mental maths activities and tests require a quick recall of multiplication and division facts. Children who are secure in their times tables knowledge are able to get to grips with trickier tasks straight away and are far more successful.
It is worth explaining what we mean by ‘knowing’ times tables. A child who knows their times tables will be able to recall any of the multiples of a times table out of order within 3 seconds, as well as knowing the corresponding division facts i.e. 4 x 6 = 24 as well as 24 ÷ 6 = 4. Learning multiplication facts and tables are most effective when there is collaboration with school, parents and children. In school we regularly spend time learning times tables, but a child will be much more successful if they practise outside school independently and alongside parents.
Times Tables Vocabulary
Here are some words that may be used whilst learning and applying multiplication and division:
multiply divide prime product once twice three times lots of
repeated addition times factors array double repeated subtraction multiple
sets of remainder halve
Here are some of the trickier words defined:
Factor – One number is a factor of another if it divides or ‘goes into’ it exactly (without any left over, a remainder). E.g. 6 is a factor of 30 because it goes into it 5 times, but is not a factor of 33 because after dividing there is a remainder of 3.
Groups of/ lots of/ sets of – 3 groups of 5 are 15, 3 lots of 5 are 15, 3 sets of 5 are 15 (3 x 5 = 15).
Multiple - These are the numbers that you find in a times table. E.g. 20 is a multiple of 5, 4, 2 and 10 because it is found in all of those times tables. The multiples of 5 are 5, 10, 15, 20 etc.
Product - A product is the answer you get when you multiply two or more numbers together. E.g. the product of 3 and 4 is 12 (3 x 4 = 12).
Prime – A prime number will only divide equally between 1 and itself e.g. 7, 11. The first ten prime numbers are: 2,3,5,7,11,13,17,19,23,29.
Array – As shown, an array is a visual representation of multiplication. E.g. 3 rows of 5 with 15 in total.