Multiplication Word Problems and Learning Times Tables

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Why Learn and Memorise Times Tables?

Learning times tables is crucial for children's mathematical development for several reasons:

  • Efficiency in Calculations:
    Memorising times tables allows children to perform multiplication and division quickly and efficiently. This fluency is beneficial in everyday life and is particularly important as they progress to more complex math problems.
  • Problem Solving:
    Knowing times tables helps children solve a wide range of math problems. When faced with multiplication or division problems, having quick recall of times tables enables them to focus on the problem-solving process rather than spending time on basic calculations.
  • Boosts Confidence In Maths:
    Proficiency in times tables boosts a child's confidence in math. Feeling comfortable with multiplication and division contributes to a positive attitude toward mathematics, making them more willing to tackle challenging math concepts.
  • Understanding Patterns and Relationships:
    Learning times tables helps children recognise patterns and relationships between numbers. For example, they may notice that the products of multiplying by 2, 5, and 10 have specific patterns, which aids in understanding mathematical structures.
  • Preparation for More Difficult and Advanced Math:
    Times tables are foundational for more advanced mathematical concepts and courses. As students progress in their education, strong multiplication and division skills are necessary for algebra, geometry, and other higher-level math subjects.
  • Real-World Uses:
    Multiplication and division are used in various real-world situations, from calculating grocery expenses to understanding measurements and scaling. Times tables provide the necessary tools for practical applications of math in daily life.

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Learning Times Tables At School

Learning times tables begins in KS1 at Primary School.
Children are taught x2, x5, x10 times tables first.
They then move on to learning the x3, x4, x6, x8.
By the time a child is 9 years old, they should know all their multiplication tables to x 12.

This can be done in many ways, such as:

  • adding / subtracting in 2's, 5's or 10's
  • starting at the number 2, counting on in 2's etc
  • counting back in 2's from a given number
  • sharing cubes/sweets/coins between 2 people
  • reciting the times tables
  • writing out the times tables
  • completing activities designed to help children recall the multiplication / division facts
  • reciting the multiples of a times table

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Using Times Tables To Solve Word Problems

Knowing the times tables by heart will help children solve word problems quickly. They will be able to quickly count the relevant times table mentally in their head or using fingers.

When solving word problems, there is more than one process involved. It requires the use of more than one skill.
Children are required:

  1. read the problem
  2. identify the correct operation to use (multiply/divide)
  3. identify the numbers to use
  4. use the correct times table to find the answer
  5. check the answer is correct

By ensuring children know their multiplication tables by heart, means that it is one less thing for them to worry about.

How To Solve Multiplication Word Problems

Many children will quickly read a multiplication word problems and write the answer down. This may work for simple word problems, but as the difficulty level increases, this may not always be the best practice.

It is a good idea to get children to use a set procedure when tackling any word problem.

  1. Read the problem
  2. Underline the key numbers and words (multiply, find the product of, how many more etc)
  3. Write a number sentence to show your working out, e.g. 5 x 2 = 10
  4. Write the answer as just a number or a short sentence e.g. 10 children brought their book to school

Free Multiplication Word Problems Worksheet

Multiplication word problems can be solved using a number line or repeated addition.

Click on the link below to download a free Teach My Kids math worksheet. Solve the times tables word problems.

In this worksheet, children are given an example of how to solve a word problem using a number line and repeated addition. If they know their times tables, they will not need to draw a number line.
Children then write a number sentence for each problem.

Teach My Kids produces targeted worksheets for your child's year group at school.
No more hunting around, looking for the right worksheet, at the right level, for your child - saving you time.

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