Your child will learn to count in tens whilst he/she is in Year One, and by the end of Year 2 they will be expected to recall facts from the ten times table in any order.
Below, I have included a variety of methods to give your child the best chance of learning their ten times table in a way that suits them. You don’t have to try all of these methods – if you find your child doesn’t understand the concept through one method, then try another.
It can be useful, as your child starts to learn this times table, to point out how many things in real life come in 10s: fingers, toes, pennies in a 10p, 10ps in £1, etc. Encourage them to use their fingers to count in 10s, by flashing their hands once for 10, twice for 20, and so on.
Learning the 10 Times Table
The first step in teaching this times table is to make sure your child is confident counting up to 100 in 10s (or 120 if your child’s school learns up to the 12th multiple). Practise this with them until they can do it fluently with no mistakes or hesitation.
Visualising the 10 times table:
Next, print off this number square and ask your child to colour all the numbers in the 10 times table (all the ones they have just chanted).
Talk to them about the pattern they have made – what do they notice?
Make sure they notice the following:
*All the numbers end in 0.
*All the numbers in each row begin with the same digit (after 10).
*The first digit in a number under 100 shows how many tens there are in a number.
Next, get them to lay out items in piles of 10 (you can use lego bricks, counters, pennies, or any small item). Ask them to make 12 piles/groups of 10 items.
Pic of pennies in piles of 10.
If you don’t have enough small items, you can show them this visual times table instead.
Show them, by separating the groups, that 1 group of 10 is 10, 2 groups of 10 are 20, and so on. Interchange your vocabulary between ‘groups of’, ‘lots of’ and ‘times’ as you are doing this, so that your child will begin to understand that these mean the same thing. Each time, ask your child to count the number of items in each group, the number of groups, then the number of items altogether. This way they are seeing living proof of the times tables facts, rather than just been told them.
Pic of woman with groups of 10 asking questions about the groups.
Writing the 10 times table:
Tell them that we are going to write these facts down, and when we have, we will have made the 10 times table.
Ask them if they know a symbol that shows ‘groups of’ or ‘lots of’ – hopefully they will remember from school that this can be shown by the X symbol.
Pull one of the piles/groups of 10 items to one side and say ‘1 lot of 10 is 10’. Ask them if they can write this down. Help them, step by step to write:
Pic of 1 x 10 = 10
Explain that where we say ‘is’, we write an equals sign when we write it down.
Next, pull 2 groups of 10 to one side, and help your child to write the first part of the number sentence:
Pic: 2 x 10 =
Ask your child to count how many items there are altogether to complete the number sentence.
(If they don’t need to count, then great! They already know that 2 x 10 is 20).
Continue this process until the whole times table has been written out.
Practising the 2 times table
The next stage is to commit the number facts your child has just learnt to memory. The only way to do this is to keep practising them. However, there are ways you can make this more fun for your child. Singing songs and playing games are just two of the ways you can practise.
Try practicing your times table with this great online game.
Or listen to and sing along with this fun 10 Times Table Song:
Here is the 10 times table on handy cards with which you can play snap, pelmanism and ‘match against the clock’ games: 10 Times Table Cards
Your child may prefer one way of practising over another – as long as they are practising it doesn’t matter which way they do it!
Once they have practised for a bit and think they know their 10 times table, they can test their knowledge with this worksheet.