Learning times tables facts using iPads

Learning your times tables is one of the most important and fundamental aspects of Numeracy. It spreads right through the Numeracy curriculum and without a solid understanding and quick recall can leave children struggling in many other aspects of maths.

There have been many different methods and ways suggested for children to learn their tables but it is sometimes hard to justify to a 6/7 year old why they need to know them. However if you say that by knowing their tables they are able to save the world, it certainly gets a different reaction!

There are possibly hundreds of different apps on the market for children to practise times tables and I have probably only used a fraction of what is out there, but the reaction from the children from using these apps have been amazing! They are eager to know their times tables, they feel a need to learn them and most are using the apps at home. 

One of my favourite things to start a lesson with is a little bit of Times Tables rapping. 

After a recent inset from Numeracy consultant Anthony Reddy, he showed the teachers how music can be used to help children remember different maths facts. He recommended using Dave Godfrey's Number Fun songs! Every since we have been dancing and singing away while learning different maths facts.
I asked the children who could recite their nine times tables? 1 x 9 = 9, 2 x 9 = 18....
We then used the Autorap app. The Autorap app allows you to record a conversation of someone talking or rapping  and remix it into a catchy hip hop tune through mixing and autotune!
The children absolutely loved hearing back the songs and even could recite the facts using them! I am sure after listening a few times the facts would stick and be remembered easily!
I then repeated the exercise with the six times tables, again the rap is generated in seconds and there are loads of different free tracks to choose from, the children were bopping away to their times tables!! Listen to some examples of hip hop times tables songs here:

Another great way to start the lesson is by using the Squeebles Times Tables app. The app has different tasks including focusing on a specific times table or mixing it up to identify which times table needs working on or for the next step looking at questions where the tables have been reversed 5 x ____ = 20 for example.

This is a great way for children to identify which tables they need to focus on and can get instant feedback about whether they are right. They can test themselves over and over and are rewarded with new icons, themes and other rewards.

One of the children's most favourite apps for then using their times tables knowledge in a game context is using the app Math Evolve!  An app with plenty of accolades it truly is a fantastic and engaging way for children to practise all their number facts not just multiplication. With different levels of difficulty and plenty of different challenges, it has the children focused on numeracy without them even knowing!

There are plenty of other similar game type apps that are great for children quick recall of times tables facts. The children love using these games as they are entertained and are using their knowledge of times tables in a context which is relevant to them. The following apps are all great for providing children with the chance to practise their quick recall of multiplication facts and most are not strictly multiplication but also addition, subtraction and division:

Maths vs Zombies


Math Bingo

The next step once the children have a solid understanding of their times tables is to then look at the relationship with division and also introduce terms such as prime, multiples and factors. Again there are some really useful apps that can help children understand these ideas in interesting ways.

 Numeracy Basics  - has some fantastic tools to help within Numeracy lessons, such as a clock, number line, magnet numbers and a times tables square but also a 100 square. When looking at primes, we started by establishing some rules for knowing if a number is a multiple of others - if it is even its in the 2s, ends in a 5 or 0 is in the 5s etc. The task was then for the children to identify all the prime number from 1-100 and highlight on the grid. They could then take a screenshot and print it and marked. Once the children have established the idea of primes again you can then put it into a game context for them to pracise.

Factor Samurai - is a great app for this. Similar to fruit ninja, children have to slice the numbers, however they must only slice number which have more than 2 multiples. If they slice a prime number they lose a life. The game has three levels of difficulty and really does test the children's understanding of which numbers are prime.

Divisibility Dash Solitaire - This is another useful app to test the children's understanding of multiples and numbers in certain times tables. The children are given a number and have to make 2 digit multiples of that number, but they must work quick, more number are added after a certain time. If they get a multiple wrong it turns to stone and the game ends if the numbers reach the top. This was a great activity done with Year 5 which had them completely enthralled and testing their understanding of times tables in a different way. A way that made them really apply their number facts knowledge carefully.


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