There are 3 free PDF different worksheets available depending upon the child’s level of difficulty.
Before we do detail the contents of what’s inside each of the math worksheets, let’s look at how best we can teach this mathematical concept of multiplication.
How to teach multiplication?
Just as the concept of addition helps with determining the sum of at least two clusters of objects, multiplication helps with determining the sum of groups of equal sizes.
For example, if I have 3 apples in each box and there are 3 boxes, how many apples do I have altogether?
If children are familiar with addition they would work out the following word problem by using a technique such as:\(3 + 3 + 3 = 9\)
Which is the correct procedure and provides the correct answer.
However, math was designed to shortcut lengthy process. With our word problem involving apples, what if there were more boxes? Instead of just 3 boxes we had 6 boxes, how many apples in total now?
The child knowing they had achieved the correct process in achieving the answer previously, should then expand their process to:\(3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 18\)
From here it’s important to move to a completely set of objects, but which uses the same numbers. Just as we show that 1 object added to another object produces the sum of two objects all the time regardless of object, so too must you show that the multiplication of \(3 \times 3 = 9\) regardless of object will always produce the answer of 9.
A great little video illustrating this concept is shown here:
How to Learn the Times Table Quickly
The best way I have found to teach the times table is to have the child memorise it and to then check for understanding by asking random questions.
A good way to do this is by printing out our times tables PDF below, cutting out each individual group and then clipping them together with a little bulldog office clip (paper clips tend to slip off).
Now that you have printed out the times table all that is needed is to find opportune moments for your child to learn them.
I have found learning the times table in the car to be one of the best ways to learn times tables as fast as possible, because it’s surprising how much time we spend in the car and all we’re doing is staring out the window listening to the radio! Why not spend that time learning the times table?
To get this practice started, simply, do the following:
- Print out the above template
- Cut it so that you have 12 pieces
- Bind them all together using a sturdy bulldog clip to clamp it all together
- Hand it to your child and ask them to start reading out aloud what they see in front of them. Just focus on one sheet at a time. For example have them recite their 1 times table: “1 times 1 is 1. 2 times 1 is 2. 3 times 3 is 3…” etc
- After they’ve finished reading out aloud what they see, get them to do it again.
- As you begin repeating for the third or fourth time the 1 times tables, as an example, ask if they could possibly repeat the 1 times table without looking at the sheets. (The 1 times table would certainly be the second easiest times table to complete, 0 times table being the easiest!).
By doing this exercise in the car you will be quite surprised at how quickly your child will be able to get through the entire times table. Some children, such as our eldest, took a little longer than what we thought, but our second child completed the entire times table in no more than 3 weeks!
One other tip when undertaking this task with having your child learn their times table in the car is that you might want to go in an order that gives them confidence as they progress. By reflecting on how well they’re doing by getting through the work, it helps to provide impetus in continuing and getting through the task.
Here’s an order that worked quite well for us:
- 9x – each result’s digits add up to nine (eg. \(3 \times 9 = 27… 2 + 7 = 9\)
- 11x – it’s not difficult, except \(11 \times 11 & 12 \times 11\)
Of course we cannot forget doing the 0 times table, feel free to throw this one in by teasing them that this is the hardest one of them all!
What Do You Mean “Learning Multiplication is Hard”?
As you can see, learning multiplication isn’t that hard. What tends to happen when learning this concept is that we get too bogged down in trying to explain either why we multiply or what the concept of multiplication is. Sure, it’s great to know this stuff, be as we don’t have a lot of time we need to spend that on learning how to multiply.
If we have the time we can certainly see where it’s applied, why we use it and what multiplication is all about, but let’s not waste time. Children can grow to appreciate math when they have the confidence in getting the work done quickly and easily.
How to Ask Multiplication Questions
Now that your child has begun to memorise their multiplication tables it’s time to check their ability by having them do some worksheets by themselves.
The free worksheets below are of the following types:
- Vertical styled questions
- Horizontal styled questions
- Questions using numbers ranging from 0-5
- Questions using numbers ranging from 0-12
The reason for the change in question format (horizontal and vertical) is to test their true multiplication skills and flexibility with tackling multiplication problems.
Your child needs to know that the same question \(5 \times 4\) can be structured like that, or like this:\(5 \\ \times \\ 4\)
The reason for breaking up the worksheets with two different ranges of numbers asked is so that you can start once they’ve completed the first 5 digits and zero.
The Biggest Problem with Regular Math Worksheets
One of the worst things regular math worksheets do is that they usually have a great big heading at the top of the page that already contextualises the work that the students will be doing on this sheet, for example, emblazoned at the top for these worksheets would be the words:
“Single Digit Multiplication”
This similarly occurs within a regular math class too: a teacher at the beginning of the class will tell the children,
“Today boys and girls, we will be learning basic multiplication and doing single digit multiplication, here are your worksheets…”Math Teacher at Some School Somewhere Every Day
The students know they are in math class, and if the purpose of performing an informal test was to check their ability you should give them a worksheet without any prompting or form of context at all!
Therefore, be very mindful when printing these worksheets out that they are context free for a reason. After printing these worksheets out have your child sit down, and do them. Don’t prompt them for at least the first 5 minutes. Let them try to figure out that the questions are not addition, nor subtraction, it’s just plain multiplication.
Certainly if they struggle in the first couple of goes help guide them, but after when you feel they can identify and answer appropriately you shouldn’t need to prompt them any further.
(No answer keys are provided)