It’s not news that children need to master their math facts, whether they’re preparing for a high-stakes test or simply building a solid foundation for future math success. If your children will be taking the ISEE or SSAT, it’s especially critical that they know their times tables instantaneously, as the timing of both exams is designed to be spent on problem solving, not calculations.
Indeed, students must know their times tables backwards and forwards and inside and out. Since different kids respond to different approaches, trying something new – or a combination of activities – can help keep kids motivated and make things a bit more fun. Fortunately, after years of ISEE and SSAT test prep experience, I’ve found a variety of colorful and kinesthetic ways for kids to conquer multiplication tables, including:
For Hands-On Learners
The Big Multiplication Pop-It chart! Perfect for sensory-seeking students, this poppable times tables chart is a playful blend of hands-on practice and fidgety fun. Simply call out a multiplication problem or show your child a flashcard, then watch as they find and “pop” the correct response. $12.99 on Amazon.
For Online Learners:
IXL.com is an immersive online learning experience offering practice in just about every math skill area, including times tables. Students take the timed tests, then challenge themselves to beat their own time. Subscription starts at $9.95 per month.
For Puzzle Lovers:
Times Tables Games for Clever Kids includes more than 100 playful puzzles that build multiplication mastery and it’s perfectly portable for practice on the go, in the car, at the restaurant, or when there’s a few minutes to spare, anywhere! $11.73 on Amazon.
For Physical Kids:
If your kiddos are best when in motion, physical times tables might be for you. Show your children a times table fact, then challenge them to respond using their body to create the numbers in the answer. Watch with joy as they twist themselves into 4s, 5s, and all the digits they need. Hilarious fun for kids and parents – and it’s free!
For Creative Kids:
Your awesome artists might enjoy Math Art + Drawing Games for Kids. This creative take on math practice features more than 40 hands-on art activities that build math numeracy as kids color and create. $11.99 on Amazon – also available for Kindle.
For Theater Arts Kids:
Kids with stage presence can sing their way to multiplication mastery! Scroll down this Teachers Pay Teachers blog to find skip counting songs that make learning multiples a snap, like Mary Had a Little Lamb for practicing sevens and Jingle Bells for 12s.
For the Rebels in the Room:
Order a set of washable markers and let your kiddos go to town writing their math facts on your car windows, refrigerator, or any other non-porous surface! When they’re done, simply wipe the surface off and begin again. $14.88 on Amazon.
For the Snacky Students:
Flash your student a times table fact, then see how quickly they can create the answer out of M&Ms! Whether or not they get to eat the M&Ms, well…that’s up to you!
With so many ways to practice times tables, there’s bound to be one that resonates with your child! Start practicing today to tackle this essential step toward ISEE and SSAT success.