I would say without any shadow of a doubt it is a good knowledge of times tables if I were to be asked the most important skill associated with passing external examinations at age 16 or thereabouts. During the 30 years of my teaching career, I actually have encounter a lot of students (both in schools so when private students) who do not know their times tables at age 16 sufficiently so that you can calculate such things as a fifth of 45 or perhaps the total period of 8 ropes, each 4.5 metres long. – times tables games
The points I make have universal relevance across the whole world, even though i write as a teacher in the UK, so my examples relate specifically to this country. There exists a system of examinations now in which there exists nearly always a calculator examination paper along with a non-calculator paper at each and every level from age twelve. So a good knowledge of tables is definitely needed in the non-calculator paper, but is of great benefit in the calculator paper too, as knowing that seven eights is fifty six is much less time consuming than having to press the appropriate buttons on a calculator. Inside an examination, seconds count.
A moment’s thought will reveal lots of the instances where times tables are employed. Every money symptom in any currency involving a multiplication ($12.67 x 9) or division (Discover the average of $34.50, $33.60, $59.90 and $46.80) uses times tables. Percentages (Find 17% of 12.50), fractions (cancel 45/75 to the lowest terms), geometry (find the internal angles of the regular octagon), algebra (expand 7a(3a 6b 9c)) and speed problems (get the average speed of the car that travelled 960 kilometres in 8 hours) are just some of the various more examples to be found on examination papers.
Just one way of practising times tables is always to complete random tables squares, i.e. tables squares wherein the numbers 1-10 are distributed randomly across the top of the the table and along the left-hand side. I am currently working with a number of 9 and 8 year olds inside a local primary school, a number of whom can already complete this kind of table correctly in about five minutes. At sixteen yrs old, the fantastic most of students will be able to easily beat that period – and acquire every one of them correct, of course.
The question of whether times tables from 1 to 10 is plenty often crops up. Should youngsters be aware of eleven and twelve times tables? If you live in a mostly metric country, 1 to 10 is sufficient for all examination work and I would then concentrate on learning the square numbers up to 20 x 20 as these are very useful for Pythagoras’ Theorem. If you live in a country still using inches and feet for everyday measurements, then you will probably need to learn tables up to 12 x 12.
So, if you or your youngsters are taking external examination some time soon, the one thing you could do to improve your performance more than anything else is to get those tables truly and well in the old brain box! – times tables games
Alan Young has been a teacher of mathematics for thirty years in both high and primary schools. they have worked inside the private as well as the public sector and coached a huge number of private students in this subject.
He has been in charge of a large amount of mathematics material that is certainly being utilized in over 18,000 schools throughout the uk and abroad.
Alan has two kids of his own, three foster children (now adult) along with a stepson, so has brought up six teenagers altogether.