Mastering Multiplication Table (Part 1)

This article was 1st appeared here as a guest post.  I have reproduced a new edition.  Part 2 of Mastering Multiplication Table is here.

Source: Ministry of Education, Singapore

As you can see from the table above, your child needs to master the full set of multiplication tables by Primary 3 (Grade 3). It is quite daunting if your Primary school-goer is still struggling with addition & subtraction, & is still using fingers to count.

I am constantly looking out for ways to make learning easier for my son AJ, who is a Primary school-goer. So I devised my own method to teach him the multiplication tables, which is what I am going to share with you here.

Before you start on this, you should ensure that your child has a good understanding on sets of group of numbers.  Do use sticks or beads to create the visual impact to help your child understand that.  Once he/she has a good understanding on sets of group of numbers, you may try this 'drilling' method.

My son, AJ, is an auditory & visual learner, so this method will probably not suit a child who is a kinaesthetic learner.

Multiplication of 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s & 10s
These should be mastered by Primary 2 (Grade 2) since it is in the Primary 2 Math syllabus. To handle these, the child must know sequencing of numbers (preferably beyond 100), & even & odd numbers very well.

Multiplication of 2s
Every even number is the answer to any whole number multiplied by 2. By constantly revising with the child on even numbers, he/she should be able to master multiplication of 2s quickly.

Playing game like hop scotch might help kinaesthetic learners.


Multiplication of 4s
Knowing even numbers helps not just in the Multiplication of 2s, it helps in the Multiplication of 4s too. Teach the child to skip every alternate even number, & that would be the Multiplication of 4s. It takes a little more practice but the child should be able to grasp the concept if his foundation on odd & even numbers is strong.  Use visual aid like number chart if you need to, otherwise DIY number cards will do the trick too.

Try doing this like playing a game.  It will make learning less boring.

Multiplication of 3s
Unfortunately, there is no short cut to this. It has to be memorised. However, you could split the time table into bite sizes to ease digestion. For example, the 1st set to memorise is 1×3, 2×3, 3×3, 4×3 & 5×3. The 2nd set is 6×3 & 7×3. Then the last set 8 x 3, 9×3 & 10×3.

Multiplication of 5s & 10s.


Do you have a number chart like this at home? If not, make one, download it or buy one. It is extremely useful. You can use this to teach sequencing of numbers, odd and even numbers, addition, subtraction, & of course, multiplication as well!

To teach multiplication of 5s & 10s, 1st, colour every number that ends with a 5 on this chart using 1 colour. Then, for every 10s, split the square into half. Colour the first half the same colour as the previous (5s). Colour the next half with another colour.

Teach the child Multiplication of 10s 1st, as it is easier. Highlight to him/her that the multiplication of 10 means placing a ‘0’ behind the number
Example: 2×10
= placing a ‘0’ behind 2
= 20

Show him/her the number chart that you have coloured. At one glance, your child should be able to observe the colour, thus, it makes it easy to pick up multiplication of 10.

Then you move on to Multiplication of 5s. Use 2 of your palms. Show your child 5 fingers, and say ‘5’. Show him/her 2 palms (that makes 10 fingers) & say ‘10’. Show 5 fingers again, and say ‘15’. Show him/her 2 palms & say ‘20’. Go on until 50. Do this set of exercise the 2nd time but this time show the number chart as well.

With the help of colour coding, the child should be able to register the multiplication of 5s both verbally & visually in quite a short while.

Do try out & let me know if these techniques work for your child.

Part 2 of Mastering Multiplication Table is here.



  1. Wow! I do know that I and others who were schooled in the era that I was, know our times tables very well - and my grandchildren aged 11 and 13 are still impressed with my knowledge!!! We learned by rote, and repeated over and over until it was "stuck in our heads". Rote learning lost favour - and now children can't remember their tables. Keep up the good work.

    1. I still use rote learning when it comes to Arithmetic, Di. I have thought that there was the best way :)

  2. Useful post...Bookmarked as I can show my lil one when he grows up :)

  3. nice one. a very useful post. this reminds me of my classes that i used to take for nieces

  4. It's good that they are still encouraged to learn times tables! :)


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