Teaching Times Tables: A Guide For Elementary School Teachers From 1st To 5th Grade

Times tables are a crucial math skill that elementary children must learn. In grades 1 and 2, students will learn to skip count by 2’s 5’s and 10’s, laying the foundation for learning the times tables. Throughout grades 3-5, children will begin to formally learn their times tables, starting with the 5 and 10 times tables and gradually adding more times tables up until they know their times tables up to 12. 

With such a focus on elementary students’ learning multiplication times tables it can often be tricky for teachers to create a teaching plan that will really resonate with students and go beyond just repetitive rote memorization. 

At Third Space Learning, we believe in math mastery; going beyond memorization and instilling a deep understanding of math concepts in our students. Our online one-to-one tutoring is specialized to the needs of each individual student and aims to fill gaps in understanding and build confidence in math.

This belief has led us to create this bank of blogs, teacher tips, practice questions, quizzes, activities and resources to support teachers and to help young math learners master their times tables.

Multiplication facts lesson slide
Example of a Third Space Learning online one-to-one lesson slide

When do children learn times tables? 

Children will begin learning skills that will lay the foundation of their multiplication tables in numeracy in 1st grade. In 1st grade children will learn to count in 2s up to the number 20.

2 Times Tables
1 x 2 = 2
2 x 2 = 4
3 x 2 = 6
4 x 2 = 8
5 x 2 = 10
6 x 2 = 12
7 x 2 = 14
8 x 2 = 16
9 x 2 = 18
10 x 2 = 20

In 2nd grade, children will add skip counting to 5s and 10s. This lays the foundation for the 5 and 10 times tables.

5 Times Tables10 Times Tables
1 x 5 = 51 x 10 = 10
2 x 5 = 102 x 10 = 20
3 x 5 = 153 x 10 = 30
4 x 5 = 204 x 10 = 40
5 x 5 = 255 x 10 = 50
6 x 5 = 306 x 10 = 60
7 x 5 = 357 x 10 = 70
8 x 5 = 408 x 10 = 80
9 x 5 = 459 x 10 = 90
10 x 5 = 5010 x 10 = 100
11 x 5 = 5511 x 10 = 110
12 x 5 = 6012 x 10 = 120

In 3rd grade, students are formally introduced to times tables. By the end of 3rd grade, students are expected to know all products of one-digit numbers from memory. 

3 Times Tables4 Times Tables8 Times Tables6 Times Tables7 Times Tables9 Times Tables
1 x 3 = 31 x 4 = 41 x 8 = 81 × 6 = 61 × 7 = 71 x 9 = 9
2 x 3 = 62 x 4 = 82 x 8 = 162 × 6 = 122 × 7 = 142 x 9 = 18
3 x 3 = 93 x 4 = 123 x 8 = 243 × 6 = 183 × 7 = 213 x 9 = 27
4 x 3 = 124 x 4 = 164 x 8 = 324 × 6 = 244 × 7 = 284 x 9 = 36
5 x 3 = 155 x 4 = 205 x 8 = 405 × 6 = 305 × 7 = 355 x 9 = 45
6 x 3 = 186x 4 = 246 x 8 = 486 × 6 = 366 × 7 = 426 x 9 = 54
7 x 3 = 217 x 4 = 287 x 8 = 567 × 6 = 427 × 7 = 497 x 9 = 63
8 x 3 = 248 x 4 = 328 x 8 = 648 × 6 = 488 × 7 = 568 x 9 =72
9 x 3 = 279 x 4 = 369 x 8 = 729 × 6 = 549 × 7 = 639 x 9 = 81
10 x 3 = 3010 x 4 = 4010 x 8 = 8010 × 6 = 6010 × 7 = 7010 x 9 = 90

By the end of 4th grade, students are expected to know their times tables through 12 from memory.

11 Times Tables12 Times Tables
1 x 12 = 111 x 12 = 12
2 x 11 = 222 x 12 = 24
3 x 11 = 333 x 12 = 36
4 x 11 = 444 x 12 = 48
5 x 11 = 555 x 12 = 60
6 x 11 = 666 x 12 = 72
7 x 11 = 777 x 12 = 84
8 x 11 = 888 x 12 = 96
9 x 11 = 999 x 12 = 108
10 x 11 = 11010 x 12 = 120
11 x 11 = 12111 x 12 = 132
12 x 11 = 13212 x 12 = 144

In upper elementary, children are expected to be confident with their multiplication skills and facts and they will move onto more complex calculations, multiplying two-digit and three-digit numbers.

How best to teach the times tables? 

How to teach times tables can vary from teacher to teacher and will depend on the student. However, we’ve worked with experienced elementary teachers to assemble a list of suggestions that we hope will make the task a bit easier and more fun.

Using learning aids

Using manipulatives and learning aids can really help with learning times tables. Take a look at different ways of using a times table chart, or multiplication chart, to explain the concepts of multiplication and division.

Times tables math games

Times table games can also be a fun way of studying math multiplication. More engaging activities can actually be more memorable and help children to recall their multiplication facts.

You can create times tables flashcards and integrate these into mental math games and activities to help children memorize their times tables facts. Take a look at our collection of times tables games and multiplication games for interactive approaches on how to learn times tables beyond math worksheets.

We hope that this collection of times tables practice will come in handy in your elementary math classroom. For more discussions on teaching elementary math content.

How do I teach my 10 year old times tables?

If children are struggling to understand times tables, use manipulatives and visual aids. To strengthen their memory, use times tables math games.

What grade do you learn times tables in the US?

Children start learning their times tables from 1st grade.

Do you have students who need extra support in math?
Give your students more opportunities to consolidate learning and practice skills through personalized math tutoring with their own dedicated online math tutor.

Each student receives differentiated instruction designed to close their individual learning gaps, and scaffolded learning ensures every student learns at the right pace. Lessons are aligned with your state’s standards and assessments, plus you’ll receive regular reports every step of the way.

Personalized one-on-one math tutoring programs are available for:
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8th grade tutoring

Why not learn more about how it works?

The content in this article was originally written by a member of the Content Team at Third Space Learning, Vanessa Sipple-Asher, and has since been revised and adapted for US schools by elementary math teacher Christi Kulesza.

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