Free Times Tables Worksheets

There are lots of people searching Times Tables worksheets on the internet, according to Google.

And there are lots of sites offering such worksheets.

So here is a small contribution. Every time this post is displayed a new set of questions will be randomly generated in the table below.  Note there may be some  duplicates, that can happen with random numbers.


Times Tables Worksheets Spreadsheet

Here is an Excel spreadsheet which will generate times tables worksheets.

There are two worksheets

  • One generates questions from all tables from 0 × 0 to 12 × 12. Whilst it’s not usual to learn 0 × table I like to include it as it’s really easy – all the answers are 0. The 1 x table is not much harder.
  • The other allows you to select a number and all the questions will be specific to that table

Personally I am not a big fan of such worksheets, particularly when your children are starting to learn tables.

The biggest advantage you have when working with someone directly is you can respond to their answers.

So if some questions are easy you can move on.

If some questions are hard or impossible to answer you can explore why.

Worksheets do not offer this flexibility.

To ask a times table question all that is needed is to choose 2 numbers between 0 and 12, for example

3 × 7

In Starting Arithmetic I provide times tables templates which I recommend your children fill in to explore and create their own personal copies of the Times Tables.  These templates are shown in learning times tables and in tips for helping your children learn times tables

Once your children have worked out their own copies of the tables you can at first ask them questions whilst they are actually looking at what they have worked out.

Then you can ask whilst their tables are in sight but they are not actually looking at them.

But what numbers to multiply?

If you concentrating on learning one table at a time that fixes one of the numbers,
for the other you just have to choose a number between 0 and 12.

You could

  • step forwards from 0, 1 at a time
  • step backwards from 12, 1 step at a time
  • step forwards 2,3,4… at a time
  • step backwards from 12 in steps of 2,3,4… at a time
  • choose a number in somewhere in the middle, say 6, and then alternately choose numbers higher and lower than this
  • throw to 2 dice to get a number between 2 and 12
  • use the RandBetween spreadsheet function which is available in Excel, OpenOffice and Google Docs. This is how I created the spreadsheet which generates times tables worksheets.

Whatever method you use

  • ask the same question several times in a session, although you should get the same answer each time it is common to get different answers.
  • ask the questions both ways around so if you ask 2 × 3 also ask 3 × 2.
    Stress both these questions have the same answer as times tables answers are ALWAYS the same which ever way around the numbers are.

Perhaps by now you will agree that coming up with questions is not that hard, it’s just a matter of doing it. A bit like going for a run or going to the gym. And like going to the gym, short regular sessions are better than a long session every now and then, when you try and make up for the sessions you’ve missed.

Also it is important to not worry about how well things go on any particular day, but trust that by doing the work, over time improvement will come naturally.

I have left the most important thing to last. Although answering questions helps build knowledge and understanding there is something more important. And that is to learn a definite method for working out answers if you get stuck.

In the worst case you can just step forward 1 step at a time in groups of whatever number you are multiplying.  So 3 × 4 would be counted

  • 1 2 3
  • 4 5 6
  • 7 8 9
  • 10 11 12

This might seem like a lot of work, but it is guaranteed to work, and this is how some children handle questions when they first start. Also it probably takes less than 10 seconds to do. This the crux of the matter.  Children can wait a minute or two for the answer to just pop into their head. This is pointless, if they haven’t got the answer after 2 or 3 seconds they should start working it out as this will almost certainly be quicker than just waiting.

Later when they get to know their tables a bit, and/or get better at adding they may just go

3 6 9 12

Both these methods will always work, so there is never any reason to just wait in silence for the answer to arrive. If they don’t know the answer they should work it out and you should encourage them to do so.  Out loud is best, that way you know how they are tacking the problem.

Now it would be be possible to work out numbers further up the times table using either of these methods but it would be a lot of work and hence error prone. Imagine working out 12 × 12 by counting forward 1 at a time!

Fortunately there is a short cut. Some of the tables are much easier than others. I would count

  • 2 x
  • 5 x
  • 9 x
  • 10 x
  • 11 x

as easy, though 9 x and 11 x are harder when the answers are over 100.

Many questions may have one or both numbers from the ‘easy list’.

But there will be some, such as 6 x 7, where this is not so. The thing to do here is to go to the nearest ‘easy’ table
and then either add on, or step forward 1 at a time.

For 6 x 7, the closest ‘easy table’ is 5x.

5 x 7 is 35 and 6 x 7 will be 7 more than this.

The simplest way is to step forward 1 at a time 7 steps – 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41 and 42.

Usually children find stepping forward easier than adding. But by the time they are learning 6x and 7x times tables they will be able to add two numbers that sum to less than 20. So they will know that

5 + 7 = 12

So you could encourage them along the adding path by saying something like

As 5 + 7 = 12  has a 2 in units
the answer for 35 + 7 must also have a 2 in the units
As 5 + 7 = 12  has a 1 in tens
the answer for 35 + 7 must also be 1 more in the tens than 35,
so a 4 in the tens and 2 in the units is 42

This may seem like more effort than stepping forward 1 at a time but with practice it will be come easier and more fluent until finally it is automatic.

The worst case is 8 x 8 which might involve adding on from 5 x 8 3 times.

It is simpler to say
5 x 8 = 40
3 x 8 = 24
so 8 x 8 = 40 + 24 = 64

Alternatively 8 x 9 is 72 so 8 x 8 is 8 less than 72
Then work the answer out by subtraction or stepping backwards.

However children tend to find subtraction harder, which ever method they have used to do it. Often by the time they’ve become comfortable with subtracting 8 from 72 they already know what 8 x 8 is!

In summary if your children learn a method they can always work the answer out.

If they rely on memory, or the answer just popping into their heads when memory fails or nothing pops they are stuck.

Enjoy your times tables worksheets.

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