Singing songs or rhymes with for each of the sets of times tables (or multiplication facts) is fun and enjoyable, but there are drawbacks to this method. When given a question such as 8×6, many students have to sing the whole song all the way through to get to the answer they need. This is slow and inefficient. Not only that, as students get older, going through a rhyme in their head can seem rather juvenile and therefore embarrassing. Another annoying feature is that if the student forgets the answer (gets stuck on the missing word) there is no way of working it out. Worse still is that fact that it slows down students’ thinking processes so that when in the middle of a complicated mathematical process, they have to stop, sing a rhyme then go back to whatever they were doing, if they can remember where they were up to.
The best method is to have instant recall of the times table that is required. Even better is to have not just that number fact on recall but all the related facts (e.g. 8×6, 6×8, 48÷6, 48÷8) known with them, instantly and accurately. Rhymes just don’t do that. Check out our Number Fluency Series which addresses this and will have all students armed with this skill.