The two times table is the table that most teachers start off with. Indeed, most children are quite proficient at counting up in twos (e.g. 2, 4, 6, 8 etc) but this does not seem to be the problem they have when trying to learn the two times table. (Note: counting up in twos is not saying the two times table.)
The problem here is that they lose their place when going through the table (possibly going from ‘three twos are six’ to ‘six twos are… where they have jumped from the line three times two is six to try and continue the table from six twos, missing out four and five times two).
The key to overcoming this is repetitive practice on just the two times table so that the pattern of the first number going up in ones is firmly established. This will make learning every other times table easier - after all it is repeated exactly for all the other times tables. A great way to learn this is to say it with your child and try to get a rhythm into the way it is said. Don’t be surprised if in the early stages children will hold up fingers as a check as to how far the have got through the table.
Another key area of discussion is about which way you should recite the two times table. Should it be:
1 times 2 = 2
2 times 2 = 4
3 times 2 = 6
2 times 1 is 2
2 times 2 is 4
2 times 3 is 6.
The second of these is mathematically speaking correct as 2 x 3 means 2 + 2 + 2 but many teachers prefer the first way, reading 3 times two as three lots of two. Fortunately, because multiplication is commutative, both give the same answer and the important thing is to be consistent across every times table.
We have a considerable selection of worksheets on the two times table, including writing it out in words using both the above approaches, as well as many pages completing answers and speed checks. Also, if you have the Flash Player installed our multiplication games are a great way to practise.