Wednesday, 26 February 2020 United Kingdom

The 9 times table trick Fun ways to Learn Times Tables

There are so many multiplication tables to learn. It may seem to children that they will never learn all of them! Any help we give them to learn some quickly and without having to memorise them by rote is always going to be helpful. There are fun ways to learn the 9 times tables that will help them to learn the times tables quickly and with a sense of achievement. For many years schools only taught by chanting, but this does not have to be the case anymore. They can now use a  variety of methods to teach the times tables. Maths is about patterns and the more patterns the children can see in the times tables, the easier and quicker they will learn them. Do not just stick to one method but do try and introduced multiple ways to learnt the times tables. Let's not stress them out over times tables. Let's ensure they can understand and learn them quickly.

Method 1 

The one back add to nine method
The numbers in the nine times tables add to make 9 
1: 1 x 9 = 9   ( 9 + 0 =9)
2: 2 x 9 = 18 ( 1 + 8 = 9)
Now look at this - they are one back / or subtract one! 
2 x 9 = 18   ( one backwards from two is one  1.         1 and 8 equals 9)
4  x 9 = 36 ( one backward from four is 3.              3 and 6 equals 9 )

This is 9 times table trick is great for  children that do not like the finger method below. It is easy to learn. Get them to learn the rules and and write them out. Once they have written them a few times, they will be then ready to practice them. It could not be easier. It works up to 9 x 9. After that it gets a bit confusing for them, but most children will member 10, 11 and 12 times nine with a little memory practise. I play a game where I ask my students just to tell me the first number. For example 9 x 7 is 63. They just have to say 6. We are thus learning the times tables slowly and they are smiling. I then move on to say what plus 6 is nine. They then say 3 and we all say the answer is 63.

Method 2

Hand trick nine times tables

1: Hold both hands in front of you and look at your fingers.

2: To find 5 x 9. Count five fingers from the left and hold down that finger.

3: Count all the fingers before the one held down.

4:  Count all the fingers after the one held down 5

5:  The answer is 45. Watch this video for additional help.

This video will talk you through the 9 times tables hand trick. 

Do these methods work?
I have found that children like the hand trick ( method 2) or the one back add to nine (method 1).  I teach 'the one back, add to nine method'  and my students tend to like that. I do not teach the hand method as I always endeavour to guide my students as much as possible from using their hands for any times tables. It really does depend on the student and what they prefer. I have found that after about two weeks they are using method 1 and enjoy it. They then start to memorise most of the numbers and only then use the method when they cannot instantly recall the 9 times tables facts. They sometimes do forget and I have to remind them about the method, but by then they are well on their way to remembering it without having to use the method.

Should you use it in isolation? 
I think all methods are worth an exploration and that the way to learn should, for all students start with the multiples of the times tables. Once this is secure and they understand the concept of the times tables then any teaching other teaching method / aid  that works for that child is good.

The key is not to limit children to only learning the times tables one way. Variety is the spice of life!

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