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### Finger Multiplication for the 9s

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Date: 06/10/98 at 10:29:16
From: Samantha
Subject: Math

I don't know my 6, 7, 8,and 9's times tables. Can you help?

Yours truly,
Samantha
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Date: 06/12/98 at 23:05:52
From: Doctor Becky
Subject: Re: Math

Hi Samantha!

Memorizing stuff can be a big pain. Luckily though, there are ways to
make memorization easier. When I was learning my times tables, my
teacher taught me a special trick for learning the 9's. Here's how it
works:

Hold your two hands together so that all of your ten fingers are out
in front of you. Give your fingers numbers from 1 to 10 from left to
right, so the pinky on your left hand is 1, and the ring finger is 2.
Keep going like that. (Your left hand thumb is 5, your right hand
thumb is 6 ... all the way up to your right hand pinky, which is 10.)

Now think of what number you want to multiply by 9. Let's choose 4 as
an example. The number you are multiplying by 9 is 4, so fold down
your fourth finger (The index finger on your left hand.)  Now look at
your two hands. See how there are 3 fingers up, then 1 down, then 6
more up? We read this as 4 times 9 is 36.

Try it again, this time with 6. Fold down your 6th finger (Your right
hand thumb.) See how there are 5 fingers up, then one down, then 4
more up: 9 times 6 is 54.

Do you see the pattern? You look at the number of fingers to the left
side of the folded down finger to find out what number is in the 10s
column of the answer, and you look to the right of the folded down
finger to find the number in the ones column.

That trick only works for the 9's. I wish I had tricks like that for
the other ones too, but I don't. All I can say is keep trying.

When I memorize stuff I like to use flash cards. Have you tried that?
Sometimes they help a lot. Other times I like to write things down
over and over again or say them out loud to myself over and over until
I remember them. Remember, don't try to memorize too much at once.
You will just get more confused and frustrated. Try memorizing just
one or two things a day. Also, it's great that you are getting help

Keep up the good work. Good luck!

-Doctor Becky,  The Math Forum
Check out our web site! http://mathforum.org/dr.math
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Associated Topics:
Elementary Multiplication

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