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Memorizing Multiplication Facts


Date: 02/25/2001 at 19:47:13
From: Kelsey Finchen
Subject: Memorizing Multiplication Facts

I can't remember my multiplication facts. I have flash cards, but they  
don't work. Can you heip me?


Date: 02/27/2001 at 18:01:40
From: Doctor Ian
Subject: Re: Memorizing Multiplication Facts

Hi Kelsey,

Ultimately, memorization comes from familiarity, but it's usually a 
good idea to avoid trying to learn too much at one time. So if I were 
you, I would start with a very small table of facts:

  *   1   2   3
    +------------  
  1 | 1   2   3  
    |
  2 | 2   4   6
    |
  3 | 3   6   9

Make sure you know this table _cold_... and then add _one_ more number 
to the table:

  *   1   2   3   4
    +---------------
  1 | 1   2   3   4
    |
  2 | 2   4   6   8
    |
  3 | 3   6   9  12
    |
  4 | 4   8  12  16


The table looks a little more imposing, but you'll already know most 
of it from the previous step, so you're really only learning a few 
more facts. 

When you know _this_ table cold, then add one more number, and keep 
going. Before you know it, you'll be up to 10 by 10.  

It might help to note that each row is the series of numbers that you 
get when you 'count by 2', or 'count by 3', and so on:

  *   1   2   3   4
    +---------------
  1 | 1   2   3   4    <-  Counting by 1's
    |
  2 | 2   4   6   8    <-  Counting by 2's
    |
  3 | 3   6   9  12    <-  Counting by 3's
    |
  4 | 4   8  12  16    <-  Counting by 4's


So if you practice counting 'by' various numbers, that will give you 
some familiarity with the facts for that number, even though it may 
not feel like you're really learning anything.  

If the tables start looking too big, remember that the order in which 
you multiply numbers doesn't matter, so you can really ignore almost 
half the table:

  *   1   2   3   4
    +---------------
  1 | 1   2   3   4
    |
  2 |     4   6   8
    |
  3 |         9  12
    |
  4 |            16


You can find more tips in the Dr. Math FAQ, at

  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/faq.learn.multiply.html   

I hope this helps.  Write back if you'd like to talk about this some 
more, or if you have any other questions. 

- Doctor Ian, The Math Forum
  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/   
    
Associated Topics:
Elementary Multiplication

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