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### Tips for Learning Multiplication Tables

```
Date: 08/13/98 at 11:50:17
From: Leah McGillicary
Subject: Times tables

I am going into grade 8 and have great difficulty with my 4 times
table and also 6,7,8,9 times tables. What do I do? Help!
```

```
Date: 08/13/98 at 12:44:01
From: Doctor Rick
Subject: Re: Times tables

Hi, Leah -

Things are far from hopeless. There are lots of ways to memorize
things like the multiplication tables. Which one will work best
depends on you. Think about how you learn other things best, and what
you like best. People learn in different ways. For instance:

- Are you visual? Make a copy of this multiplication table. (Find one
number at the left and the other at the top; their product is found
where that row and column meet.) Some people get so they can
visualize the table in their heads.

1 | 2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10  11  12
--+------------------------------------------
2 | 4   6   8  10  12  14  16  18  20  22  24
|
3 | 6   9  12  15  18  21  24  27  30  33  36
|
4 | 8  12  16  20  24  28  32  36  40  44  48
|
5 |10  15  20  25  30  35  40  45  50  55  60
|
6 |12  18  24  30  36  42  48  54  60  66  72
|
7 |14  21  28  35  42  49  56  63  70  77  84
|
8 |16  24  32  40  48  56  64  72  80  88  96
|
9 |18  27  36  45  54  63  72  81  90  99 108
|
10 |20  30  40  50  60  70  80  90 100 110 120
|
11 |22  33  44  55  66  77  88  99 110 121 132
|
12 |24  36  48  60  72  84  96 108 120 132 144

- Do you learn what you listen to? You could make a tape, "Two times
two is four. Two times three is six. ..." (or just pick out the ones
that give you trouble.) Play it over and over, while you're washing
dishes or whatever.

- Maybe writing it out over and over will help. You could even get
artistic.

- Maybe doing numbers in different colors or odd shapes will make them

- Do you learn best by doing? You need to do lots of real problems.
You could try to fool yourself. Make up a multiplication table and
put it on a piece of cardboard at your homework desk. As you do
problems, look up at the table - really quickly, as if you're
cheating. As it becomes a habit, maybe soon you won't really be
looking at all!

- Are you process-oriented - you like it when one thing follows
another? Think of multiplication by four as counting by four.
Hear it in your head like a marching song: 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, ...
With practice, you won't have to go through the whole thing, just
fast-forward to the right number.

- Are you the social type? Maybe you need to enlist some friends or
family. Make up games. Make it fun.

- Are you the logical type? Look carefully at the table above. Find
patterns. For instance, you listed 9s as difficult, but there is an
easy pattern. Every number in the 9 row has digits that add up to
9: 1+8, 2+7, ... The first digit is one less than the number you're
multiplying by 9. If that helps you, use it! Elevens are a cinch,
too, at least until you reach 10.

- If, try as you might, there are still some numbers you can't
remember, you can always find ways to fill in the gaps. If you can't
remember 6 times 7, maybe you can remember 7 times 6 - and it's the
same thing, of course! If I have trouble with 6 times 7, I might say
to myself, "6 times 7 is 5 sevens plus another 7. Five sevens is 35,
add 7 to get 42." There's nothing wrong with that - it's slower than
just knowing it right out, but do whatever you need to do ...

You can search the Dr. Math Archives for "multiplication tables" to
find some more hints. You aren't alone! Here are some answers that I
found in the Archives:

http://mathforum.org/dr.math/problems/harri1.6.97.html
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/problems/muller2.26.96.html

What you do is limited only by your own imagination and your
determination. You sound pretty determined, so don't lose hope. I'll
be interested to hear what works for you.

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

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