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The Easiest Way for Mastering Your 9s Times Table

Learning your times table needn't be anywhere near as hard and time-consuming as most people experience. Not because they're stupid, but because the traditional approach to learning them is!

This is certainly not intended to be an attack on those fine parents and teachers who know no better than to put their young ones through the age-old process. But bear with me and see why I believe it's time we shake this whole thing up!

As you read this article, bear in mind there is a very subtle difference between memorizing and remembering tables.


Note 1

These notes are just as relevant to all kinds of learner, both male and female, from children and teens to adults of all ages as numeracy is an issue which many people struggle with well beyond their school years. The application may vary however depending on which group you fit into, just like it may vary according to each person's preferred learning style and specific strengths.

Getting to grips with the times table is a fundamental part of one's numeracy, which is just as important in school, college or university as it is in latter days when you consider how it affects your employability and competence at managing ones personal finances and building wealth.

Taking these ideas into account may lead to different conclusions when considering the times table for children or specifically boys and girls.

Note 2

How do we measure multiplication mastery? Is it about memorizing a small grid of times table answers? If so, would a grid of up to 10x10 really constitute mastery, or would that accolade only apply for those who manage to memorize the answers from a 12x12 times table? Or perhaps it should be held back for those succeeding up to 20x20 or 100x100?

No! I don't think multiplication mastery is about memorization at all. That would be memorization mastery, but not multiplication mastery. It would be useful for parlour tricks like memorizing shuffled packs of playing cards. But mutiplication is a skill in itself. After all, we didn't master addition by memorizing the answers to a bunch of addition problems did we? If we had, we would likely be able to handle addition problems like 7+8 yet be totally incapable of solving problems like 72+15 in our heads, and would be totally dependent on a pocket calculator for such heady problems.

One of the problems with most method-based approaches to the times table is that each method (e.g. the 'fingers' method for the nines) is that each individual method solves part of the overall table of multiplication problems, but that the rest of the table needs to be covered by other individual methods. A fully comprehensive approach, however, addresses the times table entirely, without leaving any gaps.

See here for more information about how to take this into account kids, teens and adults.

Note 3

To be clear, you need to define what you mean by 'easiest':

For example, it's surely important to take account of as many as possible of the following:

Are you desiring something that's easy to do, makes those times table answers easy to remember and easy to recall, easy to apply in other areas of mathematics and in real life situations, easy to retain over the longer term, or simply an approach that's best matched to your personal learning style to make the learning process easy?

The Easiest Way for Mastering Your 9s Times Table

Study Multiplication

Here is a breakdown of the 9 times table. With the Numba Ninja System, each multiplication problem has a specific key, and this is underlined for each problem here:

9 times table: up to 12 x 9

0 x 9 = 0
1 x 9 = 9
2 x 9 = 18
3 x 9 = 27
4 x 9 = 36
5 x 9 = 45
6 x 9 = 54
7 x 9 = 63
8 x 9 = 72
9 x 9 = 81
10 x 9 = 90
11 x 9 = 99
12 x 9 = 108

Study Ideas

When learning the times table by rote, plain parrot-fashion repetition only taps into the oral experience. This is far less powerful for most people than things that we experience visually. For this reason, pictures can often be used to support rote-learning especially if the mind is able to recall a strong visual image that clearly hooks the multiplication problem to the answer.

Also, be aware of why many people consider the times table to be limited to 12 x 12 when, in this decimal era the number 12 seems a rather strange limit. But this goes back to the days of counting in dozens (e.g. 12 inches in a foot) when an English shilling was worth 12 pennies.

In the Numba Ninja System of mental multiplication, for the 9 times table, when 9 is chosen as the key, the Hashtag is the picture story that is used.

When 9 is not the chosen key however, other picture stories are used as appropriate.

Teaching Ideas