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The Easiest Way for Studying Your 5s Times Table - for Adults

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.

Notes

Note 1

These notes are as relevant for adults as for anyone else but many adults are particularly embarrassed about failing to master the times table as a child. If they then become parents, this problem can come back to haunt them over and over as their own children require support in this area and it can be difficult for some adults to admit weaknesses like this to their children.

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

Note 2

When you take the approach of developing mental multiplication skill to address the need for solving problems listed in the times table, it is really helpful to develop a strategy of identifying the fastest (normally the easiest) route to solving any particular multiplication problem. By doing this at outset, the steps required to arrive at the final answer to the multiplication problem are much easier to handle, and can often be run through at a speed similar to that with which rote-learning students are able to recall the answers from memory.

With practice, the speed difference can be so negligible that any observer may think that you are recalling answers from memory, and certainly with greater confidence in the accuracy of answers.

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 Studying Your 5s Times Table - for Adults

Study Multiplication

Here is a breakdown of the 5 times table. With the Numba Ninja System, each multiplication problem has a specific key, and this is underlined for each problem here:

5 times table: up to 12 x 5

0 x 5 = 0
1 x 5 = 5
2 x 5 = 10
3 x 5 = 15
4 x 5 = 20
5 x 5 = 25
6 x 5 = 30
7 x 5 = 35
8 x 5 = 40
9 x 5 = 45
10 x 5 = 50
11 x 5 = 55
12 x 5 = 60

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 5 times table, when 5 is chosen as the key, the Scissors is the picture story that is used.

When 5 is not the chosen key however, other picture stories are used as appropriate.

Teaching Ideas