More of our quest to master the multiplication facts! This time we’re working on times nine.

(It seems to me that being able to sprawl on the floor to work on a project is a huge benefit of homeschooling! Do you use the floor a lot like we do?)

Basically my strategy for x9 was to help Sprite see the **pattern **in the products by actually **placing **the digits in their correct spots. I’ve *shown *her this before, but somehow it didn’t seem to help her solve the x9 facts. Maybe she needs to *discover *it on her own. That’s far superior to my *telling *her.

So I set up the situation for her to **discover **the patterns in the x9 facts. I cut out ten green squares for the problems, and then twenty smaller cards with 2 each of the numbers 0-9. (Sprite did the writing, of course.)

It amazes me that in all my years of schooling, I don’t remember any teacher telling me about the trick for the x9 facts. And I wasn’t sharp enough to see it myself, I guess.

After the hands-on activity, she *did *describe some patterns! And she seemed to “own” them better than when I’d simply pointed them out. I could see her face light up with discovery and with wonder at the perfect symmetry of the line of products. Initially she’d been skeptical that the stack of numbers was all she needed to solve the x9 facts.

Then I gave her an option. She could either put the math facts into a minibook of her choosing as she’d done with the x8 facts, or she could write down the x9 pattern on a notebooking page.

I was pleasantly surprised that she chose to write rather than the rote activity. It was quite difficult to write the rule, and we had to work together to get it written clearly. But she did it. And day two, she still remembered her hack for solving the x9 facts.

Cristal says

I love these idea’s you are giving about learning times tables. My 10 yr old has barely started knowing these (we are still working on knowing our + and – ) thanks so much!

.-= Cristal´s last blog ..Thoughts on our Visa =-.

Melissa Telling says

Another 9 trick is that the first number of the answer is one less than the number you are multiplying 9 by, and he two digits of the answer added together will eqaul 9. So, 4 X 9 = 36 (three is one less than four and three plus six (36) equals nine.

There is also a trick you can do with your fingers, but I can’t ever remember that one.

.-= Melissa Telling´s last blog ..History of Art Co-Op: Ancient Art =-.

Makita says

The one with the fingers…

Hold out your hands showing 10 fingers.

If you multiply 9 x 5 for example, put down the fifth finger (your left thumb). The fingers still extended on the left of your thumb are 4. The fingers to the right of your thumb are 5. 9 x 5 = 45.

9 x 7. Put down your right index/pointer finger. On the left you have 6. On the right you have 3. 9 x 7 = 63.

Works for all the 9s.

😀

.-= Makita´s last blog ..Blog to Book =-.

Kris says

Okay, confession time, *I* have never noticed that particular pattern before…or, maybe I have, but I’ve just completely forgotten that I ever noticed it. That’s entirely possible. At any rate, I love this idea, too, and can see it helping my kiddos. We’re going to borrow this one and the idea for the 8’s.

I have heard and shown the kids the finger trick for the 9’s that Makita mentioned. Megan really likes that one.

.-= Kris @ Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers´s last blog ..Review: American Heritage Education Foundation =-.

Barbara says

Thank you, Jimmie, for another wonderful and useful idea! We’ll be using this one, too!

.-= Barbara´s last blog ..Animal School =-.

Dana says

Just my 2 cents – I taught Alex the “fingers trick” several years ago -and am now frustratingly trying to break this habit. 🙂 She relied so much on her fingers that I don’t think she would have caught on if she’d made a mistake. And, I just didn’t feel she understood what she was doing.

She also learned a bunch of skip couting songs last year and I’m trying to ‘unteach those’, too, and instead teach her to just memorize the facts. I won’t the answers to just ‘pop’ out of her! And, we’re working on it. 🙂

.-= Dana´s last blog ..A Midsummer Night’s Dream =-.

Marsha says

My boys are still skip counting in their heads from the Skip

Count Kids Bible Heroes CD. We need to work on the flash cards more so the answers will be more automatic!

.-= Marsha´s last blog ..An aglet through my heart =-.

Belinda says

I think the finger trick is great. It helped me as a child and is helping my daughter now too. Eventually you can “see” your hands in your mind and so automatically take the number before for the 10 and know how many fingers would be left up on the right.

Rachel says

I love the projects you and Sprite do to learn! I will definitely be gleaning many of our activities from you as our kids grow older!

.-= Rachel´s last blog ..Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies =-.