How to do multiplication facts the easy way

If you do a search online for multiplication facts you will find some interesting results to do with math multiplication games, math multiplication charts and how to learn your multiplication tables using math multiplication sheets (Dare I say, boring!).

However learning math multiplication facts, need not be boring, as there are many ways to working them out.

There are also various methods in working out multiplications, these are just a few of the ways to working them out:

These methods will be explained in due course. However would you like to learn to do multiplication facts through pattern spotting? Do you know how to multiply by ten's with decimals the quick way?

Did you hear about 'my two two's story?'? Its so sad. You have got to read it, an absolute must! Have you got a similar story to tell? I would love to hear it.

Back to multiplication facts, however in able to do multiplication questions there has to be some grounding in understanding where multiplication come from.

Its no use playing games, finding various methods to work them out or even rote learning them with out the background knowledge.

Multiplication Facts through Pattern Spotting.

One method I use with my children and students (many tutors use this method too) is pattern spotting . Only I go through the method meticulously until they spot the patterns themselves.

The end result, they love it.

Even Taahirah, my 7 year old daughter loves it.

Most importantly, they understand it!

Here's how we do it. We will take the 2 times tables as an example:

  • Step 1 Write out the times tables one by one, as follows:

  • Step 2 Draw in the number of spots or sweets or marbles to correspond to the answer:

  • Step 3 Circle or group the pictures into two's. If you were doing the 3 times table you would group it into three's and so on:

  • Step 4 Keep going like this until a pattern is spotted with the numbers and groups:

  • Step 5 Do step 1 to 4 again swapping the numbers over (This tip must be reinforced, that the numbers swapped over, mean exactly the same thing, 1×2 is the same as 2×1):

  • Step 6 Do steps 1 to 4 using another multiplication table.

Once a pattern is spotted it's easier to learn the multiplication facts and math multiplication games will also become fun to do.

If you need a list of multiplication tables to help you learn them you can download them here for free.

Math Games For Kids.

Now that you understand where multiplication facts come from, you can apply this knowledge more easily by learning them off by heart. There are various ways to learn things to memory.

Here is a list of various ways to help you memorize your multiplication tables:

  • Repeating it over and over (a million times).
  • Writing it down (again a million times).
  • Listening to it on tape over and over again (lots of times).
  • Writing them out and sticking it to your bedroom wall, preferably the side of the wall you look at everyday.
  • Playing games such as flash cards, playing cards and the factor game.

More Patterns To Learn Those Multiplication Facts!.

  • ×2

    -Reinforce the ×2 multiplication facts, by remembering that it doubles each time. So, if we wanted to find the 5th number in the 2's, just double 5, or add another 5 to give 10.

    Example: If we wanted to find the 8th number in the 2's, then double 8, or just add another 8 to give 16.

    And so on.

    -So the other way to look at the 2's is it adds 2 on each time.




    and so on

    -Adding by 1's and 2's are usually the simplest and easiest to do for most people, hence the first multiplication facts to learn.

    -They also end in an even number.

    Hence remembering the pattern

    2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26...

  • ×5

    The answers to the ×5 multiplication facts always end in 0 or 5. So, another pattern emerges with this

    5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70...


    When we are working out larger numbers to multiply by 5, its often easier to multiply the number by 10 and then divide by 2.

    For example: 143×5 = 1430/2 = 715

  • ×10

    This should be another easy multiplication to learn, as the pattern for this always ends in zero.




    and so on

    10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150...

  • ×9

    This is usually the most difficult to remember, but there is a very nice pattern to the 9 times table. Once the pattern is spotted its everybody's favourite.

    9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72, 81, 90, 99, 108, 117...

    Can you spot the pattern in the numbers?

    The units place go down by 1 each time: 9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72, 81, 90

    The tens place are going up by 1 each time: 9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72, 81, 90

    So, thats the number pattern, but how do we work it out quickly in our heads?

    This method only works between 1 and 10. We can see from the pattern that for every number we want to work out, the tens place will be 1 less than what we are multiplying by. The units place can be worked out by subtracting the number we are multiplying by from 10.

    Example 1: 6×9= ...1 less than 6 is 5, and 10-6=4, answer is 54

    Example 2: 8×9= ...1 less than 8 is 7, and 10-7=3, answer is 63


    The other quick way to work it out is with your fingers.

    Hold out both hands with fingers stretched out, just like the picture above.

    For every number we want to work out, count along starting from the left thumb.

    When you reached the number, put that finger down. The remaining fingers on the left is the tens number and the remaining fingers left up on the right is the units number.

    Example 1: 5×9= Count along your fingers up to 5, starting with the left thumb. The little left finger is the fifth number along, so put that down. There are 4 fingers standing on the left and 5 on the right. So, the answer is 45.

    Remember, this works with numbers up to 10 only. See if you can work out the pattern after 10.

  • ×11

    The 11 times table is also an easy one to remember (up to 9 only).





    and so on up to 9 only.

    Did you spot the pattern? Of course, the two digit numbers are the same. But remember, this only goes up to 9!


    But there is a pattern to doing the 11's after 9. Lets see if you can spot it!




    Can you see that the numbers follow a pattern? For 11 times 11, the answer is 12 and a 1, i.e. 121.

    For 12 times 11, the answer is a 13 and a 2, i.e. 132.

    So for 13 times 11? 14 and a 3, i.e. 143

    And 14 times 11, will be 154.

    So on and so forth!

  • ×4

    4, 8, 12, 14, 20, 24, 28, 32, 36, 40, 44, 48, 52...

    This one is easy to do, providing you are already proficient in the 2 times table. As the pattern for this is...double it, then double it again.

    Example: 3×4=12 ...double the 3 to give 6. Then double the 6 to give 12.

    Example: 5×4=20 ...double the 5 to give 10. Then double the 10 to give 20.

    and so on.

Now this comes to the end of pattern spotting with multiplication facts. Once these times tables are mastered it really only leaves a few times tables to learn.

×3, ×6, ×7, ×8, ×12,

But not all of them from these tables you will have to remember because you can eliminate the ×2, ×4, ×5, ×10, ×9, ×11 from each one.

Which literally leaves just these one's to learn:














These 4 are probably the hardest to learn. So its worth just sitting and making an effort with these 4 just on there own.





This comes to the end of multiplication facts pattern spotting, however did you hear about my 'two two's' story? Scroll on down to the bottom to find out...

Otherwise check this book out of a picture method on learning multiplication facts!

And another one to help you memorize those times tables in minutes

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A Sad, True Story about...What's two two's?

Did you hear about my terrible story, 'what's two two's?'? Do you have a similar story to tell?

I was 7 years old and stuck on a math problem. I walked up to the teachers desk to ask for help as you normally do.

When it was my turn the teacher asked me, 'What's two two's?'.

For the life of me I had no idea what that meant and stood frozen. She then asked again, only louder, 'what's two two's?'.

By this time it felt like the whole class was looking at me. Luckily, the boy standing behind me poked me in the back and whispered 4.

And again,'what's two two's?'.

And again, poke, ouch, whisper 4.

I said 4 and walked away not even understanding how to do my problem. I thought to myself, 'Stupid woman, why didn't she just tell me to add two two's'

I walked away with a misconception that two two's meant addition, but as we all very well know, two two's means multiplication!!

What Was Your Most Terrible Teacher Story?
Write about it here!

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Would you like to share your story and get it off your chest?

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