
Like most third graders, my son Scott found learning the multiplication tables a challenge. After an afternoon of tiresome drills, I decided there had to be an easier way than rote memorization.
At the kitchen table, I drew a grid: numbers 110 horizontally and 110 vertically. Pencil in hand, Scott filled in the 1's, the 2's, the 5's and the 10's. I immediately saw these were the tables with a nice, easy pattern. Well, then, I asked myself, what were the nice, easy patterns for the rest of the tables? I remembered a pattern for the 9’s. Using the grid, I had Scott pencil in 09 down the 9 column and then 90 to the right of these numbers. "There, you know the 9's!" I said. Scott was amazed by this trick. The 9's, he decided, were super easy!
If the 9's had a trick, were there not other tricks or patterns? We rapidly discovered an even number multiplied by an even number was always even. The 2, 4, 6 and 8 tables had to end in some combination of 24680 which we found repeated midgrid after 10, 20, 30 and 40 in the 2, 4, 6 and 8 tables respectively. Pretty cool, Scott thought.
What other patterns could we see such as whether the multiple would be odd or even? Odd multiples we discovered were few in number. Why? Because an EVEN number times ANY number (ODD or EVEN) is even. An odd multiple results ONLY when an ODD number multiplies another ODD. Thus, we arrived at one of the Great Truths of multiplication:
Even x Even = EVEN
Even x Odd = EVEN
Odd x Even = EVEN
Odd x Odd = ODD
Each time Scott filled in a grid for a new table, I had him fill in other tables he had learned. Rather than learning each table in isolation, he learned each in context of the others. With new tables, he could predict whether the multiple would be odd or even. Each pattern or "trick" boosted his confidence. Scott learned by doing.
Like many children, Scott was a visual learner. My method based on "dazzling patterns, grids and tricks," helped him deduce patterns, integrate the concept of multiplication and actually made multiplication fun. Designed for Grades 2 and 3, this workbook is also suitable for children with special learning needs. Your child will learn the multiplication tables and develop critical thinking skills.
Teach Your Child the Multiplication Tables, Fast, Fun and Easy with Dazzling Patterns, Grids and Tricks will instill in your child a love of numbers and confidence in math.
An ONLINE INTERVIEW with Home Education Magazine can be found on: . In the interview, I discuss how my method also benefits children with special needs.
