You may have learned the Trick to the 9’s on your fingers when you were a child. For example for 2 x 9, hold out both hands in front of you and bend the ring finger of your left hand. This bent finger represents 2. Look at the remaining fingers and you’ll see 1 for the finger to the left of the bent joint and 8 for the eight fingers remaining for 18. For 3 times 9, you’ll bend the middle finger on your left hand and have 2 fingers on the left and 7 remaining for 27. It’s easy and fun!
Another way of learning table 9 is to number 9 to 0 in a column and 0 to 9 to the left of the column. You’ll end up with: 09, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72, 81 and 90. Now how easy is that!
This “trick” is really a fun easy pattern. So the trick in this case is a mnemonic device to help us remember. Sometimes these mnemonic devices have fun rhymes such as “Thirty days has September . . .”
In my workbook, Teach Your Child the Multiplication Tables, Fast, Fun & Easy, I present easy number patterns for all the tables. Patterns like the Trick of the 9’s aid memory. Special needs children such as those with dyslexia, autism of ADD/HD benefit from patterns. All children do. Patterns provide structure.
Our brains are wired to find patterns. If someone were to tell you their phone number was 214-314-4114, you might not even have to write it down. Why? You’d recognize the pattern. Our brain instinctively sorts and organizes. So why not have your child use this brain function when learning the times tables? Rote memorization is tedious and boring. My son hated rote memorization! So I developed an innovative way of teaching him.
If all children could be engaged by numbers in the third grade, really fascinated by math, we’d have students who love math. Students who love math are more likely to have positive self-esteem. They are more likely to do well in other disciplines and succeed in school. Wouldn’t that be something!