24 answers

9 Year Old Struggling with Multiplication

Anybody out there know of some good techniques to strengthen my 9 year old's multiplication? She's learning them but seems to struggle with the times table, especially the 6-12s. I've tried to find fun games on the computer and we've tried flashcards. I've heard that there is a song technique but not finding much online. I'm trying to get her freshened up for 4th grade! Thanks!

1 mom found this helpful

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I agree with Betty. I had a friend who taught third grade and she made her kids write their multiplication facts on a sheet of paper like Betty describes every single day first thing when they got to school. Then they could go on to other things. They learned them and they got faster with it and they see the pattern of it.
I absolutely hated flashcards and could not learn them that way. I have to see a pattern.
I wish I had a teacher who taught me that way.

2 moms found this helpful

Some people just can not memorize the tables like myself thank goodness for calculators. I also had a 98 average in algebra, it took my longer but I am very good in math. I am an accountant. The most important thing is that she/he understands how to do the math, because in the real world they have computers etc. But if you do not understand how to do math problems, now that is a problem.
Guess what my teachers had no idea I could not do the tables, I could do up to a certain point then that is where it stops.

1 mom found this helpful

When I first taught fifth-grade math, I noticed that some students were counting on their fingers to add, and I said, "That may work for addition, but it won't work for multiplication." Imagine my delight when a student showed me the way he'd learned to do the nine times table on his fingers. Another help is that when a number is evenly divisible by nine, its digits add up to nine. That pointer can relieve confusion about 8 x 7 or 9 x 6...which one is 54 and which 56? Hope this helps!

More Answers

Hi C.,

There is a program called Touch Math that helps with both add/sub and mult/divide. For multiplication go to www.TimeTales.com.

Does your 9 year old have any trouble with spelling? or reading? Many children that have trouble with memorization have dyslexia and this is what causes those memory issues. Go to www.brightsolutions.us and watch a free webcast, "Could it be Dyslexia".

If you have any questions, email me. L.

4 moms found this helpful

You should check out the website of Greg Tang. He is the author of children's books dealing with math. He has some great tips to use. The website is www.gregtang.com. I just went to a training he gave and learned so much. Hope this helps.

3 moms found this helpful

Here is how I learned them sooooooooo many years ago. It seems like every Friday, our teacher had the whole class write the "multiplication table" from 0 x 0 = 0 to 12 x 12 = 144 on notebook paper, have our parents sign it and return it on Monday. We started at the upper left hand margin and went down the page skipping one line after 0 x 12 = 0 before beginning 1 x 0 = 0, 1 x 1 = 1, etc. When we got to the bottom of the page, we began at the top line half way across the page with the next "fact" so that we ended up with two columns. Then we turned the paper over and continued in the same fashion on the back of the page. It was tedious and Mrs. Ruth Cooke Jackson was adamant that we did it one line at a time when we were tempted to put a string of 13 "0"s down the page, go back and add the "x" sign, etc. I don't know how my classmates did it, but I was saying/repeating each fact to myself as I wrote it down. I also don't remember how many weeks in a row we had to do this until we "got it" but we all got it. I didn't know how fortunate I was to have learned the multiplication table until I got to junior high school and realized classmates who had not been taught by Mrs. Jackson didn't know how to multiply. Mrs. Jackson also promoted penmanship so I made my numbers just as precisely and neatly as I could. In my mind, I can see those hand-written pages even today. We learned by rote. Mrs. Jackson wrote the table on the blackboard for us the first time,perhaps even the first few times. If I were teaching my children at home, I would put the table in Word in Ariel bold font about size 16 and let them copy it until they have done it a few times. I would give them a special quiet space to do this work and I would have them show it off to their father for his praise. My own dad liked to see that I had made straight columns and was proud of me for learning. Blessings. Your children and husband are very fortunate to have you. B.

2 moms found this helpful

These are the websites I give my students. There are a ton of games out there but many of them aren't timed so they don't help them with the quick memorization. The kids will count in their head or on their fingers. I've listed the games under each website that I think are the best at helping them with the quick memorization:

http://multiplication.com/interactive_games.htm
* Go down towards the bottom of the first page to Quick Flash II

http://resources.oswego.org/games/
* Math Magician, Math Magic, Sum Sense (any)

http://coolmath4kids.com/0-timernator.html

Just for fun, your kids can go on any of these websites and do other games. I'd rather my kids play educational games than the typical computer games out there. The kids in school really like the coolmath4kids.com website as there is such a variety of games. Some have multiple players. Let me know if you have any questions. Multiplication is all about repetition. Might as well make it fun! Be sure to have your daughter do the timed games though. It will help her brain to figure out patterns and associations quicker.

2 moms found this helpful

Well for my 9 year old the following has helped. 6s aren't too hard. Like 5x5=25 so if 5x5=25 then 5x6 or 6x5 = 5more than 25 so that is 30. Little stuff like that. 11s are easy as they are the number doubled like 11 x 3 = 33 and so on. Then 12s are not too hard take say 3 x 11 = 33 so just add 3 more to the 33 that they already know. Little stuff like that helped my kids. Good luck. It can be a bit of a struggle but it will all be worth it in the end. Once they truly understand multiplication, division will be easier. Also, not sure if you have explained yet but if not this might help; 3 x 3 is just 3 + 3 + 3. If they can get that concept they will find it easier. Again, good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

I agree with Betty. I had a friend who taught third grade and she made her kids write their multiplication facts on a sheet of paper like Betty describes every single day first thing when they got to school. Then they could go on to other things. They learned them and they got faster with it and they see the pattern of it.
I absolutely hated flashcards and could not learn them that way. I have to see a pattern.
I wish I had a teacher who taught me that way.

2 moms found this helpful

Some people just can not memorize the tables like myself thank goodness for calculators. I also had a 98 average in algebra, it took my longer but I am very good in math. I am an accountant. The most important thing is that she/he understands how to do the math, because in the real world they have computers etc. But if you do not understand how to do math problems, now that is a problem.
Guess what my teachers had no idea I could not do the tables, I could do up to a certain point then that is where it stops.

1 mom found this helpful

The song technique you're looking for is the old ABC Multiplication Rock that used to be on Saturday mornings between cartoons (in the dark ages, I know). They're very catchy tunes, and I think they're available on CD. Try "Multiplication Rock" on Amazon.com. They should help. Several of them still get caught in my head (Good eleven, never has any trouble till after 9, Good, good, eleven. Eleven will always be a friend of mine.)
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

As a former 4th grade teacher thank you for working with your child. She has all of 4th grade to learn her facts. There are a few tricks you can teach her. For 6s she can do the 5 fact and then add the number again. 5x6=30 +6=36. For 9s if she writes 0-9 vertically then writes 9-0 next to them she'll have the 9 facts from 1-10. Check out books by Greg Tang. Also Math Facts the Fun Way has some good mnemonic devices. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Kids learn in different ways. My son succeeded with the help of a book "Multiplication Made Easy" (I think that is the title, can't seem to locate it at the moment!).

This is a book which relates each numeral to a zoo animal and then makes a fun joke or describes a situation with those animals. One I remember is the 6x6 where 6 is represented by an elephant. So, your kid memorizes a picture of two elephants dancing where the "caption" is "What do you get when Mr and Mrs Elephant dance? (answer:) "3.6 on the Richter scale!" (the decimal is dropped and) right there is the answer 6x6 = 36 !

Anyway, if I actually find the book, I will send you a personal message with name and author, etc, information.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

having her repeat them with you at random times of the day, on the way to school, at dinner, before bed. as an adult i really wish my parents would have pushed me to learn these. i still dont know them!!! ( i figure i will learn them along with my kids). I used a clock to learn the 5x's. Like 5x3=15 and if you look at the 3 its 15 after...it works all the way around. Think of something that comes in sixes like half dosen eggs, full dozen and eggs that come in 18 pack. best way is have her memorize them several times a day remind her to look over them.

1 mom found this helpful

Take big sheets of graph paper with really big squares and put it on the floor. Then use colored pencils and ask her how many ways she can make a number...
lets say 20: she can make a shape that is 2 squares across and 10 down. 2 x 10 = 20. she can also make a shape that is 4 across and 5 down. 4 x 5 = 20. she can also make one that is 10 across and 2 down. 10 x 2 = 20. or 1 across and 20 down. 1 x 20 = 20. or 5 across and 4 down...
you can do this with any number...

this is a great way for her to see what multiplication means. it is hard for kids to just memorize flashcards without attaching meaning to them. when i taught fourth grade, it was a really helpful method. good luck!

Took my son to Kumon learning center. They used drills on multiplication/addition/subtraction. That really helped him to not only memorize but learn them. Try printing out some worksheets and having him do them repeatedly for 1 week until you see he has mastered those problems. Repeating is key .My son was making F'S in math, improved to making b's /c's . That was major improvement.

C.,

There are so many fun things you can do at home to practice math. Here are a few I suggest to my students' parents:

use a plain deck of cards. OR, use Uno cards. Divide the stack evenly and play "War"... with a twist. Bot of you turn up a card. The first to say the product of the two cards gets both cards.

Take a large bag of dry Butter Beans and use a sharpie marker to write numbers on them 1-9 (or as high as you choose)... Have your daughter pick one bean. Then take a 1/2 cup measuring cup and dip out a "serving"... Use the beans to make multiplication problems.

I'm working on this myself with my child. He knows them but not "fast". One friend told me that when I do the flash cards, to not give him all the time he needs to get the answer. He wasn't getting faster when I did that. So, I hold it up and give him about 2-4 seconds to answer or it goes to the back of the pile. (I tell him the answer so he hears it). We continue until he gets the entire pile. I think it's helping. We are now going to go to writing them down like they do in school.

Good luck.

My 9yo learned multiplication last year - she struggled with her times tables as well.

I'm not sure if this will help, but I made a times table in Excel - 0x12 - 12x12 - put it in a sheet protector and her my daughter keep it in her backpack all of the time. She was able to pull it out a study it while driving to / from school as well as when we were working on homework we used it as a resource tool.

She caught onto the concept just before school was out and we've worked on them from time-to-time this summer.

I too struggled with math. It took me til the 9th grade to learn basic math but once I did then it was fine. My mom actually bought me a kid's learning tool called the Little Professor. It looks like a large calculator and it flashes random equations on the screen and it "rewards" you with little characters when you get a right answer. It has different levels to increase the difficulty and it actually helped me learn math better & think faster because it gives you a time limit on providing an answer within like maybe 5 seconds. Something like that. It also helped having a great math teacher that teaches on a different, beginner level which is what I needed. We also used flash cards at home & also one of my second grade teachers made us get up in front of the room in a line & she'd go down the line & give each student a math problem we had to solve in like 5 seconds. If we missed we had to sit down for the rest of the exercise. You can also do that at home w/flash cards or random equations. It really does help. If your child simply misses an answer, right the problem down & go back to it later. Writing it down can also help by visually seeing the problem. Once he/she figures out the answer, it becomes easier to remember. I still find little ways to remember equations if the need for them comes up. It'll get easier with time. Sometimes kids just have trouble w/math so your child is not alone, believe me. I still have to count with my fingers sometimes but I can go much faster now on paper so things like that DOES help! If you think it'd help, I still have my Little Professor & if you live in the Katy area, we can meet & I can give it to you. I still have it & I'm sure it still works. Just let me know! Good luck!

C.,

It is really fun to work with bean bags(small, hand held size) and toss them back and forth while reciting times tables. You can also go from whole to parts with this to really learn multiplication. Such as 36 is 6 times 6, 36 is 9 times 4, 36 is 12 times 3, 36 is 36 times 1! This is a whole body excercise using hearing, sight, sound and body and is almost always lacking in a school setting but you can do it together at home! Good luck.

Math-U-See is a good manipulatives approach to addition, sudbtraction, multiplication, division, algebra, geometry, trig and even calculus...basically you use rods in units, tens, hundreds, etc. Not only is it fun but they really learn from using the manipulatives or blocks/units/wooden rods...www.mathusee.com
Also, it's not what you teach but how you teach and how your child learns best. You or the teacher may be instructing correctly however, the child may be receiving the information incorrectly because of how he processes data. Just my two cents.

Hi C.,
I too have a nine yr old that im trying to strenghthen for 4th grade in multiplication. 0-5 were easy but hes struggling w/6-9. I started to give him 3 facts to do for 3 days then move on to another 3 and so on.It's all about repetition. Writing it over and over,i know that can be torture for them but give an incentive when she learns so many she gets to go to a favorite place w/a friend.It seems to work for my son.His teacher told me it's all about repetition thats the best way to learn anything.
Good-Luck I know what your going though

When I first taught fifth-grade math, I noticed that some students were counting on their fingers to add, and I said, "That may work for addition, but it won't work for multiplication." Imagine my delight when a student showed me the way he'd learned to do the nine times table on his fingers. Another help is that when a number is evenly divisible by nine, its digits add up to nine. That pointer can relieve confusion about 8 x 7 or 9 x 6...which one is 54 and which 56? Hope this helps!

Hi,
Sometimes times it is the focus, especially if she is learning the other set of numbers.

We have a program to improve focus, academic achievement, concentration, and creativity. It is called Brain Education for Enhanced Learning (TM). The begining classes have 10 sessions . The class sizes are limited to 5 to ensure one - on - one time. There can be private lessons
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L. Lyons

Does your daughter know up to the 6's ok? If so, just remind her that if she is working on a number such as 3x5 that 5x3 is still the same. A lot of children don't realize that multlipication tables reverse also. There are many great free sites online you can go into that have multlipication games that make it easier to learn. Just type in free multlipication games into your search engine. Hope this helps a little.

You can get it from teacher supply store or Lakeshore learning or crystals or texas teachers supply store. It's a rap cd

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