Picture of Tables of 6, 7, 8 and 9 in your hands
At the age of 8 I had to learn the multiplying tables. I've never been good at memorizing lists or tables. It was easy to learn the tables from 1 to 5 but from 6 to 9 it seemed to be way more complicated... A year later I heard this trick on the radio and it saved my life. Since then I've taught it to many other kids. I passed such a bad time at school as I was the only one in my class who didn't know the tables so I hope this trick was useful for any parent or teacher who knew any child in this situation


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Step 1: Ascribe values

Picture of Ascribe values
- First put your hands in front of you as shown in the drawing
- In each hand, ascribe a value from 6 to 10 to each finger

Step 2: How to multiply

Picture of How to multiply
Step 1

Choose the numbers to multiply. Example: 7x8

Step 2

Put together the fingers whoses values you want to multiply.

Step 3

Now count the touching fingers and the ones below them. The number you get will be the tens. Example: 5

Step 4

Now multiply the fingers above the ones touching of the left hand and the ones in the right hand. The number you get will be the units. Example: 3x2=6

Answer: 56

**In some cases you will get a number of units bigger than nine, in that case sum both quantities**

Example: 7x6

- Touching fingers + the ones below  ->  3

- Fingers above the ones touching in left hand  ->  3
                                                                                                               3 x 4 = 12
- Fingers above the ones touching in the right hand  ->  4

                                                                                3        (tens)
Now we've got 3 tens and 12 units  ->                  + 12      (units)
                                                                                  42     (final result)

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how do you multiply 8x8 with this??

jan2qr11 days ago

I taught my granddaughter all of her times tables, 3 through 13 with tunes between 2nd & 3rd grade. You sing the times tables. Kids remember songs faster than they can memorize times tables. Pick a tune that fits with the syllables of the numbers. 3's have one tune, 4's another etc. For 6's & 7's I used twinkle twinkle little star & ABC song-both the same tune. Eight was a toughy. I finally ended up with the "oomh pa pa" song from Oliver Twist. Most of the tunes will get you through 12 or 13. It worked for her & several others that I have taught it to.

AshlynJ12 days ago

Finally a multiplication trick my students will understand. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

KarenG426 days ago

Thank you for the great posters. I have seen this method before but the explanation was NOT kid friendly. My students are doing great with their times tables, but are struggling just a bit with fluency on the 6, 7, 8 facts. I think this will be a fun activity.

It is awersome (thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanks)

KristaK1 month ago
This is way too many steps for my 9nyear old who struggles horribly with math. He struggles with the most basic ofnsteps. He would loae it if i tried to get him to remember all those steps. Not good.
misko13 (author)  KristaK1 month ago

"He would lose it if I tried to get him to remember all those steps" - Trust on your son. Don't decide what you son can or can not do, let him be the one to tell you this trick is not good. He might surprise you. Give this instructable a chance. Down here I leave a few suggestions to simplify the process.

1 - Write the numbers from 6 to 10 on his fingers (as shown in Step 1), so he can explicitly see the values he wants to multiply.

2 - Make him write every partial result on a paper, so that he won't have to remember the values he gets and he'll be able to focus on each step.

3 - There are two main steps, "Count the fingers" and "Count and multiply". Make him fold the fingers he's not using in that step so he can focus in that step.

4 - This isn't really math. It does have a mathematical explanation but you don't need to understand how it works to use it. Every child I've taught this to takes it as a magic trick. It's more like a puzzle that math

5 - The most complicated multiplications are 6x6 and 6x7 because you don't get the result immediatly, you have to sum the partial results you get. Teach him the others first. Once he gets how it works, you can teach him 6x6 and 6x7 or just make him learn by heart these two results.

6 - Show him the pictures so he could have a visual support he can copy from and check if he's doing it well or not

Example following these new tips:

1 - The first step is putting together the fingers whose values you want to multiply. Example: 7x8 (Ring finger and Middle finger)

2 - Now lets focus on the touching fingers and the ones below them. Make him fold the ones above if it was easier for him. Tell him to count them and to write that number on a paper. Example: He sould get a 5

3 - Put together the fingers whose values you want to multiply again. Now make him fold the touching fingers and the ones below them. He must have 3 unfolded fingers in his left hand and 2 unfolded in his right. Tell him to multiply the fingers of the left hand and the ones in the right hand. Make him write that number on the paper next to the first one (at its right). Example: 3x2=6

Final Answer: 56

KristaK1 month ago
Sorry for fat finger typos

It is best technique but suppose I want to multiply 7 x 5 how to do it using this technique

this is only for 6 thru 9's

why don't you count by 5s

misko13 (author)  kamleshvbhatia9 months ago

With this technique you can only multiply the numbers from 6 to 10, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 times as the values you ascribe to the fingers go from 6 to 10. You can always multiply 7x6 and subtract 7.

7 x 6 - 7 = 7 x (6-1) = 7 x 5

what about like 9x3 there is no 3 you can only do 6-10 and that is rubbish

its sort of cool but doesn't initially help you dose it

for the 9's you put your fingers out in front of you. for 9x3 you would put down your 3rd finger (which would be a middle finger) everything to the right is tens and everything to the left is ones. so it would be 27. my daughter learned that one in school. and i love it

misko13 (author)  lea.worthington.73 months ago

In step 3 I explain a trick for the whole table of 9. You can find it there.

I have the feeling that you want the internet to give you a master trick for all the tables so that you don't have to make any effort to learn a thing. I've given you a trick for learning half of the tables (the difficult half) and you dismiss it just because it's not as complete as you think it should be. This is not Hogwarts, there's no magic trick that will make you learn them all; this is real life, and in real life things are sometimes hard and difficult.

By the way, glad that you joined just to leave this comment :)

PoorPrae2 months ago

How would 6x6 work?

The result would be 28 would it not?

your pinkie fingers would be touching giving you 20 the other fingers are x's which would be 16 and since that number is over 10 you add it to 20 giving you 36

I get 36

(2 x10) + (4x4) = 36

misko13 (author)  PoorPrae2 months ago

Touching fingers and the ones below them = 2 (these are the tens)

Now multiply the fingers above the ones touching of the left hand (4) and the ones in the right hand (4): 4x4= 16 (these are the units).

Now you have to sum it all:

2 (tens)

16 (units)
36 (final result)

16 units are like 1 ten and 6 units, so we'd have 3 tens and 6 units in total:

3 (tens)

+ 6 (units)
36 (final result)

I love it! Gutted i can't pin it to pinterest. Thanks for sharing
glenisf4 months ago

i think u should ummmmmmmmmmmm....................................................................

immmm not sure but i can say nothing about it :(

misko13 (author)  glenisf3 months ago

Not sure what to say about your comment either...

glenisf4 months ago

coooooooooooooooooooooool thankssssss

kavitap5 months ago

O' wow its really great! now I would be able to teach my son tables of 6,7, 8, 9

nfarhana7 months ago
Thanks! This is awesome♡♡
TerryKC9 months ago

Thanks so much for posting this. At 49 I still have moments where I struggle with them and this will help a lot.

LilyStorm1 year ago
Thank you!
ppearl LilyStorm9 months ago
lmadere11 months ago

Thank you very much for sharing and teaching this old dog a new trick! ;) I knew of a trick with 9's that I learned on TV years ago after I learned the hard way, but I never knew this trick with the lower #'s. I am so happy, because I will be able to teach my 5 year old grand-daughter! :) I LOVE spending time with her we have so much fun learning we make games out of everything and this seems like a lot of fun too, so she'll enjoy learning. It's so much fun when you can pass on a easy way of learning something. I remember when I taught my youngest daughter the 9 trick, her eyes got so big and surprised like, WOW! lol Thank you once again. :)

marknluke1 year ago
how we can find the 8s table example 8 multiplied by 4 ?
misko13 (author)  marknluke1 year ago
I don't lnow any trick for the 8s table using the hands, but I know one writting it.
If you write in one row the numbers from 8 to 0 repeating the number 4, and in a second row the pair numbers beginning with 0 you get it:

Row 1: 8  7  6  5  4  4  3  2  1  0
Row 2: 0  2  4  6  8  0  2  4  6  8

           10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1

Another "trick" is this. If you know how to multiply 2 times any quantity:

8 x 4 = 8 x 2 x 2 = 16 x 2 = 32
Cogtoys1 year ago
This is a great instructable. For the advanced math instructor -- not me -- this would be a great way to explore base 10 system and the distributive property.
I was taught that whatever # like 4 you put down yor 4 finger the before it is tens afer 1s get it got it good :) smiley sorry I just practicing typing fast :) :() :o
amarifey1 year ago
This great for both multiplication and fine motor skill development--perfect for OT and Sped. I've taught the nines for years but just relearned the others. Thank you.
MVRENUKA1 year ago
Amazing. i was struggling to teach table to my7 year old son. Thank you very much. You made my job easier.
jeaninfla1 year ago
Sounds like it works, I have needed an answer to this problem for years ! Thanks.
asingh1021 year ago
Awesome haha :D.. Thanks alot..
Vonnie21 year ago
UGH! Still trying to understand... Other examples please? I know my multiplication but my son struggles memorizing the totals even if he gets the point of multiplication. If he says 6 x 6 - he would actually have to group dots into 6 of 6.... then count it
Ah! i've got it working! thank you so much!
I still remember spending many tearful hours memorizing multiplication tables in third grade... Although this method seems rather slow, solution-wise (as opposed to memorized recollection/regurgitation), and would likely not have gotten me through my timed tests, it would have been a comfort to know that, in a pinch, I could "look up" the answer on my hands!
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