How to Memorize Times Tables


Memorizing doesn’t come easy to everybody. For some people, faces and names don’t seem to stick in their minds. For others, numbers just don’t seem to stick. Here are some tips and tricks for memorizing times tables.

Make your numbers come alive!

This is a memory trick which can be used in your everyday life to memorize phone numbers, addresses, and anything else involving numbers that you need to memorize. It takes a little imagination and visualization, but it can also be quite amusing.

First, assign each number 0-9 a picture or symbol that looks like the number. Here are some examples, but it is always best to use your own pictures or something that has meaning to you. You don’t need to draw the picture, just imagine each one in connection with the number. Here are some examples:

1: Nail
2: Beautiful white swan.
3: Squawking seagull in the sky.
4: Sailboat.
5: Nose and mouth of a lion about to roar.
6: Golf club.
7: Cliff.
8: Snowman
9: Lollypop
10: Throwing disk

After you can picture each character or object, then you can make a story. For example, 8 X 3 = 24 might have a memory story that goes something like this: A snowman with a seagull on his head watches a sailboat sail by which is being piloted by a seagull. The snowman and seagull are 8X3 and the swan and sailboat are 24. You can have a series of snowman stories that would be your entire set of eight times tables.

Times Table Tricks

Some of the numbers that you will be multiplying have various qualities and patterns that make them easy to remember.

One times tables
Any number times itself is the same number.

Two times tables
This is the same as the number you are multiplying by two plus that same number.

Five times tables
The pattern of the last digit in the answer goes 0, 5, 0, 5…

Six times tables
When multiplying by an even number, that even number and the final digit of the answer will be the same. Example: 6X2=12 6X8=48.

Nine times tables
Here is where you get to finger count. Hold all ten fingers out. Counting from the left, lower one finger at a time, and then return that finger to place when moving on to the next finger. Stop on the number you are working and count the number of fingers that are up on the left. That is the first digit of your answer. The number of fingers raised on the right is the second number of your answer. For example: 8X4= three fingers are still raised on the left. The final digits in your answer count downward in the pattern 9, 8, 7, 6, 5…

Ten times tables
Take the number that you are multiplying by and simply add a 0.

Eleven times tables
For numbers one through nine, simply repeat the digit. Example: 11X7=77

The traditional way

One very traditional way of memorizing multiplication tables is the use of flash cards. It is best to make your own set of flash cards for each set of multiplication tables that you wish to memorize, as it helps you to recognize the patterns and relationships between the numbers that you are memorizing. It is often best to build and memorize your flashcards in chunks. You might only work on your sevens for example. When you have finished memorizing, set those cards aside for later review and work on memorizing your next set. Be sure to mix and review the cards that you have already memorized.



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