Learn the 8 times table with help from a primary school teacher. Start simple, grasp basics, and enjoy fun tricks and songs for quick mastery.
Author
Michelle Griczika
Published
May 2024
Learn the 8 times table with help from a primary school teacher. Start simple, grasp basics, and enjoy fun tricks and songs for quick mastery.
Author
Michelle Griczika
Published
May 2024
Learn the 8 times table with help from a primary school teacher. Start simple, grasp basics, and enjoy fun tricks and songs for quick mastery.
Author
Michelle Griczika
Published
May 2024
Key takeaways
Table of contents
When children start learning multiplication facts, a common way to introduce them is through sets organised around one factor. In other words, students might learn all of the 2s multiplication facts, all of the 4s multiplication facts, and so on.
While the “best” order for learning times tables can be debated, there is a fairly common understanding that some facts are easier to remember than others and should, therefore, be taught earlier.
For example, the 10s multiplication facts are easy for students because of the pattern with the 0 in the product and easy skip counting. Students learn how to count by tens early in primary school and can use that knowledge to multiply—they must be shown this connection! Similarly, the 2s and 5s times tables are straightforward for students because of their predictable patterns and easy skip counting.
On the other hand, the 8 times table is usually one of the later sets for students to learn. While 8 is not a prime number such as 7, it is a relatively high number compared to 2, 3, and 4, which makes it more challenging for students to skip count by 8.
This is an essential point because students can efficiently utilise skip counting (or repeated addition) as a strategy to solve for an unknown multiplication fact. If a student tries to solve 8 x 4 but can remember 8 x 3 is 24, all they have to do is add another “group of” 8 to 24 to solve 32 as the answer. However, adding 8 to a number is not typically something students can do as quickly as adding 2, 3, or 4.
Therefore, I advise teaching other sets of multiplication facts before introducing students to the 8 times tables. Times tables that easily incorporate repeated addition/skip counting or those that have predictable patterns allow students to grasp the actual meaning of multiplication first.
The 2s, 5s, 10s, and 3s are the best sets for students to begin with when learning multiplication. Knowledge of these times tables lay the foundation for learning more challenging facts, such as the times tables for 8.
First things, first. Take a look at the 8 times table up to 10:
1 x 8 = 8 | 8 x 1 = 8 |
2 x 8 = 16 | 8 x 2 = 16 |
3 x 8 = 24 | 8 x 3 = 24 |
4 x 8 = 32 | 8 x 4 = 32 |
5 x 8 = 40 | 8 x 5 = 40 |
6 x 8 = 48 | 8 x 6 = 48 |
7 x 8 = 56 | 8 x 7 = 56 |
8 x 8 = 64 | 8 x 8 = 64 |
9 x 8 = 72 | 8 x 9 = 72 |
10 x 8 = 80 | 8 x 10 = 80 |
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It is important for students to have a conceptual understanding of multiplication before they try to learn the 8 times table. The 8 times table chart facts can be challenging for students because 8 is a relatively large number for a factor in beginning multiplication. The 8 times table does not have predictable patterns to utilise such as the 5 and 10 times tables.
Therefore, having a concrete understanding of the concept of multiplication (which is gained through learning other times tables first, mastering repeated addition/skip counting, etc) gives students a way to calculate the answer if they cannot remember any of the 8s facts. As a teacher, I cannot stress this enough! If children know they can utilise repeated addition to find the answer to multiplication problem, it prevents much frustration and anxiety around maths. This is also the reason rote memorisation is not effective—if a student has no strategy for backing into an asnwer there is no way to solve the problem if they can’t recall the product.
Now let’s dive in to my best tips for teaching the eight times table.
A tip that can help make the 8 times table less overwhelming is reminding them of the Commutative Property of Multiplication. This multiplication property states that changing the order of the numbers being multiplied (the factors) does not change the answer (the product).
Once students learn 3 x 8, they also learn 8 x 3. Remembering this simple rule reduces the number of facts in the 8 times table chart from 20 to 10, which automatically makes it less overwhelming!
The Commutative Property of Multiplication is particularly beneficial when learning the 8 times table. Students have typically learned at least a few other times tables by the time they start learning the 8s. You can show your child the 8 times table chart and circle the facts they already know!
For example, suppose your child has already mastered the 2s, 5s, and 10s times tables. In that case, you can identify 2 x 8, 8 x 2, 5 x 8, 8 x 5, 10 x 8, and 8 x 10 as facts your child has already learned.
As students continue learning the 8 times tables, a few “tricks” or patterns might help. The first 8 times table trick is particularly helpful for students who can easily double numbers and already know the 4s times table.
Since 8 is the same as 4 doubled, students can use this relationship to solve the facts for the 8 times table. However, students must also understand that only one factor should be doubled. Doubling one factor doubles the answer, whereas doubling both factors quadruples it.
For example, if students try to solve 8 x 3, they can think of 4 x 3 = 12. Since the factor of 3 stays the same, but you can double 4 to get 8, the student can double 12 to get the correct answer of 8 x 3 = 24.
Another example is how students can think of 7 x 4 = 28 when solving 7 x 8. Since you can double 4 to get 8, you can double the answer of 28 to get the product for 7 x 8 = 56.
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The following two 8 times table tricks are more complicated to visualise as they do not involve number sense or mathematical relationships. However, some students still find them helpful since all brains are different!
First, every fifth multiple of 8 ends in the same digit. For example, the 2nd multiple of 8 is 16. Five multiples later, which would be 7 x 8, the answer is 56. The numbers 56 and 16 both have a 6 as their last digit.
Multiple of 8 | Products |
1st and 6th—1 x 8 and 6 x 8 | 8 and 48 |
2nd and 7th—2 x 8 and 7 x 8 | 16 and 56 |
3rd and 8th—3 x 8 and 8 x 8 | 24 and 64 |
4th and 9th—4 x 8 and 9 x 8 | 32 and 72 |
5th and 10th — 5 x 8 and 10 x 8 | 40 and 80 |
Another 8 times table trick is a pattern in the sum of the digits for each product. For the first 5 facts, the sum of the digits in the product starts at 8 and then decreases by 1. Starting at 6 x 8 through 10 x 8, the sum of the digits in the product begins at 12 and decreases by 1 until it returns to 8. Please see below:
Multiplication Fact | Products | Sum of Digits |
1 x 8 | 8 | 8 |
2 x 8 | 16 | 1 + 6 = 7 |
3 x 8 | 24 | 2 + 4 = 6 |
4 x 8 | 32 | 3 + 2 = 5 |
5 x 8 | 40 | 4 + 0 = 4 |
6 x 8 | 48 | 4 + 8 = 12 |
7 x 8 | 56 | 5 + 6 = 11 |
8 x 8 | 64 | 6 + 4 = 10 |
9 x 8 | 72 | 7 + 2 = 9 |
10 x 8 | 80 | 8 + 0 = 8 |
Finally, skip counting songs are a quick, easy, and fun way to teach the 8 times table. Skip counting songs are great when teaching multiplication because they emphasise the idea of multiplication, which means “groups of” a number. For example, 4 x 8 is the same as 4 “groups of” 8. Students can count by 8 four times to find the answer of 32.
My students’ favorite song was this one. It was a bit of a tongue twister at first, but they loved trying to do it faster and faster each time!
A note on drawing models: even though we want our students to have fallback strategies, I want to acknowledge that drawing models are not the most efficient way to get a product for multiplication problems with larger factors such as 7, 8, and 9. Utilising repeated addition and skip counting is much more effective for teaching the 8 times tables which will ultimately need to be memorised.
Ready to give it a go?
Put your knowledge to the test with these no-risk practice problems to get you ready for the classroom!
8 x 5 =
7 x 8 =
__ x 8 = 16
Eli buys 8 games. Each game costs £9. How much money did Eli spend on all of the games?
Brayden is on the computer for 32 minutes. He plays 4 different games for an equal amount of time. How many minutes did he spend playing each game?
Want more practice? Our math help app is a great resource for times table practice!
In conclusion, the 8 times table can be tricky to learn, but these tips and tricks can make it more manageable for your child or students. Using a combination of the tricks, skip counting, the Commutative Property, songs, and doubling the 4s multiplication facts, your children can conquer the 8s times table.
Lesson credits
Michelle Griczika
Michelle Griczika is a seasoned educator and experienced freelance writer. Her years teaching primary school lend depth to her understanding of diverse learning stages. Michelle enjoys running in her free time and undertaking home projects.
Michelle Griczika
Michelle Griczika is a seasoned educator and experienced freelance writer. Her years teaching primary school lend depth to her understanding of diverse learning stages. Michelle enjoys running in her free time and undertaking home projects.
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