Learn the 9 times table with ease by grasping multiplication basics, starting with simpler tables, and applying fun tricks from a primary school teacher for quick mastery.
Author
Michelle Griczika
Published
May 2024
Learn the 9 times table with ease by grasping multiplication basics, starting with simpler tables, and applying fun tricks from a primary school teacher for quick mastery.
Author
Michelle Griczika
Published
May 2024
Learn the 9 times table with ease by grasping multiplication basics, starting with simpler tables, and applying fun tricks from a primary school teacher for quick mastery.
Author
Michelle Griczika
Published
May 2024
Key takeaways
Table of contents
The 9 times table will likely be one of the last set of multiplication facts that your child learns. While it can be tempting to ask students to start memorising multiplication facts as soon as possible, it is usually best practice for students to learn their times tables in a way that supports advanced mathematical understanding.
First, students should learn the concept of multiplication. This is an essential step because if students are asked to memorise facts before learning why the answer is mathematically correct, they are less likely to remember it. They do not have another way to calculate the answer if they can’t remember it based on memory alone.
Imagine a student is trying to solve 4 x 9 but can’t recall the answer. Instead, they can think about how multiplication means “groups of” a number. The student can draw 4 groups of 9 and then count to find the answer of 36.
This is just one strategy that can help students when they understand the meaning of multiplication, but there are several others as well! These include the Commutative Property, doubling and halving, models/drawings, skip counting games, and repeated addition.
Therefore, students should first be taught the times tables that allow them to practise these strategies effectively. These facts have recognisable patterns making them easier to grasp. They include the 2 times table, 5 times table, and 10 times table. Other sets, such as the 4s and 8s, allow students to incorporate strategies like doubling and halving.
However, the 9 times tables do not lend themselves to many learning tricks or strategies. First, they are odd numbers, so doubling and halving are not options. They are also higher than numbers 3 and 4, so drawing models is adequate but could be more efficient.
Students are also more likely to make mistakes when drawing and counting larger numbers. When drawing a model, they might accidentally draw an extra circle somewhere or miscount them.
Rest assured, there are strategies and tips to make the nine times table approachable for your child or students.
First things, first. Here are the 9 multiplication facts up to 10.
1 x 9 = 9 | 9 x 1 = 9 |
2 x 9 = 18 | 9 x 2 = 18 |
3 x 9 = 27 | 9 x 3 = 27 |
4 x 9 = 36 | 9 x 4 = 36 |
5 x 9 = 45 | 9 x 5 = 45 |
6 x 9 = 54 | 9 x 6 = 54 |
7 x 9 = 63 | 9 x 7 = 63 |
8 x 9 = 72 | 9 x 8 = 72 |
9 x 9 = 81 | 9 x 9 = 81 |
10 x 9 = 90 | 9 x 10 = 90 |
Pupils need to have a conceptual understanding of multiplication before they try to learn the 9 times table. Understanding what multiplication means, which pupils can gain by learning other times tables first, allows them to calculate the answer even if they cannot immediately remember it.
Even though we want students to have these strategies, we can also acknowledge that needing to draw a model for equations with larger factors isn’t always efficient, which can make a difference on timed assessments.
Therefore, an effective method for teaching the 9 times table is to encourage memorisation of the facts as much as possible while reminding students they can utilise repeated addition and models/drawings as needed.
The first tip that can make the 9 times table less overwhelming for students is to remind them of the Commutative Property of Multiplication. This property states that changing the order of the numbers being multiplied (the factors) does not change the answer (the product).
In other words, once students learn 6 x 9, they also learn 9 x 6. Remembering this simple rule halves the number of facts students must memorise!
The Commutative Property of Multiplication is particularly beneficial when learning the 9 times table. If children have already learned previous multiplication sets, they will also have learned several facts about the 9 times table chart.
For example, suppose your child has already mastered the 2s, 5s, and 10s times tables. In that case, you can remind them that they have already learned the facts 2 x 9, 9 x 2, 5 x 9, 9 x 5, 10 x 9, and 9 x 10!
As pupils continue learning the 9 times table, a couple of “tricks” or patterns might help. The 9 times table finger trick is so cool once students get the hang of it! My fifth graders typically did better with this than my third graders because the younger students sometimes struggled with bending their fingers down the right way. However, anyone who could do it frequently used this 9 times table trick!
Using the 9 times table finger trick, you can solve any fact up to 10 x 9. For example, consider the expression 3 x 9. Hold up both hands with palms facing out. Starting with your pinky finger on your left hand, count three fingers. You should land on the middle finger on your left hand.
Bend that finger down so it “separates” your other fingers into two sections. On the left side of the finger that you put down, you should have 2 fingers. On the right side of the finger you put down, you should have 7 fingers. Therefore, 3 x 9 = 27.
Another example is 6 x 9. Starting with your pinky finger on your left hand, count 6 fingers. You should land on the thumb on your right hand. Bend that thumb in so you can see the 2 groups of “numbers.” On the left is 5 fingers and on the right is 4 fingers, so the answer is 54.
Again, my younger students struggled a little with this, but those who understood it thought it was neat!
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Another 9 times table trick involves 2 different patterns in the products. Before I brought it up, a student showed me this one. I was so impressed!
As you can see in the chart below, the multiples of 9 start with a 0 (although it is “invisible”) in the tens place and then increase by one. The ones digits start with a 9 and then decrease by 1. Also, the sum of the digits for each product of 9 always equals 9!
My pupils enjoyed using this 9 times table trick and often wrote it on their papers before starting to work. They would start with the invisible 0 and write 1, 2, 3, etc., all the way to 9. Then, they’d return to the top and write a 9 next to the “0,” an 8 next to the 1, a 7 next to the 2, etc.
Multiplication Fact | Product |
9 x 1 and 1 x 9 | 9 |
9 x 2 and 2 x 9 | 18 |
9 x 3 and 3 x 9 | 27 |
9 x 4 and 4 x 9 | 36 |
9 x 5 and 5 x 9 | 45 |
9 x 6 and 6 x 9 | 54 |
9 x 7 and 7 x 9 | 63 |
9 x 8 and 8 x 9 | 72 |
9 x 9 | 81 |
9 x 10 and 10 x 9 | 90 |
Finally, flashcards are another strategy for encouraging the memorisation of multiplication facts. You can create a set just for the 9s and mix sets as your child is ready.
A beneficial challenge of flashcards is since they can be put in a random order each time, students must genuinely learn each fact as a standalone answer instead of as a pattern in a series. While there are advantages to both methods of learning multiplication facts, the eventual goal is for students to become proficient in quick recall, and flashcards can help with this goal.
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5 x 9 =
9 x 9 =
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The 9 times table can be challenging, but there are some tricks and tips that will make it easier for your child to learn. With lots of practice, using strategies like flash cards and patterns or tricks when needed, students can master these tricky multiplication facts!
Lesson credits
Michelle Griczika
Michelle Griczika is a seasoned educator and experienced freelance writer. Her years teaching primary school lends 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 lends depth to her understanding of diverse learning stages. Michelle enjoys running in her free time and undertaking home projects.
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