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With the knowledge of addition, anyone can solve multiplication problems. This is because multiplication is simply repeated addition. For instance if there are three baskets of apples and each basket contains 6 apples, it means adding 3 baskets of 6 apples together.

Multiplication facts can be learned in a strategic order. The easiest ones can be learned first and leave the difficult ones can be learned first and leave the challenging ones for last. This makes learning multiplication quite motivating, since the basic facts will set the pace for attempting challenging ones.

The strategic order of learning multiplication facts brings out 9 key rules and by learning and mastering the rules students can learn all 144 times tables from 1 to 12 as shown below.

The key strategies are explained in the video below.

The first rule is multiplying 0’s. Remember Zero is the the hero! Any number times zero is zero.

E.g 1 x 0 = 0; 4 x 0 = 0; and their reverse are the same.

The second rule is multiplying 1’s. Any number times 1 gives the same number. E.g 1 x 1 = 1; 2 x 1 = 2; 6 x 1 = 6. The reverse is the same as seen on the grid.

Rule 3 is multiplying 2’s ; Any number times 2 is double the number. 2 x 2 = 2+2 = 4; 3 x 2 = 3 +3 = 6; 9 x 2 = 9 + 9 = 18

Another way is skip counting (counting in two’s) as shown on the grid.

Rule 4 is multiplying 5’s; Count in five’s by using your fingers.

E.g for 5 x 6 count 6 fingers in fives and you will arrive at the number 30

On the 6th finger.

The 5th rule is multiplying 10’s and this is easy; ‘Zero is the hero!’ Any number times 10 is taking that number and writing the number 0 next to it. For e.g 3 x 10 = 30 .The inverse is the same.

The 6th rule is multiplying 11’s. Simply write the same number twice when multiplying a single digit by 11. E.g 4 x 11 = 44, 6 x 11 = 66

Rule 7 is multiplying 9’s. When multiplying single digits by 9, use the finger method; e.g for 7 x 9, count 7 fingers from left and bend the seventh finger. Now every finger to the left of the bent is in the tens place and fingers to the right of the bent finger is in the ones place.

There are six fingers on the left of the seventh finger, that make up 60 and three fingers on the right make 3. So 7 x 9 = 60 plus 3 = 63.

Another method is arranging the numbers the numbers 0 to 9 downwards and 9 to 0 downwards with a line drawn in between them. You will have double digits after this arrangements, and they are 09, 18 27, … and 90. These are multiples of 9 ( counting in 9’s). Thus 5 x 9 = 45.

For the 8th rule we have multiplying 4’s. Use the double and double strategy. E.g 3 x 4 is double 3 ( which is 6) and double 6 to give 12 as the final product.

The last rule is multiplying 3’s. When multiplying a number by 3, double the number and add another quantity of the number itself to give the product. E.g 3 x 6 = double 6 plus 6 is equal 18. The inverse is for the same.

At this stage we are left with 6, 7, 8, and 12. However, most of them have been learned already. So from the multiplication grid, it will be left with only 10 multiplication facts to memorise. They are 6x7, 6x8, 7x6, 6x6, 7x7, 8x8, 7x8, 8x7, 12x12 and 12 times 6, 7 and 8.

Meanwhile, we can rotate our fingers to multiply number from 6 to 10 moving from our thumb to our pinky finger. For example with your two hands in front of you, with your palms facing up, imagine numbering your fingers from 6 through 10 going from your thumb to your pinky finger and work out 6x7. With this we rotate our fingers so that the left thumb (which represent 6) meets the right index finger (representing 7). Now we count the number of fingers below the two fingers meeting each other ( the two inclusive)

That gives us 3 fingers. They form the tens and thus represent 30. The fingers above the touching fingers are ones (units) and are 4 on the left and 3 on the right. These will multiply to give us 12.

Then 30 + 12 = 42. So 6 x 7 = 42 and the vice versa is the same.

This works for the remaining 5 facts.

For 12 x 12, we use the base 10 strategy. 12 is 2 more than 10, so we add 2 to 12 to make 14. Next we times the 2’s in the units (2 x 2 = 4) and write the 4 next to 14 as the unit.

Following the rules and knowing the above multiplication facts will make it easier for any learner grasp the facts within a very short period of time.