The “Nines” Trick

My middle daughter has math-phobia.  She’s actually not bad at math, but she has a mental block against it and spends a lot of unnecessary time bemoaning the fact that there’s math work to do.  So, I try to give her as many tools as I can to help fight the math fears.

I’m sure we’ve all learned to multiply by 9s, subtract one, then add whatever it takes to get to nine.  That’s all fine and good, but it involves computing.  This trick is a little easier for math-phobes.

Start by numbering your fingers.  (You can go from either way).

Now, to do your x9 problem, put down whatever number you’re multiplying times nine.  In this example, 3:

What you have left is 2 fingers on one side of the three finger, and 7 fingers on the other side.  27.

Here is 7×9:

Put down your 7 finger.

You have 6 on one side, 3 on the other.  63.

And this one…

is 9×9 = 81.

Isn’t that nifty?  My daughter loves using this little trick to do her 9-tables!

Do you have any neat tricks you use with your kids to overcome math fears?

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About Laura

A Christian wife, mother, daughter, former educator, photographer, amateur chef, pretend gardener, alto 🎶, book nerd, cancer-survivor and laundry-hater.

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