Multiplying by Nine with the Finger Method
Here's a clear description of an easy way to master the "nine-times-table" immediately, so you'll never have trouble with it again. And there's no memorization!
Can you do the nine-times tables on your fingers?
When you learn how, you'll never have to stare at the multiplication tables charts for nine again. The best part is, you only need to be able to count in order to learn this!
And if you practice using the finger method, you'll be a whiz at multiplying any digit by nine, and never have to "guess" and hope you're right again.
You can learn it now, in a few simple steps that you'll never forget. But you must remember that it is not meant to be a crutch. You must practice it a lot in order to get it to the point where you don't need to do it on your fingers every time you want to multiply by nine.
At the end of the article, you'll find a great, free resource where you can find a fun way that will make you love to practice it, and it will also teach you why the method works.
Let's get down to multiplying:
First, you have to number each of your fingers. With your hands palms down, thumbs almost touching, start from the left and call your L. small finger, "one." The L. ring finger is "two," the L. middle finger is "three," etc. until you get to the R. pinky, which is "ten."
That was easy!
Now, to multiply any digit by 9, you simply bend the finger that has that number inward. In other words, if you were to multiply nine by three, you'd bend the "three" (that's the L. middle finger). Bend it inwards, beneath your hand.
Notice the number of fingers on the left of the finger that's bent. There should be two of them. That's how many tens there will be, making the answer, "twenty-something."
Next, notice the how many fingers are on the right side of the finger that's bent. There should be seven of them. That's how many units there will be, making the answer, "twenty-seven."
That's it. Your done!
Warning! - This should not be used as a "trick." Don't make it a crutch. Practice it until you know the "nines-times-tables" by heart. If you still need to use your fingers after a day or two to practice, then you really haven't practiced enough.
There is a "master method" for using your fingers to learn to multiply. You only need one method for all the numbers from 6-9, so you don't have to learn a bunch of different "multiplication tricks." You can find out more at Learn to Multiply.com
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brian Foley (a.k.a. "Professor Homunculus") is the creator and web manager of Math Mojo and The Math Mojo Chronicles. He's presented his Math and Magic programs at schools, corporations, and other facilities throughout the U.S. and Europe.