Tips and resources to help primary-school children master the 6, 8 and 9 times tables, with advice from experienced educator and teacher John Bald.
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These times tables are trickier than the others because each item in the table is more likely to involve changes in two columns (tens and units) rather than one. I usually teach them in this order: 9 times table, 8 times table (followed by the hardest multiplication table to learn, 7) and finally 6 times table.
Once children know 10s, this is fairly easy, as the second digit reduces by 1 each time until we reach 10×9.The 11x of every table is easy ,as it just adds 1 of the table to 10s, in this case 90, giving 99. The only tricky one is moving into the 100s column with 108, and this comes with a little practice.
Take away 2 from the units digit this time, and the digits repeat themselves after 5×8 = 40.The final one is the only tricky one. My primary school teacher once told us as a curious fact that 5 16s were 80, and for some reason this stuck in my mind; 6 16s (or 12 8s) are then easy to remember as 80 + 16 = 96. When working on the 8 times table with children I usually concentrate carefully on the 88, which is easy, and then add 8. Taking care over this is well worthwhile, as it gives a sense of pride to children when it sticks.
… and then there were 6! The 6 times table is a little trickier than the other even-numbered tables, though not quite as awkward as 7, so it comes as a relief. Once again, the final numbers repeat themselves after 5x, so approach the table in two halves if this seems easier.
For a selection of times tables worksheets go to our Times Tables Learning Journey or see below.
|6x table matching challenge||6x table as repeated addition||6x table number sentences|
|9x table maze||Find multiples of 9||Finding multiples of 9|
|Find multiples of 8||8x table patterns||Multiples of 8 speed quiz|
Read John Bald's guide to times table learning for more general advice about multiplication tables, then browse through all times table worksheets and printable games.