Math is everywhere or at least it seems like it. As you live your life you will find that you will be doing several math problems throughout your day. Having skills in basic mathematics allows you to prepare for things on several levels. The foundation of your mathematics knowledge, no matter how complicated things may get, is addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication.
Knowing your multiplication tables is important because it is the foundation of a lot of the higher level math that you will do in your life. It’ll be hard to do just about anything with numbers if you can’t even do your basic multiplication problems. There are different approaches people have to learning multiplication. Some people go at it by trying to memorize a table, but others attempt to do it through understanding the concept.
As frustrating as it may be to learn a new concept in mathematics, multiplication won’t be very difficult. Once you get the hang of it, and realize that it is very similar to addition, you can do your multiplication problems with ease. Multiplication will be one of your first steps into algebra. Udemy provides a great course called Beginning Algebra: Building a Foundation, which is all about giving you the knowledge you need to fully understand mathematics concepts, such as multiplication and division.
Starting off with Counting
If you want to learn your multiplication tables quickly, the first thing you should do is skip counting. Skip counting is when you count by a certain number. Instead of the standard 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7….etc. You would count by the number 2. This way you would count by going 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14…and so on.
Do the same thing with 5 and 10. It’s best to set a stopping point for you to reach with all the numbers. The easiest stopping point to set is 10. This way you can count by your fingers to keep track of the numbers. Although it may seem strange to use your fingers, you will need to use them for a little while until you’re able to do the counts with mental math. Don’t worry if it’s hard though, there are mental math tricks you can learn to make all of this a lot easier.
As you do the count, you should reach the following number sets.
For your 2 skip counts, you should have 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20.
For your 5 skip counts, you should have 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, and 50.
For your 10 skip counts, you should have 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and 100.
If you missed a number, try to do the count again, and assign the appropriate number to your finger. For example, 20 is the last number in the 2 skip count set, so you should assign it to the last finger you use to count.
Stick to the three above skip patterns, and try to memorize them. There is a skip pattern for all numbers, but these 3 are some of the most basic.
While you’re working on the counts, you will also start focusing on the doubles. The doubles is a great way to jump you ahead and start counting up. For example, if you want to know what 7 x 8 is, then instead of you starting from 7 x 1 and going all the way up to 8, you can start at 7 x 7 and then add 7 more to the problem at get the answer to 7 x 8.
When you’re learning multiplication, tricks like this can save you a lot of time until you’re able to practically do it in your sleep. You already know a few doubles yourself from the skip counting that you’ve done.
Try learning all of the ones in between. Once you know the doubles for the 3’s, 4’s, 6’s, 7’s, 8’s, and 9’s, you will be good to go.
This all may seem a little complicated, and you may make a few mistakes, but learning multiplication can be mastered. There are special tricks to make the process move along faster. In fact, all of math has neat tricks to help you do advanced problems easily.
The Udemy course, Easy Advanced Math Training, teaches you some of the other concepts you can use to do math mentally without taking the time to count with your fingers.
Expanding to New Number Sets
Now that you know the basics and a few special rules, you should expand and move onto different number sets. You’ve already learned the set for 2, 5, and 10, but now you can work on another set of 3 and keep doing it until you get the hang of it.
Try to do the counts in your head before you use your fingers. It is a good way to develop your mental math skills. After you do your sets, ask yourself a few questions to test your knowledge.
For example, ask yourself a question, such as, “What is the third number in the skip count set of 5?” You should be able to come up with the answer 15.
These are the basics of multiplication: you just answered 5 x 3 = 15. This is a good way to start testing your multiplication knowledge.
Once you have gotten comfortable with counting to 10 using these sets, you can put your focus on moving beyond 10 and trying to skip count to 15 with the same numbers.
There are a few things you can remember to make multiplication a lot easier. For example, the answer to a multiplication problem is the same even if you switch the numbers around. This means that 2 x 3 and 3 x 2 both equal 6.
You can prove it yourself. Look at the second number in the skip count set of 3. The set should go 3 and then 6. Now look at the third number in the skip count set of 2. The set goes 2, 4, and then 6. This is a helpful tip as you may be confused when you’re confronted with an order of numbers that you aren’t used to seeing.
The best way to really get the hang of multiplication though is to keep practicing. Do homework, and even try to do more difficult problems instead of the ones that are just assigned to you. Constantly do skip counts until you’re comfortable with them as well.
Multiplication will only stay difficult if you refuse to keep working hard at understanding it. There is even a way to learn some of the more complicated math problems.
Imagine knowing the answer to 25 x 45 or even 745 x 239. This can be done without using your hands, pencil, or even paper. There is an Udemy course called The Secrets of Mental Math that teaches you how to calculate numbers in your head so that you can do even the most difficult multiplication problems with ease.
Math is All Around You
Even if you get frustrated, you have to learn multiplication. Math is all around you, in your video games, your computers, and just about everything you use. Check out the Udemy course Math is Everywhere: Applications of Finite Math to understand just how important math is to your life.