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What are some rhymes that help children learn multiplication facts?

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Quick Answer

One rhyme that helps children learn multiplication facts is a mnemonic device to remember that 2 X 2 = 4. It goes: “4 is very fast to do when you multiply by 2. Here’s a little good advice. Please just always double twice!” One can find this and many more strategies for learning multiplication tables in Greg Tang’s book “The Best of Times.”

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Full Answer

One rhyme based on the "Three Little Pigs" teaches 4 X 9 and 9 X 6. The second pig builds his house of sticks, which rhymes with 36, the product of 4 X 9, while the third pig’s “nifty chore” rhymes with 54, the product of 9 X 6. This is an example of a rich learning rhyme, a teaching aid that builds on things kids already know, such as how to make rhymes and fairy tales.

An example of another kind of multiplication rhyme that keys on a rhyme for the product of the equation is: “A 4 by 4 is a big machine, I?m going to get one when I?m 16.” In “6 x 6, magic tricks, abracadabra 36,” there are three rhymes to help internalize the multiplication problem, six, tricks and 36.

The rhyme “7 and 5 went for a drive. Who?s in the back seat? It?s 35” separates the product from the factors visually and also rhymes the product three times. To vary the task of memorization, other examples rhyme on a factor rather than a product, as in: “5, 6, 7, 8; 56 = 7 x 8.” This rhyme also reinforces the mathematical equation.

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