Contributor: Erika Wargo. Lesson ID: 12217
Tables are for eating, playing pingpong, and holding homework. There are also tables that help you multiply numbers; they even give you the answers! Learn your times tables and multiplication facts!
The teacher asked the student, "Why are you doing your multiplication on the floor?"
The student replied, "You told me not to use tables."
Multiplication is the repeated addition of equal groups. The number of equal groups and the number in each group are the factors. Numbers that are multiplied together are called "factors." The answer is called the "product." Multiplication is shown in three special ways:
multiplication sign  raised dot  parentheses 
4 x 5  4^{·}5  4(5) 
Notice that in the example of the raised dot, the dot is not like a decimal point. It is almost floating in between the two numbers.
Multiplication is a faster way to do repeated addition. In the example above, "four times five" really means the number 4 written 5 times, or added to itself five times. Another way to show this would be 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 4. By knowing your multiplication facts or using a multiplication chart, you can solve multiplication problems.
Learning and remembering multiplication facts can make your math life easier. Sometimes they are called "times tables." If you are able to quickly recall multiplication facts up to 12, it can help you solve multiplication problems. If not, you can also use a multiplication table.
Take a few minutes to explore MathIsFun.com's The 12 Times Table and practice finding facts. As you move over the numbers within the table, look at the multiplication fact that shows up on the screen. Read through the tips below the table to learn tips and patterns to become better at multiplication.
Some multiplication problems cannot be answered with only a multiplication table. When multiplying a twodigit number by a one or twodigit number, we have to multiply twice. There are a few ways to do this, but a common way is called "partial product." Take a look at two examples of using partial product:
28 x 6 =
Another way to think of this problem would be to break it up into smaller numbers:
28 = 20 + 8, then multiply each of those numbers by 6: 20 x 6 = 120 and 6 x 8 = 48; add the two sums together, and you will get 168.
_{4} 

2 
8 

x 
6 

1 
6 
8 
28 x 6 =
_{4} 

2 
8 

x 
6 

1 
6 
8 

+ 
2 
8 
∗ 
4 
4 
8 
If this method is difficult for you, you might want to learn more about The Lattice Method, from The Animated Classroom:
Discuss with an adult or teacher:
Now, you are ready to practice multiplying one and twodigit numbers in the Got It? section.