Heather Sanders

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September 2013



Hands-on Multiples of Nine

Written by , Posted in Homeschooling, Stupid-proof It

Hands-on Multiples of Nine

Ditch the flash cards and pull out your phalanges people because we are fixin’ to get our COUNT ON UP IN HERE.

(Holy crap my Grammarly account is going to self-combust when I run this post through.)

Today’s blog includes the whole family – or rather, the whole family’s hands. Emelie’s hands weren’t featured because she was the videographer and producer. I believe we might reasonably argue her hands were the most helpful of all – yes?

Emelie is my visual kid when it comes to learning. Years ago this trick moved her beyond the “multiples of 9″ hurdle, after which she forever tossed her well-worn flash cards – NEVAH, EVAH looking back.

The number 9 is unique because if you add it to any number the digital root remains unchanged. Also, multiplying any number by 9 gives a number with 9 as its digital root.


*Breathe in*
*Breathe out*

For a minute there you probably thought I was Math smart; maybe even that I knew what I was talking about. I’m not. I don’t.

Honestly, I have no clue what a “digital root” is, but thanks to Emelie I do know I can use my fingers to multiply any number from 1 – 10, by 9.

Your Turn! Hands Up!

1. Showing all 10 fingers, start from the left pinky and count as many fingers as the number you plan to multiply by nine. In other words, if you want to multiply 9 x 3, count three fingers over and put that third finger down.

2. Then, you count the fingers to the left of the finger you just folded down, which would be 2. That means 2 is the first digit of your answer to 9 x 3.

3. Next, count all the fingers to the right of the finger you folded down, which would be 7. That means 7 is the second digit of your answer to 9 x 3.

4. Check me. Is 9 x 3 = 27?

Trust me, you’ll want to test me over and over and over again – like maybe 1 to 10 times.

Any math tricks you want to share? Remember, we aren’t math geeks over here, so take it easy on us.

Heather Sanders


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