MULTIPLICATION PICTURE RHYMES

6 asked 7 to pour the stew.

The answer to this is, "So 6 times 7 is 42."

The answer to this is, "So 6 times 8 is 48."

These rhymes are for the 6, 7, and 8 tables. Each number keeps its own personality whenever it appears. Six is always lazy and wants to be waited on. Seven is always busy and helpful. Eight means well, but he tends to do things like drop sticks, lose his shoe, and get chased by a bee.

These rhymes are no substitute for an understanding of numeration, of the sort you get from a program like *Singapore Math*. What they do is help children with the rote memorization of their multiplication tables, something that is very hard for some--not all--dyslexics.

To keep the memory load manageable, there are only 15 cards. There are no cards for the 0, 1, 2, 5, 9, 10, or 11 tables--all of which are easier to memorize.

Most people know the "nine trick"--laying the hands face-down on the table. Curl the third finger from the left under. There are two fingers to the left of this finger and seven fingers to the right--2 and 7. So 9 times 3 is 27. You do the same for 9 times the other numbers.

The other way to cut down on the number of cards is to stress that 7 times 6 is the same as 6 times 7--no need for an extra card. And so forth.

If you do the 6, 7, and 8 tables without doing the 0, 1, 2, 5, 9, 10, and 11 tables, you need only 12 cards. All that's left is 3 times 3, 3 times 4, and 4 times 4. I made extra cards for these three combinations (even though most children seem to know them), so that makes only 15 cards to memorize.

6 asked 8 for one more plate.