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9 Times Table – Games & Activities for the Classroom

9 times table
9 Times Table - Fun Ways of Teaching & Learning the 9 Times Tables

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When do students learn the 9 times table?

The 9 times table forms part of the Year 4 national curriculum in the UK (approx 8 years old). 

By the end of Year 4, all students should know all their times tables 1-12 and in June 2021 students will be tested nationally for the first time with something called the “Multiplication Tables Check” (here’s a link to a lot of information on the MTC)

In Years 5 and 6, students will use this knowledge to approach problems in geometry, fractions,.., and of course in more difficult multiplication problems. 


9 times table & national curriculum

What do students need to know before learning the 9 times table?

Before learning their 9 times table, students should know: 

  • how to add 9 to any number (year 1)
  • the concept of multiplication (i.e. 3 groups of 9 objects)
  • the 3 and 10 times tables
  • how to use manipulatives to workout a particular times table.

How are times tables taught in schools now?

Learning times tables is one of the few things that most people remember from their schooling and those that possess a good knowledge will always proudly demonstrate it.

20 years ago, and still in a number of Asian countries, times tables are memorised by chanting and repeated testing. 

Nowadays, teachers spend a lot of time making times tables fun to learn using games such as Times Tables with Emile, using songs and dance or involving other subjects (cross-curricular learning). 

They still use worksheets, songs and dances, but the emphasis is on understanding. 

The 9 Times Table Trick No 1

We’re not a big fan of this trick but some students like it. When you are asked to multiply a number by 9


9 times table 7

1. Point to the number that is NOT 9. (Here it’s 7)

2. Subtract 1 from that number. (Here 7-1=6)

3. That number is the first part of the answer:

9 times table 7 step 3

4. What number bond with that number makes 9?

5. What number bond with that number makes 9?

9 times table 7 step 5

6. That number is the second part of the answer: 

9 times table 7 step 6

The 9 Times Table Trick No 2

1. Place your hands on a table top and number your fingers 1 to 10. 

9 times tables fingers 1-10

2. Next look at the calculation you have been asked to make and identify the number which is NOT 9. Here it is 7.   

3. Whatever number  is not 9, hold down that finger. Here it is the 7th finger as the number that is not 9 is 7. 

9 times tables fingers step 2
9 times tables fingers step 3

4. Count the number of fingers to the left of that finger. Count the number of fingers to the right of that finger.   

5. Here we had the 7th finger with 6 fingers to the left and 3 fingers to the right. So the answer of 9 x 7 = 63

9 times tables fingers step 4

Why is the 9 times table so difficult to learn?

Some believe that the 9 times table is hard to learn because of the size of 9. As a result, numbers increase quickly and a firm understanding of place value is needed

Times Table Facts

Always remember that there are only 12 x 12 (144) maths facts to learn for the national curriculum. 

Once you remove the 1 and 10 times tables that leaves 102 maths facts. 

Know your 2, 3 and 5 times tables and then there’s 60 maths facts left – fewer than half the 144.

Regular practice with Times Tables with Emile will lead to all your students wanting to practice them and knowing all their times tables in no time at all. 


9 Times Table Games & Activities

Get them to Work it Out

Give students manipulatives such as buttons, pasta or dried beans. 

As they will eventually need 108 manipulatives, it may mean working in groups and being prepared for a bit of a sweep up. 

Get them in their groups to write down the 9 times table up to 12 x 9. Then check with adjacent groups. 

Hopefully this exploration of the 9 times table will help embed their understanding of what the 9 times table is.  

(To reduce mess, and the number of manipulatives required, you may want to explore up to 5 x 9 instead.)  

View and Read Aloud

Work through their results as a class. Ask if anyone can see any patterns. 

9 Times Table Grid

Ask students to complete an empty multiplication grid. It’s quite a useful exercise in itself to see where some students are struggling.

The grid could be selectively empty in the 9 row or column.

It can also be useful to remind children that they can reverse the order of a multiplication to make it an easier calculation.

7 times table grid

9 Times Table Worksheet

Use the free worksheet that can be found here to check on understanding and comprehension by leaving the multiplication grid with the students. 

9 Times Tables Worksheet

Prepare for the MTC

Practice for the MTC with MTC with Emile for FREE. It looks exactly the same as the DfE’s MTC, allows teachers to choose which times tables, how long to answer and track student progress. 

Times Tables with Emile

Play online games at home on mobiles, tablets or computers. Compete to see who is the fastest and best at their times tables with Times Tables with Emile and explore the mysterious planet of Meso. 

times tables

A Variation on Fizz Buzz

So for those that don’t know Fizz Buzz….

Players generally sit in a circle. The player designated to go first says the number “1”, and the players in turn then count upwards. Any number divisible by three is replaced by the word fizz and any number divisible by five by the word buzz.

So numbers divisible by 15 become fizz buzz. A player who hesitates or makes a mistake is eliminated from the game.

So Fizz Buzz starts:

1, 2, Fizz, 4, Buzz, Fizz, 7, 8, Fizz, Buzz, 11, Fizz, 13, 14, Fizz Buzz, 16, 17, Fizz, 19, Buzz, Fizz, 22, 23, Fizz, Buzz, 26, Fizz, 28, 29, Fizz Buzz, 31, 32, Fizz, 34, Buzz, Fizz, …

I like to add “Fizzty” for any number divisible by 9!

So 1, 2, Fizz, 4, Buzz, Fizz, 7, 8, Fizz Fizzty, Buzz, 11, Fizz, 13, 14, Fizz Buzz, 16, 17, Fizz Fizzty, 19, Buzz, Fizz, 22, 23, Fizz, Buzz, 26, Fizz Fizzty, 28, 29, Fizz Buzz, 31, 32, Fizz, 34, Buzz, Fizz Fizzty, …

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