# Nines Alive: Patterns Are Key to Times Tables Success (#214)

A Year in the Life: Ambient Math Wins the Race to the Top!
Day 214

For one year, 365 days, this blog will address the Common Core Standards from the perspective of creating an alternate, ambient learning environment for math. Ambient is defined as “existing or present on all sides, an all-encompassing atmosphere.”

And ambient music is defined as: “Quiet and relaxing with melodies that repeat many times. Why ambient? A math teaching style that’s whole and all encompassing, with themes that repeat many times through the years, is most likely to be effective and successful.

Rock-solid basics are so essential to a good math education.  But those basics need to be taught imaginatively, creatively, and enthusiastically.  Math, of all other subjects, needs to follow this rule.  Turning off to math is too often a one-way street, a dead end.  Kindle a spark in every child’s mind, and watch the robust fire/desire to learn take hold.  Today’s post features just such sparks for third graders, as they get every times table mastered, in preparation for fourth grade and beyond.

The nines table is pattern-rich, and patterns are so essential to times tables mastery!  These two activities will insure that every child will never again forget the nines table.  Much fun and creativity will be had along the way, with surprise in movement, and a colorful illustration to solidify the lesson.

NINES BY HAND!

Number fingers 1-10
Start at the left little finger
Lower the relevant finger
Say 9 times that number
The tens are to the left of the lowered finger
The ones are to the right of the lowered finger

Left little finger / 1 X 9 = 9 (0 tens / 9 ones)
Left ring finger / 2 X 9 = 18 (1 ten / 8 ones)
Left middle finger / 3 X 9 = 27 (2 tens / 7 ones)
Left index finger / 4 X 9 = 36 (3 tens / 6 ones)
and so on . . . have fun with nines!

NINES UP!

Pre-number 20 index cards, two sets of 0-9, one number on each card
Line up 10 children, each holding double cards facing out
With fewer than 10, line up just the cards facing out
Move the numbers together in pairs as shown
Start with 0 and 9 and go up to 4 and 5
(9 X 1 – 5)
Reverse the numbers one by one:
Take the top cards, leaving the bottom ones
Start with 5 and 4 and go up to 9 and 0
(9 X 6 – 10)
Help the children illustrate the pattern as shown above . . . have fun with nines!

Knowledge ensues in an environment dedicated to imaginative, creative knowing, where student and teacher alike surrender to the ensuing of knowledge as a worthy goal. Tune in again tomorrow for more Grade 3 fun!