The thing about tables is they have legs.
In fact they have four legs. Four legs each table. One for each corner of the table.
If you didn’t have a leg for each corner the table would be wonky and all the things would slide off the corner with no leg, and then you would have to put a bucket under that corner of the table to catch all the things that fell off that corner of the table. There would be little itty bits of paper mixed up with giant jaffas that someone had taken out of their mouths and put all slimy on the table because it’s terribly important to have a wee break in the middle of eating giant jaffas and think perhaps about the moon, mixed up with felt tip pens whose lids had grown little legs and jumped off the table mixed up with cooked rice and cornflakes and all sorts of things.
Then, because we have big clomping feet, your father and me would always always always be tripping over the bucket and saying things like,
“Ow, ow, ow, Maggie have you done your homework?”
Or roaring “Ouch, I told you NOW”.
Because when grown-ups are cross about one thing they sometimes pretend it is about something else like their very nice and perfectly splendid and well-behaved children. POOR them.
Sometimes you wake up in the morning and sigh a very big sigh, and say ,
“But who invented maths?”
Well, it was actually a grown-up who LOVED tables. He lived in a house with nine rooms and he decided he would build a table for every room. He knew he needed nine table tops. But he didn’t know ANY of his other times tables not EVEN his four times table.
When he was trying to figure out how many table legs he needed, he said to himself, nodding wisely,
"Oh well, we’ll need about a dozen and a half legs for all that"
Whenever he was unsure of any number he always said “Hmm, a dozen and a half” and did his little wise nod.
When people asked him how many children he had he said “Ah yes well, a dozen and a half”.
When people asked how old he was he said, “It’s funny you should ask! I’ll be a dozen and half next Thursday".
Anyway, you can imagine what happened when he made a dozen and half legs for his nine tables. There weren't nearly enough legs to go around all the tables. A couple of the tables had three legs, some had two, and lots of them only had one leg.
The poor silly man was always falling over the buckets in different rooms with his big clomping feet, saying “Ouch Ow, Aaagh, brush your teeth now!” to whichever one of his about a dozen and a half children was in the room, until he was almost half mad with sore bruised toes.
One day he finally said in a loud, distinguished voice,
“Right then, I am inventing maths!”
And so he did.
As everyone knows the very first thing he invented was the four times table so he could fix all the tables and take all the buckets out of all the rooms and hide them in the car and when he told his family he was going to work. he actually went to the beach with his buckets and built very large and important sandcastles. They had moats.
The four time table goes like this.
Remeber how I told you that when you multiply even numbers by anything the answer is always even. You can see it's true. Everything in the four times table ends in 2,4,6,8, or 0 which of course means the numbers are even.
But if you look closer you can see those end numbers, last digit is always arranged in a particular order.
You could do the pattern up to gazillion and the last digit of the four times table would always be in the same order.
And if we arrange them in a grid that is 5 columns across we can see the pattern really clearly, like this.
I don't know if that will help you remember the FOUR times table.
To learn it by heart you basically have to do the same thing as with your three times table. Say it over and over to yourself. Say it before you go to sleep and when you wake up. Maybe you'll dream about it and wake up knowing it. But in case you don't learn how to say it quicker than a cucumber without even thinking about it in the next few days, I have another trick that I will write about, which can help you while you're still having to figure it out.
Big Mama Clomping Boots
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