If you know that 7 x 6 = 42, 8 x 6 = 48 and 11 x 12 = 132, that’s great, but if you, your children, or your students don’t, 3xme.com has just gone live and is here to help. It’s important to know multiplication tables by heart because, without this cornerstone of education, a person’s life can take a different course from the one desired.
The heart of 3xme.com is the guide ‘Memorising Multiplication Made Easy’, or the 3XME guide for short, written by Annette Pettman. It describes how to remember all 144 multiplication facts, and how to recall them, even when the answer is forgotten. For the most difficult facts, it uses the characters from the song ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ in short stories of 2 or 3 sentences. When the characters are converted back into the numbers they represent, the answer is revealed.
Gorgeous illustrations by Catalina Estrada make it easy to remember the stories, and the 3XME guide comes with two versions of the song, with performances by singer Carly Anderson and guitarist Andy Saphir. The 3XME guide, including the songs, is available to purchase and download in both UK and US English, as is a licence to use the guide as a professional teaching resource. The guide and music can also be sent as a gift, together with a personal message.
If reference to Christmas isn’t appropriate for cultural reasons, the story characters can play their part without being linked to the song.
The soul of 3xme.com is the ‘Assess yourself’ pages which offer free practice exercises. Users can select the multiplication facts they’d like to be asked, or they can opt for all questions up to 10 x 10, or all questions up to 12 x 12. The questions are presented in random order and, for the most difficult questions, users can ask for a hint in the form of Catalina’s illustrations.
Once an exercise is finished, the user can opt to be asked, again, only the numbers they got wrong or didn’t answer, but this time in a different random order. Users can be timed or take their time, and results can be printed or screen saved. Free downloads include multiplication grids, flash cards and a scorecard.
Users can post feedback on the site, or use social media, and there’s a blog on multiplication tables, maths, study hints and education in general, to which users can post a response. In short, 3xme.com offers an engaging way to get to grips with those pesky times tables.