Robinsunne's Multiplication Clock

copyright 2007 Robinsunne

Robinsunne was teaching one day and, like a little breeze from angels' wings, this idea came flying in. Please use these instructions as a free gift! Just make sure to give Robinsunne the credit and refer your friends to this page.

We thought about printing out the clock and selling the instructions, but the fun - and the learning - is in doing it yourself. Make sure to hang your multiplication clock where you all can enjoy it!

These instructions have been copyrighted by Robinsunne. Please use them with your children. Please refer other parents and teachers to this page for the instructions to use with their children.

And speaking of children - don't let the youngers have all the fun. Having the manual dexteity and visual maturity of an elder is great. Definitely have your high school and college students make one, and make one yourself. All that coloring is a good thing. Have fun!

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materials needed to make robinsunne's multiplication clock

You will need:

o an 18" x 24" piece of white paper, (you can also use posterboard, watercolor paper ...)

o a pushpin

o a nail

o a permanent marker (We have used black and navy, one could use red, or green, or whatever you like.)

o a pencil and an eraser

o a pair of scissors

o a collection of colored pencils, (We like pencils best as the colors blend quite well - you'll need to color 13 different circles - you could use markers, or paints, I think, though I haven't tried it.)

o a piece of light weight cardboard: the side panel of a cereal box works nicely, at least 1" x 10"

o a scrap piece of wood

o a hammer

o a ruler that measures inches in 1/8" (16mm) increments, and is at least 12", (30cm), long, though 24" is nice

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directions for robinsunne's multiplication clock

1. Gather your materials.

2. We are going to make a cardboard-compass so that we can draw nicely measured circles. Get your pencil, and ruler and strip of cereal box. Mark the "0" point near one end and then measure and mark off 13 more dots 5/8" (16mm) apart. (You will end up a little beyond 8" or 20cm)

Now put the cardboard over the scrap wood and lightly tap the nail through the cardboard at each 5/8", (16mm), mark to make a hole that our pencil tips will fit into.

3. Find the center of your paper by measuring the edges on the short sides to 9" (228 mm) and the long sides to 12" (303 mm). (This is if you are using 18" x 24", (457 mm x 607mm), paper! Otherwise find the middle of each edge.) Then very, very lightly draw lines straignt down and across the middle of your papers. Where the lines cross is the exact center of your paper. Now I am going to draw the lines a bit more heavily so that you can see them in these computer pictures - Don't you do that! You must draw very, very light lines. (They are sooo much easier to erase later!)

4. Push pin the cardboard-compass through the "0" point into the center of your paper.

NOTE: Can you make a pinhole in your drawing surface? Can you use the cardboard back of your drawing pad? No? Try taping a small cardboard square to the table under the center of your paper. It will bump our pencils when we draw over it's edges, but we will continue to be drawing very, very lightly and so they will only be light bumps. You can fix the bumps later.

Put your pencil into the first hole out - the 5/8", (16mm), measurement. Gently, just slightly pulling away from the center, swing the pencil very, very lightly in a circle around the paper. Now, again, I will be using much darker lines so that the photography will work here. But you will keep on making very light lines. Continue out making 13 circles in all.

5. Now the vertical and horizontal lines we made to find the center show us 12 o'clock, 3,6, and 9 o'clock. If you have a protractor you can mark out 30 and 60 degrees from them, and draw lines - very, very lightly - for 1 and 7 o'clock, 2 and 8 o'clock, 4 and 10 o'clock, and 5 and 11 o'clock. Otherwise you will have to "eyeball" it. That's what we did. Look at the picture at the top of the page - you'll get it. You will also see why drawing lightly makes cleaning up after mistakes easier. So get all of your o'clock/pie lines drawn in.

6. Now, how are your multiplication tables doing? Let's try. Use a pencil very, very lightly! (I used my marker - but just so that you can see the numbers clearly.)

In the center circle we will write the answers to the 0 multiplication tables. Yup, a big, lovely 0.

In the first circle out we will write along that 1 o'clock line the answer to 1 x 1. Yes! 1. Then along the 2 o'clock line we will write the answer to 1 x 2. And at 3 o'clock the answer to 1 x 3, and so on around the clock.

In the second circle out we will write the answers to the Two Times Tables: 2 x 1 along the 1 o'clock line, 2 x 2 at the 2 o'clock line and so on. Do the 3's and the 4's. Get all the way to the 12's in that outside circle.

Get it? Check back to the picture at the top of this page if your head starts whirling. Take a breath, shake out your hands, run around the building if you need to get your blood moving. Then come back and finish up because the coloring comes soon!

7. Check Your Answers! Trade with a friend, or, and here is where using XXios cereal boxes makes so much sense, if you get stuck on 7 x 8, (which I always did until I realised that it was my favorite times table question), just make 7 piles of 8 XXios, count up the whole bunch and if you get 56 then write that answer down!

8. Take your permanent marker and with your very best handwriting trace over the numbers. This is so cool: You can read the - say - 5 times tables around the 5 circle, OR out from 5 o'clock! You can erase any of those straight lines, or any other pencil mistakes, but leave the circles.

9. Now its dreamtime: color in your circles.

Think about this: you could make patterns with your colors: light colors in the center changing to dark at the outside - or vice-versa. How about using rainbow colors: reds to oranges, yellows, greens, blues and purples? Or make the even numbers, 2,4,6,8,10, and 12 all in warm colors of yellows, reds and oranges? Then the odd numbers could be cool: purples, blues and greens. Start with green in the center and by lightly changing the shading end up with yellow on the 12 times tables. Artist's choice here.

Decoration: this is important. Make sure that you take time to decorate your page with whichever symbols and colors are important to you. After all, we use multiplication everywhere: with race cars, organizing doll clothes, raising vegetables, just everywhere.

TA-DA! You are done! Yay for you. Hang this somewhere where you can see it all the time! If you would like, you may share a picture of your efforts with us all at

http://www.flickr.com/groups/robunsunnesmultiplicationclock/ We would love to see it!

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