Skip counting by 8 is one of the harder times tables to learn. First, there is the process of just memorizing the next number in the eights number sequence. Then, for older children, there is the ability to turn the skip counting number sequence into memorized multiplication facts. Finally, there are many higher level thinking skills of finding multiples, knowing common factors of products, and understanding that adding 8 is really just 2 less than adding 10.
In today’s post, I’ll share my short & sweet skip counting by 8′ s song, the 8′ s chart, and give lots of practical tips for helping kids master the 8s multiplication facts.
Memorize the Song First
First thing’s first. The number one easiest way to memorize 8s sequence is to use a skip counting by 8s song.
My beef with most skip counting songs out there is that they’re all 2-3 minutes long. It only takes 30 seconds to count the 8s up to 8×12 if you know them fluently. So, why would you want a 3 minute song to practice that?
Anyway, I ended up writing my own songs for all the times tables 1-12. (I actually wrote 33 basic math fact songs, and you can download them all here with coordinating flashcards.)
I suggest singing all 12 skip counting songs with kids as young as age 4 or 5. The children may not be able to master them all at such a young age, but they enjoy hearing the songs & the songs get stuck in their heads. Then, around 2nd grade you can work towards mastery of the skip counting sequence numbers, and in 3rd grade you can go more in depth on the concept of multiplication.
This 8s tune is a super short & catchy song. All of my skip counting songs are available in one bundle with coordinating flashcards for under $5.Skip Counting by 8s
Activities to Practice Counting for by 8
With older children (ages 8+) you can do extra practice with display charts or number lines.
Write out the 8s skip counting sequence with some blanks and have kids fill in the missing numbers. Kids can also quiz each other this way.
You can also write all the numbers in the 8s sequence on post its and have the kids post them up in the correct order while singing the song.
You can download these free worksheets that are hundreds charts. There are 3 printable worksheets to choose from.
The hundred chart is useful for several fun skip counting activities.
SEEING THE PATTERNS
You want to teach with a grade-appropriate level of rigor, but kids who are 8 or older will be easily able to see the pattern if you lay tokens over the 8s numbers on a 100s chart. In fact, kids who are familiar with the 10s relationships on a hundreds chart might instantly see that counting by 8s is 2 less than counting by 10s.
Then, you can teach how the 8s relate to the 10s. “If you ever aren’t sure of an eights fact answer, you can use the previous number or next number that you do know to figure it out. So, if you know that 8×4 is 32, but you can’t remember 8×5. You know 8×5 will be 10 more than 32 (42) minus 2 equals 40.”
Using the hundreds chart might also help kids notice that all the eights are even numbers; you could discuss that the multiples of 8s are also all multiples of 4 and 2. Noticing these common multiples becomes very helpful in 4th – 6th grade math. (More on this below.)
Kids can place coins or m&ms over the correct number while they sing the song through once. Then, they can take the coins off the second time through the song
MATH BINGO GAME
Give each child a hundred chart & some small tokens. (Dimes, dried beans, or m&ms will do.) Call out a math fact such as 8×4 and the child covers the correct answer.
If they’re still learning the counting by 8s pattern, have the child put a light pencil mark or a see-through bingo token on each number in the 8s skip counting sequence. Show him how to count by 8s four times to get to 32. Then, use coins or something else opaque to play the game.
If they don’t have the mental math facts down yet, kids can sing the 8s song quietly to themselves while counting on their fingers until they get to the fourth finger. If kids in 4th grade or older do know their facts, math bingo with the hundreds chart is super fun for review or for “math fact boot camp.”
Hands on Activities
Equal Groups of 8 (Aka: Multiples of 8)
Place objects in equal groups of 8 items. It helps if you place arrange the 8s to be created by 2 groups of 4. Then kids can see the relationship between the 4s and 8s. You can use this free printable 10 frame worksheet to help your child visualize skip counting.
Print a couple blank charts that look like this:
Have the child fill in 8 dots in 2 rows of 4 like pictured below. Visualizing the dots on the ten frame in equal groups of eight can really help cement the concept of skip counting. This is great for a child of any age who doesn’t have their multiplication table facts memorized. But this type of kinesthetic activity is especially helpful for 2nd-4th graders.
*Note: This is a great activity for how to teach multiples of 8! Use the language “multiples of 8” when you point to each group on the 10 frame chart.
As you point, say, “16, 24, 32, 40 are all multiples of 8. Because if you put multiple eights together you’d get those numbers.” To check for comprehension, you can ask, “What are some other multiples of 8? What is the next multiple of 8 after 96 that’s not pictured here?” “Which multiples of 4 are also multiples of 8?” (That’s a fun one for kids to discover… it’s every other!)
Flashcards aren’t appropriate for all learning activities but they can help with an important skill like skip counting, especially if you use visual cues on the flashcards. My skip counting flashcards show equal groups of 2, 3, 4, 5 etc. You can even just pull up the digital versions on your device for kids to follow along with while you hit play on our songs.
I actually created math flashcards & songs for all kinds of math facts, including skip counting songs. All the cards are in one pdf file & easy to print out. They’re perfect for 4-8th graders who are working to master these formulas & want to use songs to help speed up the process.
I printed mine on cardstock and keep them in our morning time binder for occasional review family style. My kids ages 4-10 all learn the math songs every school year, at the pace of about one or two per week. By the time the concepts come up in 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade math, they’re so engrained in the kids’ heads, they learn to apply the principle very easily. No child is too old or young to start on the math songs!
What is the 8 times table?
Typically, kids learn the 8s times table facts up to 8 x 10, 8 x 12, or 8 x 15. Our songs go to 8 x 12 = 96. Our skip counting songs use only the products/ answers to the 8s… so the “lyrics” to our song are: 8, 16, 24, 32, etc… Once that number sequence is mastered by song, it’s easy for most kids to translate that into memorizing the multiplication tables. We have our kids learn the skip counting songs (and other math songs) primarily at ages 5-8, and then switch to practicing multiplication facts.
8 x 1 = 8
8 x 2 = 16
8 x 3 = 24
8 x 4 = 32
8 x 5 = 40
8 x 6 = 48
8 x 7 = 56
8 x 8 = 63
8 x 9 = 72
8 x 10 = 80
8 x 11 = 88
8 x 12 = 96
How do you skip count?
To skip count, pretend you have several equal groups of a certain number – 3. Then count all the objects 3 at a time… 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 to get 3, 6, 9, 12, etc. Saying the numbers as they add together is called skip counting.
Other Skip Counting Songs & Activities…
- 30 Simple Skip Counting Activities with Free Printables – super cute ideas in here for different math levels
- Skip Count to Familiar Tunes – practice all 12 skip counting songs in less than 10 minutes total!
- Skip Counting by 2 – song, flashcards, activities, ideas (great for kids ages 5-7)