6th Grade Multiplication: Math Help for 6th Grade Students

Most 6th graders have already learned to multiply numbers with two or more digits, as well as decimals to the thousandths place. Next, you'll extend your knowledge of multiplication to work with longer decimals, exponents, rates and variable expressions.

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Multiplication Skills for 6th Graders


In 6th grade, you'll multiply decimals with four places or more. For example, you might be given a problem like 3.4567 x 78.9. To solve, you'll use the standard multiplication method; however, when you've arrived at your answer, you'll find the proper place for the decimal point by counting the total number of decimal places in the two original factors.

For this problem, you'll initially get the answer 27,273,363. Then, after counting the five decimal places in the factors (3.4567 x 78.9), you'll revise the answer to 272.73363. You may also round your answer off to a certain decimal place if your teacher requests this.


Exponents, which can also be called powers, tell you to multiply a number (the base) by itself a certain number of times. For instance, the base in 3^2 is three, and the exponent is two. This expression tells you to find the product of two threes, so 3^2 = 3 x 3 = 9. The expression 3^4 asks for the product of four threes, so 3^4 = 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 = 81. You can arrive at this answer by multiplying 3 x 3 to get nine, then 9 x 3 to get 27 and 27 x 3 to get 81.


Students in 6th grade will also use multiplication to solve rate problems like this one:

'Ellen can read 25 pages every two hours. If she reads two hours per day every weekday (Monday through Friday), how many pages will she read?'

First, you'll use division to determine Ellen's reading rate in pages per hour. Since 25 ÷ 2 = 12.5, Ellen can read 12.5 pages per hour. Next, you'll use multiplication to figure out how many hours she'll read in five days if she reads two hours per day. Since 2 x 5 = 10, Ellen will read for ten hours total. Last, you'll need to multiply the rate (12.5 pages per hour) by the total hours (10), like this: 12.5 x 10 = 125. As a result, she'll read 125 pages by the end of the week.

Variable Expressions

In 6th grade, you'll use the distributive property of multiplication to simplify expressions that have variables. This property tells us that a(b + c) = ab + ac, where a, b and c represent numbers. You'll use this property to simplify expressions like 2(x - 7). Here, a = 2, b = x and c = -7. Applying the distributive property, this can be simplified to 2x - 14.

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