23 Mar My 5 favourite games for teaching the times tables
If you have read any of my blogs before, you will know that I am a firm believer that learning should be fun and boost confidence as well as knowledge.
I also believe the times tables are a paramount factor in becoming confident in maths.
(Please note this post was originally written by me in 2018 when we were still known as Starr Tutoring)
Why do you need to make learning fun?
There are several reasons for this:
- If the child is enjoying themselves, they will be more likely to want to participate (practice).
- The more the child practices the more likely they are to improve.
- With improvement grows confidence. With confidence grows a willingness to have a go.
Why should learning be varied?
Over the past 18+ years of studying and working in educational settings (and with a keen interest to learn more about learning styles) what I have established is that we need to create a wide range of memories to store in our brain.
As we do this we are making it easier for the brain to find the relevant information when it is needed.
A variety of games helps with this.
(I have kept my logic here very short but I expand on it in far more detail in my e-book which is available as part of the Million times table challenge. If you want more information, send me an email at email@example.com
Noughts and crosses (Also known as tick tack toe)
This game is easy to create and fun. In fact, is probably one of my favourite games.
As shown in the image you need to draw a grid which consists of 2 over lapping horizontal and vertical lines.
In each square you write a different number (normally from 1 to 12) but this can be higher if you want more of a challenge.)
Now choose which times table you want to focus on.
You play the game in the same way that you would play noughts and crosses normally, except this time before you can claim your square you have to multiply the number in it by your chosen times table.
The winner is the first person to get 3 in a row, vertically, horizontally or diagonally.
This game is also very simple to create.
On a piece of paper write down 12 times tables questions and their corresponding answers.
Cut these up into pieces of paper, each the same size. You may choose to back them so that you can’t see through them and cheat…
Now place them all face down on the table.
Each player takes it in turns to turn over 2 pieces of paper.
If they have found a corresponding question and answer, you keep the pair and have another go.
If you haven’t, you place them back down on the table and the other person has a go.
The winner is the person with the most pairs at the end of the game.
Snakes and ladders
This game needs a bit more effort to prepare.
You will need to create a grid which is approximately 6 squares by 5. Then in each square write a times tables question focusing on the times table that you are learning.
You may also want to use relevant division questions.
Then draw in a selection of 3 snakes and 3 ladders.
This is your snakes and ladders board.
You will need a counter each and a dice to play the game.
As you move around the board you will need to answer each question as you land on it and go up the ladders and down the snakes as you fall prey to them.
This ‘times tables’ game is again very easy to create.
On a piece of paper write down the questions for the times table you are focusing on:
Now cut these out into individual squares and lay them out on the table in front of you.
You will need 2 counters each and like “Tiddly Winks” you have to take it in turns to flick your counter on to the squares (lily pads). If you get it on, you answer the question and keep it.
The person who has answered the most when there are none left wins.
Again, this takes a little bit of effort to prepare.
You will need to create 2 boards of 6 squares each. On each board you will need to write one of the questions related to the times tables you are practicing:
Then cut out bits of paper with one answer on each.
You then take it in turns to pick up a piece of paper. If the answer on it relates to one of the questions on your board, you win that answer.
The first person to win all their answers is the ultimate winner.
I have flown through these games in minimal detail. I hope you get the gist though.
In the Million Times Tables challenge I go into them in far more detail using both videos and my e-book.
You can access all the templates for each individual game.
The challenge just cost £12 and can be accessed HERE
My goal behind the Million Times Table challenge is to try and help 1 million children build confidence and have fun with their times tables.
Every time one person purchases the course another person (child in care, with special needs or low-income family) will be given access to the course for free.
Please help me to reach my goal.
Again, details of the 1 Million Times Tables Challenge can be accessed HERE
If you want to nominate yourself or someone else you know for free access, please email me with the subject heading “nomination”.
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