TES Maths ROTW: Tables learning games
TES Maths Resource of the Week
Resource title: Tables learning games
Resource author: GazzaM
What is it?
The first topic I look for when planning ahead for next academic year is factors and multiples. The reason? I love playing this rich and engaging factors and multiples game. I didn't think there could be a better way to practice tables learning, until I found Gozinto.
There are two versions of this tactical activity; one for factors and the other for multiples. In both, students must capture squares in order to be the first to get four-in-a-row or across the board. To capture a square, they roll a die and look for either a factor or multiple of that number, depending on which board they are using.
This game may seem simple, but it is the perfect starting point for the exploration of a wide range of mathematical questions.
How can it be used?
Regular readers will know how much I enjoy mathematically rich tasks, in which pupils start off at the same point before moving on to tackling a selection of probing questions. Gozinto works in this way.
Once pupils, ideally working in pairs, have mastered the basics, there are a variety of lines of enquiry that can be investigated. The author provides some of his own:
- One die or two?
- Six or ten-sided die?
- Four or five in a row?
- What if there is no winner?
- The longest chain?
You might also like to explore:
- Which number can you get in the most ways? How about in the fewest ways?
- What is the easiest board you could design? How about the hardest?
- What is the most useful number on your die? How about the least useful number?
- What rule change would you bring in to change the game?
Given its versality, it's fair to say that Gozinto will be a feature of my factors and multiples lessons for years to come.
Craig is a secondary maths teacher in the North of England.
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