TES Maths ROTW: Tables learning games

Craig Barton
27th June 2016

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 Barton

Craig is a secondary maths teacher in the North of England.


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