Friday, April 19, 2024

Tables Tennis – Times Tables Games

by Mark Warner
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Ages: 7-11
David Holmes

This game is a great way of helping children to practice their multiplication tables:

1) Choose two well-matched children.

2) The children alternate in saying a times table. You could also ask them to count up in (for example) 6s from 2.

3) There is an element of competition to ‘return’ the action to your partner, and thinking ahead is encouraged, as well as simple mental arithmetic skills.

Simon Chubb has also contributed these ‘Tables Tennis’ ideas…

Child A says a number (e.g. 4) and Child B replies with another number (e.g. 8).

Both children should then multiply these two numbers together (without saying the answer).

In this example, 4 x 8 = 32 so …

A now says the tens of the answer (3) and B says the units (2)

If one of the children makes a mistake, then they have to complete a forfeit (you could prepare a list of suitable forfeits, or the children could choose what the forfeit might be).

There are a number of variations which can be applied to this game…

Variation 1:

A says a number (e.g. 9)

B replies (e.g. 6)

then A gives a second (e.g. 7) now, (9 x 6) + 7 = 61

so B says the tens (6) and A says the units (1)

a calculator is useful for checking, as is writing things down to begin with.

Variation 2 (a game for 3 players):

A says a tens number (4)

B says a unit (7)

C says an operation (-)

A says a unit (9)

The children work out the sum (47-9) and the answer (38), then…

B gives the tens answer(3)

C says the unit answer (8)

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