Multiplication & Division

 

As mathematicians, we aim to be as efficient as possible at solving mathematical problems.  Having number facts to hand, when calculating, is an essential part of achieving this so that we don't find ourselves trying to do too many things at once and using up that precious working memory.  For instance, it is much easier to apply a known calculation fact to a formal written method of calculation than it is to have to work out the fact first and then apply it.  Giving yourself more to do often means that you increase the likelihood of making errors.

This makes knowing your times tables particularly important! 

Many of you will be familiar with times table chanting and songs, which still have their role! However, this page will not contain examples of these.  Instead, presented below are some games and activities that can be played to help develop multiplication fact recall.  These are often more effective at developing multiplication fact recall as they are more engaging and fun for both child and parent.  

Let us know if you know of any other great games or activities that we can add to the page!

Games

Multiplication Game 1

Our first is: Dice Tag Multiplication from the wonderful Mathsticks.com.  Please visit them for further exciting free and paid ways to help your child improve their number sense.

Multiplication Game 2

Times Tables Snakes and Ladders: based on the classic game, a great way of practising particular times tables and counting. Sourced from Mathsticks.com.

Multiplication Game 3

Another great game is the Multi-Race Game, a ‘Track’ game which encourages children to practice multiplication problems.  With this resource there is a very strong focus on identifying factors, and on the accurate use of vocabulary. Again, this comes from the very wonderful Mathsticks.com.

Multiplication Game 4

This is a great challenge from the wonderful folks at NRICH, called 'The Factors and Multiplication Game'. You can find supporting resources here and, if a slightly easier version is needed, a smaller number board (150) can be found here.  This makes the mental calculations much easier, without watering down the mathematics. Discussing better moves that could have been made and sharing mental strategies can improve the quality of the activity.

Multiplication Game 5

...and Mathsticks.com have come up trumps again with this fantastic game.  We all know what a great game the classic 'Battleships' is!  Well, here's a game based upon it (with the added bonus of being able to practise multiplication facts) called Multiplication Starships.  Be aware that in step 2 of the instructions, it states 'the product of and two multiples'. This should actually read 'the product of and two factors'.

Multiplication Game 6

Another brilliant Mathsticks.com game.  Do you like playing 'Top Trumps'?  Well, here's a great game based upon this classic: Superhero Top Trumps.  It provides a great competitive opportunity to know your multiplication tables.  

Bonus Task (click for added excitement!)

Want to win $1 million? 

Well, the Clay Institute are offering this whopping prize to the person who solves the Riemann hypothesis.  This problem calls on someone to find a pattern in the distribution of prime numbers. 

The video below adds further detail as to how you might begin to explore this:

Tricky facts

Sometimes there will be a multiplication fact which will seem trickier than the others e.g. 6 x 7. 

Knowing this, simply have someone call out the tricky multiplication pair (or pairs) at random times.  Around the same times, ask other multiplication questions (some easier, some harder). Do this often and this fact will be secured in no time!

 

What else do I need to know?

Factors and Multiples 

Quite simply...

factor x factor = multiple

or

multiple factor x factor 

So, you see, factors are the numbers which are multiplied.  The product of these is called a multiple.

Composites and Primes

We love this explanation of composites and primes:

Doubling

As long as you know a few multiplication facts, doubling can help you to explore other multiplication facts. 

For instance, if you know 2 x 7 = 14 then it is possible to easily work out that 4 x 7 = 28 and that 8 x 7 = 56 by doubling the multiple each time.