Three In a Line
Here's a quick and easy maths game to help children practice mental multiplication in the context of a game. The children have a collection of coloured counters and a game-board. The game-board features a 4 by 4 grid of numbers, and seven separate numbers (in red). The red numbers are factors; the numbers in the grid are products. The children take it in turns to find two red numbers which, when multiplied, will match a cell on the board. The first player to cover any three cells in a line with his/her counters is the winner.
The game promotes meaningful talk and enables the children to perform dozens of calculations. As the children become familiar with the game they may also begin to play more strategically - planning ahead for their next move.
Use the boards for differentiated activities, or let the children choose three boards so they can play three different games one after the other. If children come up with a particularly good strategy for working out the product encourage them to share it.
The download file* includes six different boards and one blank one (not pictured) - the latter board provides an ideal extension wherein the children can work together to devise their own game. Selecting and generating their own set of numbers will offers even more mathematical benefits.
[NOTE: this image shows an earlier version and some numbers have been changed]
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