Hard Times

game for learning times tablesThis game is designed to offer children plenty of opportunities to practice those troublesome times tables; the 6x, 7x, 8x and 9x. The game is for two players, you need the Hard Times board, the Hard Times number cards, and a set of counters – 8 of one colour and 8 of another.

The Hard Times board is a grid of 16 squares with 16 product cards.

The players place the board between them. Shuffle the 16 product cards face down on the table. One card is then chosen (without being looked at) and slid face down under the main board. The players now take it in turns to place their 8 counters on the board. Where they place the counters is up to them, but after they have played a few times they may begin to work out a strategy.

When all of the counters have been played on the board the players begin taking it in turns to turn over any of the face-down product cards.

times table game

 
On their turn, they see where the product card would fit on the board; if the space is occupied by one of their own counters they can play the card and keep the counter. If the space is occupied by their opponent’s counter then they replace the card and mix them again.
teaching game - times tables
 

Over time, counters will be moved from the board, replaced by product cards, and collected by the players.

times table maths activity

The game will end with one player’s counter still on the board (belonging to the product card hidden earlier)

The winner is the player who manages to ‘rescue’ all of his/her counters.

fun maths games

Here 'Red' won! 63 had been under the board from the beginning and 'Yellow' couldn't play their last piece.

 

Tip – we've found that if you keep the face down cards in a shallow box (or upturned lid) it will make mixing and choosing easier. The whole thing could even be covered by a cloth during the mixing if you think the players may be devising ways to cheat!

 

The attached download consists of a high quality four page pdf - teacher instructions, two game boards and two sets of coloured 'product cards' to cut out.

maths teaching resource - times table game

As far as we are aware, this is another unique mathsticks-original maths game... yes, the winner is purely chosen by luck, but that doesn't stop it being educational and great fun to play.

mathsticks+ members get access to an additional version of this maths resource.

Please note:
this resource is not part of the Creative Commons Licence, and is copyright Mathsticks 2011


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28 Comments

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Nasus's picture

I'm sure this game will

I'm sure this game will improve my pupils memory of the "tricky" number facts!
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stvang06's picture

My fourth graders are high,

My fourth graders are high, but some struggle with these times. I'm hoping it will encourage and support them. Thank you!
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JanJen72's picture

Looking forward to using this

Looking forward to using this with the kids for those troublesome tables. Have been searching for a while for a new game to revive their interest (and mine) in learning and teaching tables.
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johdu's picture

That's good to hear, thank

That's good to hear, thank you for the feedback. We know times tables is a 'hot' topic with many teachers, parents (and the government!)... so it is on our list to keep adding more useful ways to learn.

John

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kristy.barry's picture

Fantastic - I will be using

Fantastic - I will be using this for my top Year 3 group! Thank you
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class4c's picture

I downloaded this game a year

I downloaded this game a year ago, laminated it and it is still going strong. It is a favourite with my top ability year 4's. One of the many fantastic resources from this site.
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kmor's picture

This really focuses the

This really focuses the children who say I don't know the tables. They often know very many of them, this resource demonstrates that there are really only these few multiplication facts which have still to be learned. I like the 'mystery' touch to this game.Also the reducing number of counters let's me know how they are progressing and work out their finish time. Lots of fun !
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nmsunsetangel's picture

This is actually the reason

This is actually the reason that I joined this website!! I saw this game on Pinterest and followed the links to download it.  (I'm glad I did because now I have access to so many other awesome resources!)  However, when I first saw the game I thought it was a multiplication version of Connect 4.  Now that I have seen the full directions, I think there may be too many steps for my SPED students to remember.  My modification will be to print the blue and orange answer tiles so that each player gets all of the answers in their own color (eliminating the confusion of what to do with the chips) and then they will take turns putting the answer to which ever factor pair they choose.  They will "win" if they get 4-in-a-row.  The students will be reviewing their multiplication and be coming up with strategies to "block" their opponent from winning!  Thanks!
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johdu's picture

That's a great adatation, and

That's a great adatation, and very helpful feedback. Thank you. I understand why you may have thought this was a maths version of Connect 4 - since the counters we used are from an old Connect 4 game. They were the perfect size. But, yes, I can see that elements of this may be layering on confusion for some children, so you adaptation makes this a cleaner, clearer maths game.

Thanks.

 

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Cathryn Jackson's picture

This game is so helpful! It's

This game is so helpful! It's going to be a homework activity in preparation for a times tables focus week next week. Hopefully the children will get a head start with the trickiest bits of the tables. Thanks!
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kathyhelfrich's picture

  This game reminds me of the

  This game reminds me of the gameshow with the suitcases that are opened with different money values inside.  For the life of me, I can't recall the name of the gameshow, but anyways, I think the mystery product element of the game adds a neat motivational twist to practicing the tough facts.  This will definitely be part of my math workshop rotation.
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johdu's picture

I'm not sure if you are

I'm not sure if you are thinking of 'Deal or no deal' - that's the UK version. But, yes, the mystery element adds something that helps to keep the children focussed. Good to hear that it is working well for you. John
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auntiebarb's picture

 This looks like fun for my

 This looks like fun for my more able students as it is more than just recall - they can think strategically as well. 
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helenoxley's picture

A brilliant resource for

A brilliant resource for making tricky x tables fun!
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charliechips's picture

You could easily adapt this

You could easily adapt this for older children For example instead of 6 x 6 you could have 60 x 60 to help reinforce using multiplication facts when multiplying higher numbers. So on the board game each number would be a tens rather than a units number. Or instead of 6 x 6 you could have 6 x 0.6 for a decimal version again reinforcing multuplication facts. Will be doing this for my year 6 class!
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johdu's picture

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. Yes, this maths resource can be adapted to meet a range of different teaching or learning needs... I like you notion of using decimal numbers too. Cheers..
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littlemisssunshine's picture

 An excellent game to use

 An excellent game to use with those tricky times tables!! 
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charliechips's picture

My children have loved

My children have loved playing this game and it has improved their knowledge of the times tables very quickly.
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maths's picture

Perfect for the time

Perfect for the time tables!!!
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Ozgur's picture

I am definetly use this

I am definetly use this activity during the last week of the term. It will be a good idea to do some Maths in a fun way.
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bottle_blonde's picture

This game has saved me so

This game has saved me so much time! Another fun game that can be used to reinforce multiplication. Thank you!
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marika t's picture

perfect for the times tables

perfect for the times tables which are most difficult to learn!
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zwilkinson's picture

A great site and a simple but

A great site and a simple but effective game - have used something similar before, but this is better!
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BobbiHan's picture

What a brilliant site - only

What a brilliant site - only just found it by accident! I have downloaded the measures pairs game -- brilliant ,clear graphics and simple to play Thank you
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1 user has voted.

This game would be a great

This game would be a great activity for fun a MOS, to help children learn their tables. Thank you for sharing!
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toddy's picture

Really helpful - a fun way of

Really helpful - a fun way of learning the times tables that are more challenging.
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young67's picture

This will save me so much

This will save me so much time. The bright colours will make it so attractive to pupils and the learning will be fun.
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maura chamberlain's picture

This will be perfect for my

This will be perfect for my maths support group.It is good to find resources that make tables fun.
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