Tag Archives: times tables

Practise Times Tables – no paper needed!

When we think of practising  times tables, we often think of chanting in unison or working through endless pages of multiplication problems. But is this the best way to teach the times tables?
Fun Games and Activities for Teaching Times Tables - Brilliant Publications

Fun Games and Activities for Teaching Times Tables

In fact, drilling children in their times tables doesn’t necessarily help them to understand the mathematical concepts that underpin multiplication. Children need to be able to conceptualise the maths involved if they are to develop fluency in the times tables, able to recall and apply them rapidly and accurately.

This is why we decided to publish Fun Games and Activities for Teaching Times Tables. This book takes an active approach to learning times tables, providing stimulating and imaginative games to make the process of learning the times tables both effective and fun.
The first half of the book contains games specifically aimed at teaching the 2, 5 and 10 times tables.The second half contains games appropriate for any of the times tables. These games are subdivided into three groups:

  • Games for learning each table in sequence
  • Games to test pupils’ memories and thinking skills as they try to identify the table they are working on
  • Games to teach children the different factors that can make up each answer.

The games require minimal preparation and ensure that all children gain a firm understanding of their times tables and will be able to recall them quickly and easily.

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New maths catalogue

Our new maths catalogue is now available! Click here to download a copy!

We are especially proud of our new Mighty Fun Activities for Practising Times Tables, featuring Mighty Hypersonic Heather, Twirling Tornado Tony and many other superheroes!

These superheroes all share one mission – to make practising times tables fun!

Brilliant Publications maths catalogue 2017





Unfortunately, our mighty superheroes have a problem! Super villain Dennis the Demon Digit Demolisher has an evil plan to rid the world of numbers … .  Can your pupils solve the problems in time to stop him sabotaging the Trans-galaxy Superhero Games?

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Who developed the grid method of multiplication?

Few people disagree on the importance of being able to multiply large numbers together. However, there is much debate on the best way to do so.

Some might argue that, now that calculators are so readily available, children don’t need to learn to do this on paper (or mentally).

On the other hand, the 2014 National Curriculum advocates a move back to ‘formal written methods’.

What people might not realise, however, is that the grid method, much maligned by some as a modern trendy method that ought to be stamped out, actually has its routes in the 13th century.  The lattice method of multiplication was introduced by Fibonacci. His 1202 treatise Liber Abacii (Book of the Abacus) was the most sophisticated work on arithmetic and number theory written in medieval Europe.

His lattice method of multiplication is incredibly simple.  Here’s how to multiply 534 x 42.

First write the numbers on your grid:


Then multiply each pair of digits. Put the tens number on top of the diagonal line and the ones number below it:


Then total the diagonals (adding in carried over numbers if necessary):


The answer to 534 x 42 = 22,428

Another great way resource for teaching children mathematics is a simple deck of cards. Deck Ahoy! contains over 100 activities and games to teach primary maths skills with a deck of cards. Topics covered are not only the main operations – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division – but also fractions, statistics, time, ratios, squares and cubes and graphs.

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Online multiplication tests for 11 year olds

Nicky Morgan has announced that 11 year olds will be given an online test to check that they know their multiplication tables.

While I think it is essential that children know their times tables, I worry that this will result in more rote learning and testing rather than in a true understanding of mathematics.


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Jump, shout and draw the times tables

What is the most effective way of teaching times tables to every child?

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Filed under Key Stage, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Mathematics, Teaching Ideas

A mighty times table problem solved

Teachers Hannah Allum and Hannah Smart developed The Mighty Multiples Times Tables Challenge to improve maths attainment. They share their tips on how to replicate its success in the Guardian online.

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Filed under Key Stage, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Mathematics, National Curriculum, Teaching Ideas