Interactive Multiplication Tables
Learning the times tables by heart give a child an incredibly useful skill to carry through life. This activity can quickly demonstrate any tables value, by counting the total number of shapes in a tables square.
The activity consists of one hundred numbered fish, these move in and out of a tables square depending on the product. Children can see that the tables are actually just an extension of counting or repeated addition. You can also change the shape to either balls or cards. The balls or white cards are probably better for displaying numbers. Note the fish shape are removed from older web browsers.
Controlling the interactive teaching resource
When launched the activity is in manual mode. To change the tables value,
- click one of the numbered buttons
- click anywhere inside the square
- Random button for a random product
- arrow button button to move to the next value in the tables.
- × button empties the tables square
Changing the tables square appearance
You can change various aspects of the interface
- Click the toggle button to show all the products like a traditional multiplication square
- Click head buttons to show or hide the number buttons.
- Click number direction button to toggle between numbering shapes vertically or horizontally
- Click side shapes button, to toggle whether to show shapes that are not in the square either on or offscreen.
Initially all the shapes have a number this can be turned off using the number style control. Choose 'None' to turn off all the numbers, 'all' shows all, 'last' shows the number on the last shape which is the same as the product answer. Choose 'sequence' to show multiples, described in more detail below.
The shapes as they are arranged in the table can be numbered either horizontally or vertically, this also effects what will happen when next is pressed.
The automatic mode can be used to go through whole sets while children repeat the values out loud. Use the mode select to pick one of the automatic modes, either ordered or random. When you do this you will notice that the dice and next button disappear to be replaced by a new control. Press this button and the shapes will move into the square automatically and the product cards will be hidden and slowly revealed to show the product. The speed at which this happens is determined by the timer slider.
The activity is good at reinforcing the concept of multiplication as repeated addition. Further that multiplication is in effect a process that can vastly speed up counting of ordered objects.
It is also useful for showing how multiplication is commutative. The
children can see quite clearly that
4 × 3 = 12 and 3 × 4 = 12 are just the same 12 fish.
You can also show why square numbers are so called and notice why such numbers must lie along the diagonal.
Multiples of a Number
To view the multiples of a number it is a good idea to the change the shape style to either balls or cards, since the number are bit a clearer. Then change the number display type to sequence Now you will see multiples displayed either horizontally or vertically depending on the direction of numbering control setting.
This activity is for teaching multiplication facts, there is also the addition and subtraction facts activity.
The number explorer uses animated fish again, but this time to teach about division, number types and much more.