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Maths Grids

Leader Board

Evil Grid:

     

Best student = NE 3:47 (14 Apr 2020)
2nd student = JL 6:58 (14 Apr 2020)
Tutor = IM 7:15 first to 100%! (9 Apr 2020)

AK best attempt 9:41 95% (3 Apr 2020)

This month: 

 

NE 3:34 98% (18 Jun 2020)
NE 4:31 100% (2 Jul 2020)
IM 6:40 99% (2 Jul 2020)
JH 7:01 (24 Jun 2020)
JL 12:17 (18 Jun 2020)
IL 13:43 (24 Jun 2020)

10x10 Grid, 2x-12x:

 

Best student = JL 1:41 (14 Apr 2020)
2nd student = NE 1:53 (5 Dec 2019 and 16 Apr 2020)
3rd student = LE 1:55 (16 Apr 2020)
4th student = SH 1:57 (4 Mar 2020)
5th student = JD 1:58 (15 Sep 2012)
6th student = JJ 2:24 (20 Mar 2013)

This week:
(years 6-9) 

 

CT 2:22 (30 Jun 2020)
JK 2:25 (2 Jul 2020)
LE 2:28 (2 Jul 2020)
BS 2:44 (30 Jun 2020)
HB 3:23 (30 Jun 2020)
RL 4:11 (3 Jul 2020)
SL 5:37 (3 Jul 2020)

12x12 Grid, in order:

 

Best student = RL 2:58 (22 May 2020)
2nd student = SL 4:38 (5 Jun 2020)

10x10 Integer Subtraction Grid:

 

Best attempt = AK 8:06 99% (6 May 2020)

To be placed in the top student lists, grids must be 100% correct and unambiguous.
Weekly times do not need to be 100% correct.

Numeracy

It's important for people to have good basic numeracy skills, including arithmetic and multiplication. Being proficient with these has a flow-on effect to other maths where it helps solve problems faster, leading to less frustration and a better sense of achievement, and more self confidence with maths.

Being able to quickly recall one's times tables (in any order as required) means attempts to tackle problems are not bogged down with working out the numbers rather than working out how to solve it. It saves a huge amount of time in exams.

 

Multiplication grids

A great way to practice times tables is to fill in a multiplication grid and time yourself (or get someone to time you). Try to improve your time each day.

For older primary school students and intermediate school students I recommend the 10 x 10 sized grid with the 1x and 10x tables replaced with the 11x and 12x tables instead. This is shown in the image to the right.

Each grid has the numbers along the top and down the side in random order. This is to encourage the ability to recall the times tables in any order – as required in everyday problems. The numbers are down both sides so either hand can be used to write without covering the numbers.

A good time is under 2 minutes 30 seconds, a time which should be achievable for any intermediate school aged student with a bit of practice. An excellent time is under two minutes.

A simpler 10 x 10 grid just has the 1x to 10x tables and may be more suitable for mid primary school students.

Using a random 12 x 12 sized grid isn't really any harder than the 10 x 10 sized 2x-12x grid, but because there are 44% more numbers to be written it takes longer. Good is under four minutes, excellent is under three minutes. There's probably not much point in doing this grid – if you want to build up stamina* just do two standard grids in a row.

A 12 x 12 sized grid with the numbers in order. This one is useful for students wanting to practice the full times tables and to help the student recognise the patterns in each series.

* Most people are slower in the second half of a grid than in the first half – brain fade. It can be avoided by a good amount of practice to build up endurance.

 

Tips for improving times

Even doing just a couple of grids a day, it's not unusual to see your times plummet. Practice pays off!

The best times are achieved by filling in the grid systematically. The two competing methods are rows and columns. (They hold the first and second fastest times, respectively.) See which one you find most comfortable.

  • Filling in a row at a time, left to right, is most similar to how we write, and so the least amount of time will be wasted moving the pen or pencil without doing any writing.

  • Filling in a column at a time, top to bottom, uses less vertical eye movement and more lateral (sideways) eye movement, which we are more used to from reading.

The present leading student fills in the grid by columns. The next couple of students use rows.

Another important technique is looking ahead at the next multiplication while still writing the previous one. Overlapping the tasks can save a huge amount of time.

 

Multiplication grids downloads

PDFs of the multiplication grids.

Each PDF has a total of 14 pages with two grids per page.

  • Multiplication grids 10x10, 2x-12x (PDF, 40 KB; this is the recommended grid).

  • Multiplication grids 10x10 (PDF, 40 KB; simpler grid). Best time = 1:50 (JD, 13 Aug 2011 & 11 Feb 2012), 3rd best time = 2:02 (JD, 6 Aug 2011).

  • Multiplication grids 12x12 (PDF, 42 KB; bigger grid). Bigger grid, not actually much need for this.

  • Multiplication grids 12x12 in order (PDF, 20 KB; bigger grid). This is a bigger grid with the numbers in order. 2 pages only (to help double sided printing) because they're all the same. New version 21 February 2020.

  • Multiplication evil grids (PDF, 58 KB; for experts only; a multiplication grid including negative numbers and decimals; the second grid has the answers to make it easier to check – fold it behind before filling in the grid). New version 19 February 2020 – bigger box size.

These files updated 9 December 2019 (except where noted otherwise).

 

OpenOffice spreadsheets with random numbers each time opened.

These grids were created in OpenOffice using a Calc spreadsheet that automatically generates the random numbers for the grids. New random numbers are generated every time the file is opened. The file works fine with Excel, although you may have to allow editing for the automatic random number generation to work.

Each file is set up for 14 pages with two grids per page, but do check before printing that things look like they should.

These files updated 9 December 2019 (except where noted otherwise).

 

Practise

If you're having trouble with just one particular number in your times tables you can practice just that times table with these files. Each times table (up to 12x) has its own page, so you can print out the ones you need the most practice with.

The spreadsheet numbers are randomised every time the file is opened or changed.

These files updated 11 September 2012.

 

Other grids – addition and subtraction

Times tables are not the only maths skill that can be practiced with maths grids. Arithmetic can also be practiced using addition and subtraction grids. The random numbers in these grids also include negative numbers (integers).

With the grids where one number is subtracted from another, the number along the top of the grid is the first number. Where two numbers are added together (even if one or both of the numbers is negative) it doesn't actually matter which number is first.

Think of the first number as the starting point on a number line. The operator and the sign of the second number tell you which direction to move on the number line. The absolute value (its value ignoring its sign) of the second number tells you how far to move on the number line.

For each of the addition and subtraction grids in the PDF the second grid on each page is the answers – fold behind when filling in the grid, but when getting started refer to it as often as you like.

14 grids are in the PDF. For more grids use the Open Office file. Every time the file is opened new random numbers are generated.

These files updated 9 December 2019.