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Simple tool for multiplication tables

Learning can be made far more interesting and engaging for students if it involves some hands-on activity, whereby they can ‘do’ to understand things. This can be achieved by using simple Teaching-Learning-Materials in classrooms. The usage of one such TLM to introduce the concept of multiples of a number, is the subject of discussion in this article.
Description of the TLM:
This TLM consists of a large number board and many small bi-coloured cards. 
The number board – It has numbers printed from 1 to 100 as in the figure. There is a white space adjacent to each number for placing the small cards. 
Bi-coloured cards - The cards are black on one side and green on the other side. The size of the cards is the same as that of the white boxes in the number board. 
Uses of the TLM:
To make students -
  • Aware of the concept of multiples of a number.
  • Understand the common multiples of two numbers.
1. Finding multiples of a number:
Usually children are made to memorize multiplication tables to teach multiplication. But this TLM can be used to make children understand the concept of multiplication.
To make students aware of the multiples of number 4, ask children to place the coloured cards (black side on top) on every fourth number in the number board. Children will be very interested and engaged as they count and place the cards on the board. Likewise, they can be told to continue up to 100. After completing the activity, students have to say out the numbers where they have placed the black cards. Then we can conclude that the numbers said by them are multiples of 4. In a similar manner this TLM can be used for making them aware of the multiples of other numbers.
2. Finding common multiples of two numbers:
Introducing the concept of common multiples of number is much easier with this TLM.
A student is asked to place the black cards on 8’s multiples in the number board. Another student is asked to place the black cards on 6’s multiples, without altering the position of the cards on 8’s multiples. On reaching 24, the second student finds that there is a black card already. At this point the student is asked to turn the black card, instead of placing another black card (The
cards are black on one side and green on the other side). So on number 24, the card will have green colour facing upward. They can be asked to repeat the same when they reach 48,72 and 96. After completion, children are asked to find the numbers that have green cards on them. (24, 48, 72, 96). They can now be told that these are the common multiples of the numbers 6 and 8. 
Other ideas that can be tried using the TLM
For lower grades, this TLM can be used to introduce odd and even numbers and also involve children in numerical games.
S. Kamalan, PST , GPS Thengaithittu.


Primary Maths

Term: Term 2