Time to Spare? Play a Math Game!

There always seems to be five minutes to spare before the bell or at least there was in my class. Five minutes is just enough time to play a whole class math game.

A classroom game I played often with my class once they were on the way to mastering their multiplication facts was Dingo and Sheep. Yes, it has a distinctively Australian flavor and in case you don’t know the dingo is a doglike predator and the sheep is, well, it’s prey.


Have 5 minutes to spare - here's a quick and simple math game for the multiplication tables.


It’s played like this:

  1. One child comes out to the front of the class. They’re the dingo.
  2. I pick a child in the room and give a multiplication fact. They’re competing with the dingo to say the answer first. If they say it first or say it at the same time as the dingo, they’re safe. If they don’t, they’re ‘caught’ and they come and join the dingo.
  3. The next child I ask now competes with the dingo and the sheep (if there is one). Once again if they answer first they’re safe. If the dingo answers first they’re caught. Now if the sheep answers first they trade places. The dingo will always remain at the front.
  4. The aim of the game is for the dingo to catch as many sheep as possible in the time given.

Now not everyone was working at the same level. Not everyone had the ability to answer the fact before the dingo.

I definitely didn’t want the same group of students being sheep so I gave those who needed extra support a multiplication card of the times table I was going to ask next. That way they only had to scan the card to find the fact.


Add times table cards to your multiplication games to help those kids who need a little more time to learn the facts.


Times table grids can be difficult to use particularly if the child has tracking problems and even though I had posters in my room, to find the times table and the answer was going to take far too long.

There were always cries from someone, generally the dingo, saying it’s not fair but I would remind that child that fair is getting what everyone needs in order to be successful.


We differentiate instruction to make things fair for all learners.


Of course we always played small group games as well in our math rotations. The kids who still needed to consolidate a particular times table could work on that and the kids who were proficient with all their tables could play a mixed table game.


Make learning the multiplication facts with multiplication games.


Grab a Pack  of Multiplication Games Today

Whether you are wanting to give your competent little multipliers extra practice at their times tables or support your lower level learners with games and activities to learn single facts, I’ve got you covered. Head on over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store to grab a pack of multiplication games for your class.






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