Times Square Directions

Object: To get four numbers in a row — vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.

Set-Up: The game board consists of 36 squares. The numbers on the squares consist of all possible products that result when two single-digit numbers are multiplied. At the bottom of the board is a factor list containing the single-digit numbers 1-9.

Play: On the first turn of the game, one player drags a marker to one of the numbers on the factor list. On the second turn, the other player drags a second marker to one of the numbers on the factor list. The product of the two marked numbers on the factor strip will be colored to match that player’s color (red or blue).

Next, the first player can move either of the markers on the factor strip to another number. The first player then gets control of a square in the game board equal to the product of the two marked numbers on the factor strip will be colored to match that player’s color (red or blue).

Players then alternate turns for the remainder of the game.

For example, let’s say that you drag one of the markers to 7 on the first turn of the game. If your opponent then drags the other marker to 9, the number 63 (because 7 × 9 = 63) will be colored to match that player’s color. On your next turn, if you move the marker from 9 to 2, the number 14 (because 2 × 7 = 14) will be changed to your color.

Winning the Game: The first player to get four in a row wins. If it becomes impossible for either player to get four in a row, the game ends as a tie.

Math Concepts: Factors, Multiples, Multiplication

What You Can Do: Students can be exposed to basic multiplication facts in a variety of contexts. Look for opportunities to practice multiplication with your child at home or when running errands. For instance, ask your son or daughter how many car tires are on your street (4 × the number of vehicles), or if you buy several dozens of eggs at the grocery store, ask your child to determine the total number of eggs (12 × number of dozens).

One way for young students to “see” multiplication involves an array model, which is an organized arrangement of rows and columns. An array can be created with Unifix cubes, with coins or buttons arranged neatly into a rectangular pattern, or by considering a portion of floor covered with square tiles. For example, the image below is a representation showing that 3 × 5 = 15.

Math in the Game: Logical reasoning is required to get four in a row before your opponent, and understanding factors is important. Squares are covered based on the product of two numbers. Encourage students to consider what products their opponent will be able to make if they move a marker to a particular number.

Related Resources:

Modeling Multiplication with Streets and Avenues
Toothpicks are arranged in a criss-cross pattern to represent an arrangement of streets and avenues in a town. Students determine the number of stoplights needed.

Factorize
Students determine the factorizations for a number by creating all possible rectangles of a given area.