“Tables thing” : a times tables practice activity

This activity was originally created so that my class could get competitive with themselves about improving their own times tables knowledge. It provides a written exercise in which pupils complete a 10×10 tables square, the difference being that the numbers along the top and down the left hand side are not sequential, preventing counting on.

By printing off the individual sheets linked below pupils can practise at home using the countdown clock which is also linked. For teachers wishing to use this as a daily morning activity there is also a ‘week to view’ printable.

Tables Thing Original
Numbers 1 – 10

Tables Thing Advanced
Numbers 1 – 12 excluding 1 and 10

Printable sheet for one week’s practice.


The way we scored it was that the pupils were given 5 minutes to complete the grid and their score was the number of seconds taken to complete the grid plus the number of blanks and incorrect answers. So a pupil that only filled 84 squares and got 3 wrong would have a score of :

300 seconds allowed + 16 blanks + 3 wrong -= 319

A pupil completing all squares in 275 seconds and making 6 errors would have a score of:

275 seconds used + 6 wrong = 281

This allows pupils to have a number which they can compare to their previous bests and see the improvement they make over time.  To do it this way you need to have a countdown clock running so that they can see their time should they finish before the limit.


Writing Instructions

This excellent activity for 7-9 year olds presents four opportunities for pupils to write/create a set of simple instructions. Pupils can choose from the multiple choice sentences to write their own instructions for simple tasks such as making a sandwich and putting up a tent.

This scaffolding activity can help pupils to see how they need to think carefully when writing instructions. Feedback is instant and explains wrong choices and guides pupils towards creating a piece of instructional text that would produce a successful result.

It would be useful to have a range of similar simple instruction writing activities prepared as a follow on activity. This would be great for working through as a discussion activity on an IWB but as it is Flash based activity and as such may not work on certain tablets and other hand held devices.

Writing Instructions by topmarks.co.uk


The Maya

the maya

The Maya by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

This is a rich resource detailing the culture of Mayan civilisation. There are a number of different resources covering topics from the Mayan creation story, their relationship with the sun, their astronomical observations, calendar, agriculture and customs.

There are a number of well made videos on wealth of topics including a look at modern Mayan society.

A link for teachers provides a wealth of activities and resources for use in the classroom including games, images, investigations, and connections to the wider curriculum

Subtraction : skills development

Subtraction : skills development

Subtraction: skills development printable activities

This excellent suite of printable activities by teachingimage.com provides a wide variety of subtraction based activities to accommodate most requirements.

Beginning with simple numbers, it moves through a series of progressively more complicated subtraction processes involving combinations of two and three digit numbers.

There is also a series of exercises to enable practice of subtracting through a  tens barrier  before moving on to exercises on column subtraction and culminating in gap fill activities, requiring pupils to reverse engineer subtraction sums.

Each at the sheets comes with answers. There are 21 separate printable activities in total.