Why do this problem?
is a great way to reinforce children's understanding of the sequences contained within the multiplication square, while it also provides a motivating context in which to practise their tables.
You could use this interactivity
of the jigsaw as a whole class activity on an interactive whiteboard, inviting children to explain how they would start and then go on to complete the task altogether.
Alternatively, you could introduce the jigsaw to the whole group and then ask them to complete it in pairs, either at computers or by printing off and cutting out this sheet of the grid and pieces. The conversations they have amongst each other as they work will be well-worth listening in on as they
will reveal any misconceptions but also inform you as to how well the children are able to reason mathematically.
What is the pattern of the numbers in this column/row?
Which tables will you find this number in?
What is the smallest number in the table? Where would it go?
What is the biggest number in the table?
Can you see a pattern in the gaps you have left?
David Longman, a teacher at Holmemead Middle School, very kindly suggested the following activities which complement and extend this activity. This sheet
is an unfinished tables square for children to complete. This Ripped-up Tables
activity could be used as a
follow-up to the Multiplication Square Jigsaw. Not only do pupils have to put the square together, they have to complete it first!
At first, children may want to use a ready-made table square to help in doing the jigsaw before trying to do again (or trying later stages) without this aid.