4 times table challenge

The bridge of the 4 times table song (What does the four say) sets the children a challenge.  The lyrics are:


The secret of the fours

Is when you look at the units

They go 4-8-2-6-0

As far as you can go

You can do the same

With some other times tables

Which ones can you find?


I have just set this as an “optional” challenge (with bonus league table points for the best investigations) to an entire junior school, from year 3 to year 6.  Attached is the printout that I gave the children, with various differentiated suggestions for challenges, although I’m happy for them to ignore my ideas and take it any way they like.


Within minutes, some of the year 6’s were coming up with their own investigations.  One girl commented to me that if you look at 4-8-2-6-0 backwards it reads 6-2-8-4-0, which is the pattern of units in the 6 times table.  I asked her to investigate why that is the case, and to see if she can find other pairs of times tables where the same thing happens.  Another boy started talking about how with the 9 times table the tens go up and the units go down.  I asked him to investigate why, and to try out other times tables to see what the pattern is there.  I’m hoping both will notice the role played by number bonds, without too much prompting from me.

I will blog again with the results of their investigations.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s