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Is your son or daughter learning multiplication time tables? Are they having trouble memorizing the facts? Enter the Pythagoras Board! Pythagoras Board is a Montessori math manipulative. Instead of rote memorization of time tables, the Pythagoras Board is a visual, tactile way to learn multiplication facts. Since my son started learning skip counting, I’ve been looking for hands on ways to make multiplication fun.
The Pythagoras board enables the child to find patterns, and learn time tables and the commutative property in a visual way. The board has 1-10 numbers going vertically and horizontally. Also, it comes with 100 number tiles that functions as the answers to the equations. So the child places an answer tile on the square that matches a certain equation.
It’s no surprise that I absolutely love Montessori manipulatives. And I can often get carried away ordering multiple items. In order to save money, I came up with a DIY version of the Pythagoras Board. This version of the Pythagoras Board only cost me about $8.
Here are the items you’d need to make your own Pythagoras Board to learn multiplication facts.
- 8 x 10 wooden wall frame
- free Pythagoras Board printables (see below)
- scissors or paper cutter
- small cookie sheet or wooden tray
I purchased the wooden wall frame (on sale) from a craft store. Then I printed the sheets on card stock and laminated the 3 sheets (printables) for durability. First, cut excess white part of the blank Pythagoras Board paper and fit it into the frame.
Next, cut out the number tiles from the 1-100 sheet. Then place each cut tile in a random order onto a tray or cookie sheet. I repurposed a hundreds board. The child will use this board to gather the needed numbers for the equations.
When you first introduce the Pythagoras board to your child, present just 2 or 3 time tables. I had my son skip count by 2 and 3 first. Then we cleared out the board and I dictated certain equations to which he had to find answers. For example, I’d say what’s the product of 3 x 9. He’d find 27 and place it on the appropriate square. Once they get comfortable, then offer the whole set of numbers. I’ve also included few task cards for independent work. A control chart is included for self-check.
How to clean up the number tiles
I saved one of the first column or row from the number tiles printable to organize all the tiles. Simply, gather all the tiles in order of skip counting and place the corresponding number from the first row/column on top. Separate with paper clips and place in a bag or envelope. Demonstrate this to your child and they should be able to clean up. It’s another great way to reinforce multiplication facts.