Well, they were boring and not necessarily the best way for kids to learn. Thing is, multiplication is pretty useful, even if these exercises did only go up to 12 (what’s that all about? Did teachers have a fear of the number 13… oh hang on…)
Anyway, a British inventor has come up with The Maths Wrap that is designed to turn multiplication exercises into a physical game. It doesn’t need batteries – in fact in its simplest form it’s just a board with some notches cut top and bottom and a piece of string.
Kids insert a card for whichever times table they are trying to learn. At the top is a row of numbers to multiply by, from one to 12, and at the bottom are the answers. The aim is to connect the numbers on the top with the correct answers on the bottom by passing the string through the notches. When done, the device is flipped over, and if the strings match up with the lines printed on the back, the kid got his sums right.
There’s also a deluxe edition that includes cards for fractions, decimals, percentages,
addition and subtraction, though as far as I know there’s no binary, hexadecimal or octal editions yet. Still, I guess you could make your own cards.
Now… “once twelve is twelve, two twelves are twenty-four, three twelves and thirty-six, four…”
While I’m doing that, why don’t you watch a video demo of it: