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# What Makes a Good Resource: Connect Four

This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 18 August 2010 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 20 September 2010 by ncetm_administrator

## Resource description

A base board filled with a selection of numbers that are multiples of six and seven, shared between two children and a pair of ‘instruction’ cards. Two piles of different coloured counters, one per player.

 6 14 70 18 49 42 60 12 21 42 28 36 35 56 28 63 54 56 77 66 24 56 48 18 72 84 28 21 12 14 36 28 18 49 56 60

## Cards to cut out

 Multiple of 6

 Multiple of 7

## Teacher comment

I wanted to develop the children’s knowledge of number facts and the speed at which they could recall them. Many of the children in my class are competitive and if a game can be used, they often learn much quicker as they are keen to win!

## What I did

For Year 5 and 6, I made up base boards to support their knowledge of the 6, 7, 8 and 9 times tables. When focusing on the 6 and 7 times tables, I made up a base board that consisted of multiples of 6 and 7. In addition, each pair of children had two cards. One said ‘multiple of 6’ and one said ‘multiple of 7’.

I wonder how well it would work if I used near multiples of 6 and 7 too?

## How to play:

• Each child in the pair has a pile of counters the same colour but different to their partner.
• Child A takes the two multiple cards and holds one in each hand, behind their back.
• Child B picks one of child A’s hands and child A shows the card.
• If it says ‘multiple of 6’ child B puts one of their counters on a multiple of 6 on the base board.
• If it says ‘multiple of 7’, they put a counter on a multiple of 7.
• Child B then has the cards behind their back and child B chooses and so on.
• The children continue to place their counters on the base board until one child manages to make a line of four. They are the winner.

Would it be more of a game of strategy to allow diagonal lines?

I only allow them to make a horizontal or vertical line! I noticed that once the children became more familiar with this game, they began to play more strategically. They started to block their opponent’s line rather than simply try to make their own. This game can be used for any times tables and, in Year 2, I used the same idea to develop their knowledge of odd and even numbers. Their base board had an equal number of odd and even numbers on it and their cards said ‘odd’ and ‘even’. If they picked an ‘odd’ card, they had to put their counter on an odd number, and if they picked an ‘even’ card, they had to put their counter on an even number.

What could I learn about the children if I listened to them talking as they played?

## Reflection

This is a really simple game to use and once you have made it you can use it again and again. The children never seem to tire of it because they are always desperate to win, they quickly learn their multiples and are able to plan ahead. I hear them saying things like ‘I need to get a multiple of 6 to win’, ‘It doesn’t matter which card I pick because I need a 42!’. I am also able to develop their learning as they play by asking them questions such as ‘what multiple do you need to block your partner’s line?’, ‘how many multiples of 7 have you covered?’ and ‘how do you know that is a multiple of 6?’

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