# FREE Multiplication Game: The Squares Facts

When I learned my basic multiplication facts, it was totally through rote memorization. I might have memorized 6 x 6, knowing immediately that the product is 36, yet when asked about 6 x 7, I would see no connection. I had not memorized that one yet. Fast forward. Our goal for basic facts has not changedโwe still want our students to have automaticity with basic facts. What’s changed is our approach. We now know that a better way to teach basic facts is through a strategy-based approach. So if a student knows 6 x 6 = 36, they can reason that 6 x 7 must be 42, because it’s just one more group of 6. Students learn their squares facts (2 x 2, 5 x 5, etc.) quite easily, so they can use those facts to reason about “near squares” like 6 x 7.

This post contains affiliate links, which simply means that when you use my link and purchase a product, I receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you, and I only link to books and products that I personally use and recommend.

A couple of great resources for teaching facts with a strategy-based approach are Math Fact Fluency: 60+ Games and Assessment Tools to Support Learning and Retention and Mastering the Basic Math Facts in Multiplication and Division: Strategies, Activities & Interventions to Move Students Beyond Memorization. Both include many games that students can play to practice their facts.

And I’ve got a free game you can download and use in your classroom tomorrow for practicing the squares facts! This game requires strategy, which brings a little problem-solving into the activity.

Ideally, math games should be played with pairs of students. Two students working together, rather than 3 or 4, allows the game to move more quickly and encourages mathematical discussion.

Each player needs a Squares Squeeze recording sheet and one die is needed for the pair. Using a regular die allows players to practice facts up to 6 x 6. Using a ten-sided die allows practice for facts up to 9 x 9. The Squares Squeeze recording sheet has room for players to play five rounds of the game. A multiplication/division chart is provided for support.

Player 1 rolls the die. In the example shown, an 8 is rolled. The player states the squares factโ8 x 8 = 64. Now comes the strategy! The player must put their number in one of the squares on the number line. Once placed, it canโt be moved. The five numbers must be in order from least to greatest, so itโs important to think carefully about where to place each number. As with all strategy games, let students figure out the strategy on their own! Thatโs how you bring problem-solving into the activity.
Since 64 is one of the larger numbersโonly 9 would result in a larger productโPlayer 1 decides to put the 64 in the next-to-the-last square. Keep in mind that the only roll this player can get to fill that last square is a 9. Good strategy? Maybe. If they had put the 64 in the last square and then they rolled a 9, they would not be able to place the squares product, 81, on the number line.

You can grab the Squares Squeeze recording sheet and a multiplication chart here! Check out this post for another FREE strategy-based multiplication game!