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MathBait™ Multiplication

An Ode

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Gaining thousands of views, An Ode is the fun way to increase recall speed. In this multiplication game, students use balls to eliminate bars with multiples aiming for a streak or a high score!


Resource Type

Digital Game

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This activity focuses on the speed of recall. This is not memorization. Throughout our program, students have built a strong conceptual understanding of multiplication. The more they work with products and the more they work on building different routes for retrieval, the easier it will become to quickly identify a fact. This game is a blast and can be a challenge even for adults! Players are racing against themselves trying to increase their personal best. This makes An Ode a great game for students to play at home (they can screenshot their results to share with teachers), with a substitute, during a short class, game day, or at stations.

There are a lot of feelings about timed activities. Truthfully, timed activities have no correlation to math anxiety (for more on this, check our our article Timed Activities: Stressful or Impactful). In fact, timed activities are an excellent way to strengthen the connection between understanding and recall, but they must be done right! It is important that timed activities:

  • Do not occur until mastery or have different levels for varying abilities.

  • Are fun or engaging. When timing is an element of a game, the human brain releases chemicals that can bring on good feelings and accomplishment. When timing is an element of a test or assessment, the human brain releases chemicals like cortisol that bring about stress and even inflammation.

  • There is a valid reason for the timer. This can be pedagogical or a game element, but we shouldn't time for time's sake. Our goal here is to help students build a strong understanding of multiplication and improve their ability for recall, not to produce anxiety or encourage memorization.

Thus, if your students aren't ready for this activity, wait. These are meant for students who have done well on the previous activities and feel ready and excited to test their skills in a fast-paced environment. If your students aren't quite ready, return to Part 2 (Rainbow Multiples is a class favorite and a low stress way to build strong foundational skills) and the earlier games here in Part 3. Emoji Mystery, Growth Laser Rescue, Missing Numbers, Table Mash Up and Multiplication Bingo are all games with high replay-ability that will continue to build mastery even for older students who have been multiplying for a long time.

This game is based off a great app called CMYK created by S. Scott. In CMYK, players are given four buttons at the base of the screen (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black). Colored bars begin falling from the top of the screen and players eliminate a bar by launching a ball of the matching color.

In An Ode, bars will fall from the top like in CMYK but each bar contains a number. At the base of the screen, players will find buttons labeled 1-9 as well as a black button with a white square. To eliminate the bar, players must send out two balls that equal the value on the bar. For example, a bar with the number 8 can be eliminated with a 1 and an 8 or with a 2 and a 4.

Use the colors to help you! Each bar has a color which corresponds to the colors of the numbers at the base of the screen. The bar color is one of the factors of the number. That means a bar labeled 8 could appear as red (1), orange (2), green (4), or purple (8). While this might not be very helpful for smaller values, for a large value like 48, this can help students by tying back to the previous activities such as Emoji Mystery and Missing Numbers. A purple 48 tells players that it can be eliminated with an 8 (as the 8 is colored purple) and some other value. They need only to find the second value (6) in this case.

However, for numbers with multiple factors, any two values whose product matches will eliminate the bar. A red 8 does not mean players must use 1×8. The colors are simply a helpful tool. The red 8 could also be eliminated with the orange 2 and the green 4.

Squares have special powers. Using the black square on the far right correctly will clear the entire board! To use the Square Power for a square number (such as 1, 4, 9, 16, ... ( you can review MathBait™ Multiplication Part 2 for activities on squares)) click on the black square first. Before the black ball hits the bar, select the number you wish to square. For example, to use Square Power on 36, select the black square followed by the 6.

Finally, you can get ahead by launching many balls at once. But be careful! You must launch in order so that the ball hits the intended bar. Each number also contains only one ball to launch. When the ball is launched, a red x will appear over the number. When the red x is gone, you know you may launch a new ball from that number. For example, if the first bar is 48 and the second bar is 14, you may launch 6, 8, 2, and 7 to quickly eliminate both bars as soon as the balls hit. But, if the bars read 48 followed by 24, you could launch 6, 8, 3, and wait for the 8 ball to return to launch the second 8. Alternatively, you could launch 6, 8, 4, and wait for the 6 to return to launch another 6.

This is a fun fast-paced game. Play for a high score! You can watch a demo game on our Instagram or Facebook page. Players have 3 hearts, each mistake will remove a heart. The more bars you eliminate correctly in a row will increase your multiplier and your points.

Desktop Version

The following is our desktop version. This is great on a tablet, iPad, Chromebook, or computer. As always, we recommend playing on full screen mode.

©MathBait created with GeoGebra

Mobile Version

An Ode is a fun game to play anywhere! We have created a mobile version which boasts a taller aspect ratio and larger buttons. This can also be played on a tablet with vertical orientation and can be helpful for younger children.

©MathBait created with GeoGebra

The material on this page is copyrighted by MathBait™. Please use and enjoy it! MathBait™ provides a temporary license for Non-Commercial purposes. You are not permitted to copy, distribute, sell, or make derivative work without written permission from MathBait™. 

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