Tic Tac Toe and Times Tables

We as adults play board games all the time. They are a way to break free from the everyday mundane tasks and allow us to enjoy some quality leisure time with the people we enjoy spending time with. The same philosophy goes for students. Students day in and day out are always learning new material so by incorporating a fun game into their learning activity will not only make time move a lot quicker, but the children will also be engaged as well. One game in particular that you can tie into your lesson plan could be Tic Tac Toe with times tables.Tic Tac Toe.svg


Tic Tac Toe with times tables is a very simple yet motivational game for students.

1. The teacher separates the classroom into two big groups – one group of students is called the X’s and the other group is referred to as the O’s.

2. One person from each X and O group is called up to the board and given a pen.

3. When the students are ready, the teacher then says the multiplication table problem that needs to be solved. The student who answers correctly and writes the correct answer on the board is also awarded the X or O (depending on what team they are on) to place on the grid on the board.

4. Once the first person has gone up to the board, the process is repeated until everyone has had a turn. This is used as not only a score board, but to see which side of the classroom can successfully complete a full row of X’s or O’s.


It doesn’t have to end there. If the kids really get into this game, you don’t have to announce a winner at the end of the first lesson. You can let them know that you are keeping track of who is winning and continue playing week to week. You can even have them play twice a week. This will keep them excited about each time they play and they will know that if their team didn’t do well on the first lesson they still have a chance to win the next time around.

You can also reward the students with the most correct answers by allowing each student to be the team captain. If there are more than two students, you can have them take turns until everyone is able to be the team captain.

To make this game even more interesting you can reward the students with a variety of treats. A good idea would be to purchase candies that are circular and X-shaped. One possibility is sour apple rings for O’s and gummy worms for X’s.

After trying this, you will see that Tic Tac Toe with times tables is a very simple and yet, still motivational game.

…….and for review, here is an additional fun game for learning times tables:


Comments (4)

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  1. Renee says:

    I used tic-tac-toe as a review game in my classroom all the time. Two students would play each other using one tic, tac, toe board. Each student would choose heads or tails and x’s or o’s before beginning the game. I would read a math problem, both students would work the problem during a given amount of time. When the correct answer was read, the student who got it correct would get to make their mark on the board. If neither got it correct, no one got a square and if both students got it correct, then we would flip a coin to determine who got the square. When one game ended, the students would create a new tic-tac-toe board.

  2. Sam says:

    I love your idea. integrating games with math is excellent in attraction young students’ attention and fire them up for learning!


  3. Jane says:

    Yes, tic tac toe style games, in general are great for exercising spatial functioning brain activity, and coupled with the computation questions, kids can literally build new dendrite pathways. Glad you are enjoying.

  4. Chloe Andrews says:

    I think that adding games into everyday lessons plans is a great teaching method because it allows for teachers to involve everyone in what is being taught and also helps the kids learn alot more. In my current class in college, our instructor adds little games in to help us absorb the material faster. Those little games can really make a difference.

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