They decided to set up a ‘two times table shoe shop’ today. Since discovering the new Numberblocks episodes on BBC iplayer, I have heard them singing this song none-stop.



What is multiplication?

The basic idea of multiplication is repeated addition. You take one number and add it together a number of times. This is why multiplication is sometimes called “times“.

Example: 6 multiplied by 2 .

6 + 6 = 12. We took the number 6 and added it together 2 times.

We’ve previously looked at doubling, which is essentially the two times table. But we haven’t recited the number sequence out loud as, “One two is two, two twos are four, three twos are six, four twos are eight”, etc.

Ioan and Finny started off with the bath numbers, trying to set out the two times table in time with the ‘Two Times Shoe Shop’ song. This was trickier than it seems as we didn’t have enough numbers to do up to 10 x 2. Instead, they had to steal numbers from the previous lines of the song as they went along.

Ioan explained that you can write your two times table two different ways. It could either be _ x 2 = _ or you could write it as 2 x _ = _

Using the example above: 6 multiplied by 2 is the same as 2 multiplied by 6. So there are two ways of working it out.

6 + 6 = 12. We took the number 6 and added it together 2 times.

2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 12. Here, we took the number 2 and added it together 6 times.

Ioan talks more about this, as well as inverse operations, in a post on making arrays.

Ioan and Finny sang the end of the song, while trying to get the Numberblocks in the right place at the right time. Cian always bangs in time to the last beat of the song.

Ioan showed the even Numberblocks up to 10 that he has made. Finny made the first ‘two times table’ in the sum, then Ioan decided to make another, so he could multiply Finny’s by two and make a four times table.

He also made the ‘terrible two times tables’. They had started collecting pairs of socks, shoes and gloves because they wanted to make the other parts of the song.

Finny happily showed me some of the shoes they had found, then counted up the pairs of shoes.

Like in the song, Finny had collected stripy, spotty, dotty, yellow and red socks, long socks and short socks, school socks and sports socks, then his favourite slipper socks which made so as ‘bed socks’. This made nine pairs of socks, so he showed Cian that 9 pairs made 18 socks.

He sang this section on loop all day. His only disappointment was that we didn’t have any diamond socks.

DfES National Curriculum (2013)

Numeracy Year 2 programme of study

Number – multiplication and division

  • recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 2 times table