For Teachers

For Parents

The 38 Times Tables Challenge

Times tables made super easy!

  • Android, iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 5+

About The 38 Times Tables Challenge

The 38 Times Tables Challenge app turns a laser-sharp focus on to the 38 times tables that need to be actually learned.  These are the ones for which there are no easy methods to remember them.  By concentrating only on these 38, children spend more of their time learning the most difficult to remember and less time repeating what they already know.  

Teacher Review

Teachers have always known the importance of times tables in forming a child's understanding and practical skills in maths.  Fluency in multiplication allows quick and accurate arithmetic while seeing the patterns and rules of multiplication grants insights into maths itself.

The 38 Times Tables Challenge is a free app that provides the means by which to build and consolidate an understanding of times tables.  It is built around an idea that aims to make this learning seem like less of a monumental task for children.

There's a fun and informative video included with the app that explains the significance of the 38 in the title and how this is the underpinning of the app's design.  The number is how many times tables the developers believe children actually have to learn out of the 144 there appears to be in the tables up to 12 x 12.  Many can be discounted because they follow a simple pattern - such as the tens and most of the 11s.  Multiplication is commutative meaning, for example, that 3x4 is the same as 4x3, so only one of these pairs needs to be learned.  Discounting tables for such reasons leaves only 38 to learn.

The app breaks down the tables that do need to be learned into useful sections.  These include square numbers, such as 5x5, for which the commutative property is not useful, and others such as the latter part of the 11s and most of the 12s.

Children practice by entering the answers into a multiplication grid.  They tap a question mark and enter the answer using their device's built-in keyboard.  It is very easy to understand and use.  Further guidance for parents and teachers is provided on the Komodo (the developer) website.

The presentation of the app is clear and simple.  Other apps might be more gamified in their look but this one does everything it needs to do and, as players are expected to take a little and often approach to practice, there is no real need to fake a game-style veneer to try to soften its educational aims.

The approach taken by this app is certainly a good one for helping children to develop a firm foundation.  Some times tables have always been tricky for children to learn, such as 7x8, and the methods used by this app will get these locked into children's minds.

Once a firm basis has been established with this app, it would be useful to practise in another that covers all times tables equally.  This would help with fluency.  If a child knows 7x8 then they can reason their way to finding the answer to 8x7 but, ideally, all times tables should be known instinctively.  This app, though, is free and without ads or in-app purchases so it is perfect for the role described here as it adds nothing to the cost of helping children but can play a strong role in doing so. 

In the school environment, teachers might wish that the app could hold multiple children's progress rather than a single user or, have its data easily reset.  As it is free, though, there is no reason not to have it on as many devices as the school owns which will alleviate the need for multiple user accounts a little.  Teachers and parents can also attach an email to the app so that children can trigger it to send a certificate of their progress to their teachers and parents.

The 38 Times Tables Challenge is an app that's free price is in no way indicative of its quality and usefulness.  Both parents and teachers are recommended to introduce it to their children to help them to become masters of the multiplication tables.

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App Details

Teacher Ratings

Devices

Android, iPad, iPhone

Price

Free

Category

Skills

Academic Relevance

Safeguarding

In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No

Publisher

Komodomath.com

Download The 38 Times Tables Challenge

Screenshots for The 38 Times Tables Challenge

  • The 38 Times Tables ChallengeThe 38 Times Tables ChallengeThe 38 Times Tables ChallengeThe 38 Times Tables ChallengeThe 38 Times Tables ChallengeThe 38 Times Tables Challenge

Publisher's Description

Learning your multiplication times tables can be tough but the 38 Times Tables Challenge breaks this down into bite sized tasks allowing children to practice effectively in a fun visual way. It includes three main elements:

The Animated Explainer Video
The Practice Module
The 38 Times Tables Challenge

The animated explainer video explains why you don’t really have to learn 144 (12x12 ) times tables, rather you should focus on learning the 38 times tables you actually need to learn.

The practice section breaks down the 38 times tables challenge further into smaller practice tasks. These include:
The square numbers
The Easy(ish)
The Trickly
The 11s & 12s
The Nasty tables
Your Weak Spot - the times tables the learner is struggling to remember

The challenge itself provides an interactive practice grid where the learner answers all the important 38 times tables while being timed. Once the challenge is complete there’s an optional feature to email a certificate and report with parental consent.

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