Times tables at Queen Eleanor's
Knowing times tables is important and should be taught in schools at a young age to ensure fluency for later mathematics, but it is not the only or most important thing to learn for early mathematicians.
Automatic memorisation of times tables frees up working memory to be used on other tasks (Hunt & Ellis, 1999). However, young children with a high proficiency with working memory (which also correlates with generally high academic performance, especially in problem-solving and reasoning) are prone to higher maths anxiety levels, which can have a negative impact on their achievement in maths by co-opting working-memory (Ramirez et al, 2013).
When learning and assessing times tables, there are a number of issues that can arise:
- Times tables should be taught explicitly, using a range of methods and representations
- Digital resources have been shown to be effective in helping pupils practise times tables
- It is advisable to balance the amount of summative testing pupils experience with formative assessment
- Pupils should be assessed in a variety of different ways
At Queen Eleanor’s, we have taken steps to ensure these issues are addressed:
- We explicitly teach times tables, in particular in Year 3 and 4
- In all year groups, we set weekly times tables which match the expectations of the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum
- Children are assessed weekly on their weekly times tables
- All children in the school have a log in for Times Tables Rock Stars to regularly practise their times tables (see below for more information).
Queen Eleanor’s has subscribed to Times Tables Rock Stars and every child in the class has their own individual account. If your child is not sure of their login, talk to your child’s teacher and they will give it to you.
Times Tables Rock Stars is a carefully sequenced programme of daily times tables practice. This format has very successfully boosted times tables recall speed for hundreds of thousands of pupils over the last 8 years in over 16,000 schools - both primary and secondary - worldwide.
The link below will take you to a short video explaining how it works
Click on this link to take you to the Times Tables Rockstars website https://play.ttrockstars.com/auth
Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check
What is the Multiplication Tables Check?
The Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) is statutory for primary schools in the 2022/23 academic year. Queen Eleanor’s will have a 3-week check window in June to administer the MTC. Teachers will have the flexibility to administer the check to individual pupils, small groups or a whole class at the same time.
The purpose of the MTC is to determine whether pupils can recall their times tables fluently, which is essential for future success in mathematics. It will help schools to identify pupils who have not yet mastered their times tables, so that additional support can be provided.
The MTC is an online test where the pupils are asked 25 questions on times tables 2 to 12. For every question you have 6 seconds to answer and in between the questions there is a 3 second rest. Questions about the 6, 7, 8, 9, and 12 times tables come up more often. The questions are generated randomly based on the rules of the MTC.
How to prepare
A good way to prepare is start early and build a daily routine practising the times tables. With regular practice you will learn all the questions and gain confidence. This may just be regularly asking them the odd times table question to check their understanding or, as mentioned earlier, research has shown that digital resources have been shown to be effective in helping pupils practise times tables. At the bottom of the page, there are some links to a range of online games/activities your child could try as well as Times Tables Rock Stars.
If you would like to familiarise your Year 4 child with how the MTC will work, this link will take to a website that has a trial run to help the children become more comfortable with the format used https://www.timestables.co.uk/multiplication-tables-check/
If you would like to know more, at the bottom of the page is a copy of the information for parents published by the British Government.
Online resources to support times tables
As mentioned above, Times Tables Rock Stars is excellent for practising times tables. There is also an app to ensure it works on all modern devices.
Hit the Button is an interactive maths game with quick fire questions on number bonds, times tables, doubling and halving, multiples, division facts and square numbers. The games, which are against the clock, challenge and develop mental maths skills. https://www.topmarks.co.uk/maths-games/hit-the-button It also has an app you can download.
The brilliant primaryhomeworkhelp website has a wide range of games your child could try although Java and Shockwave will need to be installed on your computer for them to work (include link to site). http://primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk/maths/timestable/interactive.htm