At PGHS we want our students to LOVE maths and SUCCEED within the maths curriculum. Our students who can recall facts enjoy and are able to secure the maths curriculum easier than the children who can’t recall these facts. The reality is the children who can’t recall these facts inevitably fall behind because these facts are the building blocks of so many other aspects of maths.
E.g. If you don’t know 7 x 3 then you won’t know 70 x 3, 17 x 3, 21 ÷ 3, 247 x 3 etc.
There are not many facts: 36 ‘building block’ facts (up to 9 x 9). There are roughly 39 weeks in a school year, equating to essentially 1 fact a week, every year. It is achievable for the vast majority of children to learn these facts.
Research states that if information is in our long-term memory (e.g. multiplication facts), then problem solving using these facts will require less of a ‘cognitive load’ (essentially less brain power) than if these facts are only in our short-term memory.
As a pilot this year, Mrs Bennett is using a new system with her year 7 class.
Students practise their times tables at the start of every mathematics lesson. The teacher then marks the 40 questions and finds the barrier for children who aren’t progressing and problem solve past the barrier.
This only takes 5 minutes of the lesson and is an excellent settler and warm-up to the new learning that is about to take place. So far, we have covered the 10 times tables multiplication facts and we are now on the 5 times tables multiplication facts.
These times tables are structured in a particular order and students get the opportunity to explore the patterns and connections within the new times table.
Below is an example of a student’s work.