An effective understanding and recall of times tables is the foundation of most of the mathematics children will complete at primary school and the 2014 National Curriculum places a huge emphasis on learning them early. In fact, knowing, understanding and applying your multiplication and division facts up-to 12x12 is a key skill within Maths and a by the end of Y4 a requirement made by the National Curriculum.
At Thorney Close Primary School, we subscribe to Times Table Rock Stars to support our children in practising their fluency, stamina and speed recall of their multiplication and division facts. Learning multiplication facts is a vital part of any child’s mathematical development. Once rapid recall of multiplication facts becomes possible, a whole host of mathematical activities will seem easier. Children need to be able to recall multiplication facts in any order as well as derive associated division facts. The National Curriculum’s expectations for each year group are set out below:
Year 1 - Count forwards and backwards in steps of 2, 5 and 10.
Year 2 - Recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 2, 5 and 10 multiplication tables up to 12x in any order.
Year 3 - Recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 3, 4, and 8 multiplication tables up to 12x in any order.
Year 4 - Recall and use multiplication and division facts up to 12×12 in any order.
Year 5 and 6 - Recall and use multiplication and division facts up to 12×12 and apply knowledge to help solve decimal multiplication and division, e.g. 12x12= 144 so 12x1.2=14.4
Times Table Rock Stars is a fun and challenging programme designed to help children master the times tables. To be a Times Table Rock Star, they need to answer any multiplication fact up to 12×12 in less than 3 seconds!
World famous rock musicians are the best at what they do because they've spent hours practising guitar chords, writing music or playing on the drums. It's just the same with times tables – all Times Table Rock Stars need to practise and practise and practise. Research shows that daily practise is the best strategy for children to learn these important facts.
Short bursts of daily practise are much more effective than spending hours once a week and the benefits of using Times Table Rock Stars include:
- Incorrect answers always being immediately corrected in front of the pupil so that they start to associate the correct answer to every question.
- The coding behind the scenes working out which times tables facts each pupil is consistently taking longer to answer and then gradually starting to present these facts more frequently until pupils have mastered them.
- Asking the related division questions 20% of the time in order to reinforce division facts
Parental support is critical in this area. For children to be fully motivated and for them to get the best out of the practice, they need an adult's help. Without a Parent's praise and reminders, without sitting down together or checking their work, practising times tables will not feel important.
Each class or group within a class will be set a schedule of times tables to work on by their teacher. The quicker a child can answer a times tables question, the higher their Rock Status.
≤ 1 sec/qu = Rock Hero
≤ 2 secs/qu = Rock Legend
≤ 3 secs/qu = Rock Star
≤ 4 secs = Headliner
≤ 5 secs/qu = Support Act
≤ 6 secs/qu= Breakthrough Artist
≤ 7 secs/qu = Unsigned Act
≤ 8 secs/qu = Gigger
≤ 9 secs/qu = Busker
≤ 10 secs/qu = Garage Rocker
> 10 secs/qu = Wannabe
Play TTRockstars online using the login that your child has brought home. They should play for a short while until they are successfully answering the questions quickly. TTRockstars online can be accessed via ttrockstars.com or using the app which is free to download. Further guide to TTRS is available here:
As well as practise within school, a list of useful websites can be found below to practise and play at home.
There are many Apple and Google Play apps available for free too. Here are some we recommend:
- 10 Minutes a Day Times Tables by DK
- Math Tables (8 Activities) by Guillaume Joly
- Maths Loops lite: Times Tables by Jaime C. Carriedo
- Multiplication Tables for Kids - Free Math Game by Multiplication Tables
- Times Tables Trainer Brain Game Universal by Andela ICT
- Times Tables Quiz! (Multiplication Trainer) by Padadaz
- Times Tables Game by WissApp
For those who like to learn through singing, below are a series of videos designed to support the children's learning of their times tables. The tables have been put to pop songs in order to help the children remember the times tables pattern.
These videos are aimed at KS2 children, but we have found the younger children really enjoy them as well. The links below are from an external site (YouTube) so at times adverts will pop up. Unfortunately, there is little we can do to prevent this.