The multiplication check gives the children a series of 25 questions all involving their times table (all multiply not divide). This is an online check and can be completed on an IPad, computer or laptop. For each question children will have 6 seconds to read, work out and type their answer before the next question appears. Currently, there is no pass or fail point, however scores are nationally collected and your child’s score will be reported back to you as the parent or guardian.
For an example of the test, please click here
Why Are times tables so important?
Times tables are an important concept as they can help children to understand other mathematical concepts and build confidence in their mental arithmetic. Knowing their times tables can also help your child more readily grasp other important aspects of maths, such as fractions, division and percentages and is an element of learning that assists in life long skills.
“Leaving primary school with a fundamental grasp of basic numeracy is as important as leaving being able to read. And just as the phonics check has helped more children learn to read, this will ensure more pupils know their times tables.”
Nick Gibb, schools minister
Children should not only be able to count up and back in their times tables but should be able to recall sums fluently without having to count through their multiples.
What are we doing to prepare the children?
The National curriculum splits the teaching of times tables within different year groups.
-Year 1 – count in 2, 5, 10.
-Year 2 – know and recall the 2, 5 and 10 times tables.
-Year 3 – know and recall the 3, 4 and 8 times tables.
-Year 4 – know and recall all times tables to 12 x 12
With the pressure of the multiplication test in year 4, we at Reginald Mitchell have attempted to push the children by introducing the 3 times table in year 2, introducing the 6 times table in year 3 within the Summer terms to support children in their learning in year 4 and allow them time to build up fluency in recall.
In each class, times table trackers are displayed allowing the children to see which times tables they know and encourages them to learn the next table as it is placed in the order in which they are taught. Teachers also track children's times tables electronically to ensure that they are on track throughout the year. Any children who are struggling to pick up their times tables will be selected for interventions to help them reach age expectancy.
At Reginald Mitchell, during mental starters, fun and interactive games to build on children's times table knowledge are completed, ensuring that children enjoy and are enthusiastic in learning their times tables. From the summer term of year 2 to year 4 children complete a times table test every two weeks to assess not only their knowledge but fluency.
Children have school and home access to TTRockstars, which helps the children build their speed in answering multiplication questions while having fun in beating their personal best or playing against children in their schools or across the UK in a safe and secure manner. TTRockstars club, which is available to year 4’s only, gives access to the app for those children who can’t access it at home and to encourage children to practise their times tables in a fun way.
How you can help at home?
- Use times table wall charts
Wall charts show all the answers for a particular times table. You could download a free times table wall charts and stick them up somewhere they’ll be seen often. For instance, you could put them over the sink so that your child will see them when they’re brushing their teeth. You’ll be amazed how quickly they learn when they see these number facts every day!
- Learn the tricks for difficult times tables
There are clever tricks for remembering several of the times table. See the video links below for more information.
- Play times tables games
Games and challenges are a great way to support learning, and a few minutes a day will make all the difference. Why not play snap with some times tables flashcards, matching the sums to the answers as fast as you can? Or you could surprise your child by asking times tables questions at random times during the day and seeing how quickly they can respond (this works particularly well as a competition between siblings or friends).Using games keeps practice short and sweet, and makes the process much less of a chore for you and your child.
- Make it real
If your child can’t see any point in learning their times tables, try showing them how this knowledge is useful in everyday life. Instead of just rote learning their times tables, try to create opportunities for your child to use multiplication in problem solving.
For example, ask them to scale up a recipe or calculate whether they have enough money to buy more of their favourite things (such as sweets or football cards). This will help your child see the value of their learning.
- TTRockstars or online songs and games
Encouraging your child to play on TTrockstars or other online times table songs and games will quickly build fluency and confidence in their known times tables. Below is a list of websites that offer free songs and games that children can access from a phone, tablet, laptop or computer.