BLITZ your Times Tables
Notes for parents and teachers
This program is based on three very important findings from the research:
The chart is a way of keeping record of what your child has covered. Here are some details you'll need to use the chart effectively:
- NO ONE actually enjoys learning times tables - it's something like cleaning teeth or using sun lotion, your child JUST HAS TO.
- Bribery works. Students learn faster if there is something they value at the end of it. Money preferably.
- The best learning builds on success - that's why we teach Times Tables in such a funny order, not 2,3,4,5,6,7 and so on to 12.
My reward is:
The most important part is sitting down with your child and working out a reward - one for each row in the chart (that's 15 rewards) Or, one each time they get to a row called "I can do my ...." Or, just one reward at the end. And, all three if you are feeling generous.
Set a target date which is roughly one school week for each row in the chart - that's 15 weeks minimum, realistically two terms.
That's the order your child should learn them.
I DID IT!
This is where you or the teacher tests the child's mastery of that Times Table. If correct, you tick the box, and then reward your child as agreed.
There are 6 different tasks your child has to do successfully before you test them:
Your child should recite the table in the old fashioned way - "One three is three, two 3's are 6, three 3's are 9....."
This is saying "3,6,9,12,15" out loud - try timing how quickly they can cover each table.
This is a written sheet which covers using the Times Table in simple addition and multiplication. Your teacher will supply these for work at home. Of the books you can readily buy, my favourite are the Dorling Kindersley series "Maths Made Easy", Times Tables Books 1 and 2 (less than $10 at Angus and Robertson or Dymocks.)
This is the fun part. Sing them, rap them, play ball while saying them, play Bingo, Blackjack, roll dice and record the results, skip to them, count M and M's or Smarties, use fun sheets that your teacher can provide. Hopefully some of this will be happening in your child's classroom - make sure your child remembers to tick the boxes for games done at school. Get a tape or a CD. Good times to play it are in the car, in the bath, at dinner time, before ice cream, in bed......
Should be aural (say the Times table out loud) and written (any of the exercises in the worksheet, or just writing the whole table out by memory.)
Parents often ask me when their child should know all their times tables:
Let your teacher be the guide: in most schools, Year 4 and 5 are the focus years. By Year 5, most students will be doing maths computations for which Times Tables will really help. A student who has not yet leant them automatically by the end of year 5 will finds maths a lot harder than it needs to be. However, some students are ready for some form of Times Table work in Year 2 - just call it something more exciting.
Open or download the Blitz Chart
Jenni Pearce, Psychologist (2009)
Child & Educational Psychology
6 Edward Street, NORWOOD 5067 South Australia, Australia.
Telephone: 0407 726 332
Fax: (08) 8362 0332