19 May 2021

Maths Muscle Memory: the importance of times tables

KewEarly LearningJunior School
Maths Muscle Memory: the importance of times tables
Maths Muscle Memory: the importance of times tables
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As your child moves to more complicated mathematical concepts and computations, the quick recall of their times table facts becomes all the more essential. By being able to automatically recall number facts, less working memory is used on factual recall and more can be used for solving the problem at hand. Examples of learning in Upper Primary where times table automaticity is blended with conceptual understanding include manipulating fractions, factors/multiples, complicated written calculations using larger numbers and so much more. Without times table knowledge, learning these concepts is significantly more challenging for your child.

The National Curriculum places the achievement of all times tables by the end of Year 4. However, children learn at different rates and many will benefit from focussing on their times tables before Year 4. We are seeking your support from home to help your child master their times tables. As a guide:

  • Year 2: skip counting in 2s, 3s, 5s and 10s (eg. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 etc)
  • Year 3: 2x, 4x, 5x, 10x
  • Year 4: 3x, 6x, 7x, 8x, 9x, 11x, 12x (including the related division facts)
  • Years 5 & 6: It’s never too late! Set an achievable goal every month to ensure your child consolidates each table.

How can you help?

  • Download apps and encourage your child to practise.
  • Play and sing along to ‘Table Tunes’ (Spotify) while driving your children to/from school or activities.
  • Quiz your child while cooking dinner or any other regular activity at home. Remember to jumble the order so they are retaining the facts not just the skip counting patterns.
  • Put a times table poster on the back of the toilet door.
  • Remind them that when we multiply two numbers, it does not matter which is first or second, the answer is always the same (commutative property).
  • Remember that just 5 minutes a day makes a difference!

Our students in Years 3 and 5 have been participating in the annual NAPLAN tests in reading, writing, conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. These assessments provide parents and schools with an understanding of how individual students are performing at the time of the tests.

We are extremely proud of the way in which the children approached each test. They were suitably nervous and excited knowing that they needed to try their best and that these tests, by no means, show everything they know and can do. Many children enjoyed the experience and gained self-satisfaction that they had participated in this rite of passage. We look forward to receiving the results next term and unpacking what they mean for our programs and each child’s learning journey.

Lee Taylor
Deputy Head – Student Learning


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