Times Tables Rockstars - Freeing up our working memories for the exciting stuff!
Year 5 have been working VERY hard, not just to remember their times tables facts quickly, but to commit them to their long term memory so that their retrieval is AUTOMATIC. The Maths curriculum expects this automaticity by the end of Year 4, and for very good reason. The Year 5 and 6 curriculum is very heavily based on ‘multiplicative reasoning,’ which, put simply, requires the children to use their knowledge of times tables and apply it to other areas, such as ratio, fractions, percentages etc. A recent analysis of independent school entrance exams revealed that over 60% of the questions required children to be able to automatically recall their multiplication facts. If they aren’t able to do this, their working memory capacity becomes too ‘clogged up,’ resulting in not enough working space for the actual problem in hand.
Since using Times Tables Rockstars regularly, children’s automaticity has improved dramatically across the school, with the added bonus of being very motivational. When children’s ‘studio’ speed averages under 3 seconds the children are awarded their Brabyns multiplication badge.
This week we were delighted to present the very elusive ‘Rock Hero’ badges to SA in Year 6 and JB in Year 5. To achieve this they needed to average under ONE SECOND! No mean feat, but a skill that unlocks their working memory to tackle really exciting mathematical challenges and problems.
Well done to all the children who are spending a little time every day working to become Rock Heroes. The hard work is paying off!