Learning through repetition or learning through understanding? These are the two ways that children can commit their times tables from their working memory to their long term memory.
Whilst some children can memorise their tables just by repeating them, children who find maths challenging need more opportunities to make links and see relationships in order for times tables to become instantly recallable. DoodleTables takes advantage of both methods of learning.
Our questions are carefully graded to ensure a child’s learning journey becomes imperceptibly more difficult as they progress.
For example, when learning the two times table, children will begin by exploring pictorially with pairs of socks and multiplication arrays.
They then build up to counting in 2s by putting numbers in order. Further on in the programme, children will begin to use and apply their understanding of the two times table to word problems, missing number problems and questions related to fractions.
Additionally, our in-built technology constantly assesses how well a child understands their tables. If a child has mastered the three times table, it will ensure they move on to a different times table.
This means that the exercises are always at just the right level for them. We know that children like to stay within their comfort zone and don’t always make the right choices when it comes to their learning!
Depth of understanding
Our Learn questions purposely encourage children to make links and see relationships to help them form a deep understanding of what the times tables are in order to help them retain facts and, most importantly, build their confidence.
We place a high importance on questions that encourage children to use facts they know to work out new facts. For example, a child might be told that 12 x 2 = 24 and be asked to work out 13 x 2. They may not know their thirteen times table, but they can use what they do know to help them. Many questions of this nature also create links to other areas of maths. For example, ‘if 22 ÷ 2 is 11, then 220 ÷ 2 is…’ creates a link to place value.
Our questions also allow children to develop strategies and spot patterns for later use. If a child is finding it tricky to recall 2 x 4, then being asked to double 4 provides them with an alternative strategy.
For example, a multiplication array showing 3 x 4 = 12 unlocks that 4 x 3 = 12, 12 ÷ 4 = 3 and 12 ÷ 3 = 4 just by switching around the numbers. This significantly reduces the number of facts they need to learn!
Pattern-related questions encourage children to generate their own information. If children know that there are no odd numbers in the four times table, this allows them to eliminate certain possibilities if they are stuck and decide whether an answer is reasonable or not.
Our Challenge section of DoodleTables provides the perfect opportunity for children to assess for themselves how many facts they can recall in 60 seconds (multiplication or division), especially if they are preparing for the multiplication tables check (MTC). To find out more about this, check out our handy blog post summarising everything you need to know about the MTC.
With a heavy focus on the need to use and apply multiplication and division facts in upper key stage 2, automaticity of tables facts is crucial if children are to carry out more complex tasks and feel confident in what they are doing.
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