What can your children achieve in 5 minutes?
I try and use every single minute of every single day. Recently I have been having a real push on times tables, but it can be difficult to justify giving time to this in maths lessons, especially when different children are learning very different times tables. I have found a slot that works well though; the time it takes me to take the register in the morning. This allows plenty of time for children to consolidate their understanding and revise new tables. With just 5 weeks to go before Christmas, I have decided to launch a 5 minute challenge to my children:
How many times tables can they master between now and Christmas, using 5 minutes a day for 5 days for 5 weeks? Here's the plan:
Day 1 - flash cards
A question on one side - the answer on the reverse. Simple! Questions children get right will go into the correct pile and questions they get wrong go into the incorrect pile to be learnt. By the end of th day, they'll know what they need to work on. I'll probably get the children to paperclip the incorrect cards together, so they can be reviewed throughout the week.
Day 2 - interactive game
I'm lucky to have iPads in class, so on day 2 I'll get children playing the interactive game for the tables they're learning. Since the games learn the mistakes the children are making, they'll continue to consolidate their understanding and plug their gaps. I'll also get them to jot down their average percentage correct (found on the front page of the game), as this will be useful come day 5.
Day 3 - worksheet
Every times table activity now includes two printable worksheets that can be used in class or sent home for homework. I know they won't take too long to complete, but the word problems included on each sheet will help the children apply the times tables their learning to a real life context.
Day 4 - flash cards
It's back to the flash cards today. I'll start by getting the children to review the ones they got wrong on day 1 before having another go from scratch. Hopefully there will be far fewer going into the incorrect pile!
Day 5 - interactive game
I'll get the children to have another attempt at the interactive game today, but with a clear challenge to increase their average percentage correct. Finally, I'll ask the children to jot down any they're still getting wrong. These can find these listed in the record of answers, under the 'Settings' menu in the game.
Will my children know all their times tables by Christmas? Unlikely. But I really hope they'll have made some great progress. Got any other top tips of things that have worked well with your class? Please share below.
Access all our times tables resources here.