At Dartford Primary Academy, we use the programmes Numbots and TTRS to help embed number facts and engage learners in a fun and enjoyable way. Each child will have their own unique login, that they can use to access their own games, build their own status and earn coins towards their own character. Pupils can use the same username and password for both programmes.
Numbots is aimed at EYFS and Y1; it helps to build up fast recall of what numbers look like (subitising) as well as improving addition and subtraction fluency for numbers within 20. Below is a short video designed for parents to help support numbots at home. To see the benefits of the programme, it is recommended that pupils play short 5 or 10-minute games, 4 or 5 times a week.
Times Tables Rockstars (TTRS), is aimed at pupils in Y2 onwards but can be accessed by younger pupils who are excelling at Numbots. It is designed to automatically train pupils based on their current level and has a range of fun and engaging game types to suit a variety of different learners. Below is a short video designed for parents to help support TTRS at home. To see the benefits of the programme, it is recommended that pupils play short 10-minute games, 4 or 5 times a week.
Helping your child to engage in and love maths:
There are many fun and engaging ways to help your child learn important number facts. Here are just a few strategies you could use to help improve your child’s love for mathematics and numbers:
- Hang up a times table sheet or a number bonds image at home like the ones below:
- Learn the times table and number facts in order, easiest first so that they can be successful – the 2s, 5s and 10s have easier patterns to learn which children find easier to grasp.
- Teach children some trick such as for the 9 times tables – Start by spreading all 10 fingers in front of you. To figure out 9×1, put your left pinky down. What are you left with? 9 fingers! For 9×2 put your left ring finger down. What are you left with? 1 finger and a gap followed by 8 fingers or 18. This trick works up to 9×9 (8 and 1 or 81). That said, when teaching children these tricks, encourage them to ask why these techniques work and the mathematical reasoning behind them.
- Listen to some fun songs – there are many fun and engaging times table songs available on YouTube.
- Quiz them little and often to ensure knowledge sticks. This could be during times when there is not much going on: walking home from school, waiting for a bus, or on car journeys.
- Reward or praise their efforts. This isn’t just for getting everything right but should be for not giving up, or being persistent when finding things difficult.