Wednesday, 25 March 2020


I hope this finds you safe and well amid the present  mayhem in our world!

If you have students, keep reading to reveal our little gift to you, to help them with their learning at this time. 

Today's post is about going back to basics - basics of the mathematical kind.

I am sure you will agree, there are certain basic things in life that we just need to know. For instance, we need to know basic hygiene, basic nutrition, how to keep ourselves safe, etc.

The same is true for the area of Mathematics, one of the key subject areas of the school curriculum - there are certain things that students just need to know

Students need to know basic operations because these form the very foundations of proficiency in numeracy.

They need to know basic multiplication facts - yes, I am talking about the good old-fashioned Times Tables!

As a teacher, I am more than familiar with Maths problems, but this is a different kind of problem, and it has to do with the fact that a concerning number of students do not know their Times Tables.       

I see this for myself, I hear it from teacher-friends colleagues, and I hear it from parents at their wit's end.

The struggle is real - students are having trouble learning and remembering these very basic operations, which, in turn, impedes their mathematical progress.

By the time students enter Year 5, they should be proficient in multiplying up to 12 x 12.
The fact is that many students are not able to recall these facts. 

Schools, today, rightly believe in moving from the concrete to the abstract - a practice from which, I, for one, would have greatly benefitted when I was a student.

Teachers spend time ensuring that the groundwork is laid, through the use of a variety of hands-on experiences with concrete materials. 

Then, once students have made connections, become familiar with the concepts, and understand the mathematical terms (groups of, lots of...), they can move on to memorising to help them remember (e.g. Times Tables).

This is where I believe the gap exists. 

Journey with me for a moment, if you will, back to the last century, when, as young primary students, we went through the daily drill of rote-learning the Times Tables. 

We would chant them, like some kind of mathematical mantra, in unison, and by golly, we learnt those pesky Tables off by heart!

We could reel those things off to beat the band! We could chant them at school, we could chant them at home, we could chant them on a chair - heck, we could chant them anywhere!

It got to the point where we could chant them in our sleep (in fact, I'm pretty sure most of us did!)

Sadly (in my humble opinion), learning Times Tables by rote has gone out of vogue, but it has left me wondering whether we might just have thrown the baby out with the bathwater? 

If a whole generation of us can still, to this day, reel off the Times Tables as a matter of course, can this method of learning really be such a bad thing?

Times Tables are fundamental not only to proficiency in numeracy but to ordinary, day-to-day life - shopping and cooking, just to name a couple of examples.

And that, my friends, is why Kathryn and I  decided to do something about it (that, and a discussion I had with my dentist about her son's difficulty remembering the Tables) and added Times Tables song videos to our ever-growing Curriculum Karaoke, read, sing & learn video series.

Students and teachers are loving these engaging, interactive song videos because they put the FUN into learning ~ and they work! There is a reason they work, and this can be summed up by Dr, Georgi Lozanov, who informs us that:
'Music stimulates parts of the brain not activated with words alone and can help carry information more deeply into memory.'
As with all of the videos in our Curriculum Karaoke series, these Times Tables utilize strong visuals and catchy vocals to help students learn and remember basic facts. The Times Tables videos also provide tips to help students identify patterns in the numbers, and include an interactive call to action element!

Here are some video preview samples:


This '5 Times Table' video is for you, with our compliments (click link below sample!


FYI: We have bundled the first 5 of the Times Tables, the '1 Times Table'and '2 Times Table' are also available, and the 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 & 12 Times Tables are currently in production ~ so watch this space!

Why not pop over to one of our stores (see below) where you can browse our current titles, plus pick up a few lyric sheet freebies (great for poetry lessons)!

Until next time, stay safe!  

Yours in singing to learn,

Nuala :-)

FYI: Our ever-growing Curriculum Karaoke song video series is available to subscribing schools on ClickView, '... the world's leading producer of educational videos, providing curriculum-aligned content to schools.'

A Review: 
'In terms of application to the classroom, and usability by teachers they rate a tick in every box.' ~ Brendan Hitchens, Teacher, Music In Action: A Magazine for Educators

A Lesson In Every Lyric

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