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 FREE 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!

Our 1 to 12 Times Tables Curriculum Karaoke
read, sing, and learn-along videos are now available for download (with bonus lyrics & worksheet PDFs)! 
Here are some video preview samples:


This is a sample of our '5 Times Table' video, and it's our FREE gift to you (offer will end soon)!:


Why not pop over to one of our stores (see below) where you can browse our current titles!

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

Thursday, 12 March 2020


©Keystone Creations ~ Educational Song lyrics from 'A Class Family'

Harmony Week takes place March 15-22, and Harmony Day, March 21st.

It got me imagining a world where we all lived together, peacefully, in harmony; a world where everyone respected differences, embraced diversity and felt included and accepted.

©Keystone Creations~ Educational Song Lyrics from our song,  'Living Values'

Imagine if that were reality!

The reality is, that it all begins in childhood. Children listen more to what others do than to what they say. And, as they 'listen', they are learning how to treat others. They learn by the way they themselves are treated, and by the way they see others being treated.

Children are not born knowing how to behave; behaviours are learntAs parents and educators, we are well-placed to teach children how to love and treat others. It is our responsibility to make sure that we model positive values and behaviours to the children in our care, because as Nelson Mandela famously stated: 
‘No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite'. 

©Keystone Creations~ Educational Song Lyrics from our song, 'Manners'

If you are looking for effective, child-friendly resources to help students not only learn about, but also to celebrate and embrace diversity, harmony, and inclusion, you might like to have a look at our curriculum-aligned songs. 

We've created a bundle of 
4 Harmony, Diversity & Inclusion Song Videos PLUS 1 MP3 & Lyric Sheet’ (
discounted, for a limited time).
The download includes:
I’ll leave you with a preview sample of our Curriculum Karaoke™ whole school, anthem-style song, ’Living Values’ that highlights 9 core values (the government's 'Nine Values for Australian Schooling'):

Until next time!

     Yours in harmony,
     Nuala 🎵

P.S. Why not pop on over to our store, where you can browse our current titles, plus pick up a few lyric sheet freebies!
Our Curriculum KaraokeTM read, sing & learn along song videos are available on ClickView, to subscribing 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