Times Table Rockstars
Times Table Rockstars is a Maths app aimed at Year 2 to Year 8. It is really carefully built in a specific sequence of small steps to help children learn and then practise their times tables, building speed and accuracy as they play. It can be played online and there are also pen and paper activities which we use up to 5 times a week in school.
This page is to help parents understand the online app and how it is best used.
Times Table Rockstars can be played on a web page, accessed through a computer or laptop or as an app, downloaded from the Play or App store onto your tablet or smartphone. It is best played for five to fifteen minutes, three to five times per week.
We don't set our children much formal Maths homework - because we believe that one of the best things they can do to improve their Maths, is to play on Numbots (Key Stage 1 and Y3) or on Times Table Rock Stars (Y2 and Key Stage 2). It might feel like a really small area of the subject but these are vital set of facts that children need to know if they are going to succeed in Maths as they move through the next Key Stages in school.
|Imagine if you were trying to drive a car and every time you wanted to change gear, you had to stop everything else, look down at the gear stick and work out which gear you were already in, which gear you wanted to be in and how to move the gear stick between those positions. You've either ground to a halt or crashed by now!
|And so it is when trying to calculate fractions, percentages, ratio, area (or in KS1, learning to calculate bigger numbers or solving multi-step problems)........ without the basic facts at their fingertips, children are going to really struggle to complete their work - and if they do get there, it's been a slow process of stopping to work out a side fact, remembering what they were doing to start with and putting it all back together again. Frustrating and slow-going, with lots of bumped body-work on the way.
Having a really good grasp of the key facts will give your child confidence, speed and accuracy in their Maths as they build onto a solid foundation.
The Numbots and Times Table Rockstars sites are designed by experienced teachers and developed over years of trials and understanding of how best to learn Maths facts. They are both built to offer children a few key facts, over and over until they know them - then introducing some more.
You can load them on a computer by clicking the links above or onto a tablet/smartphone through the Play or App stores. School pays for these services so they're free for you to download.
They need to score 20 in 1 minute (or 60 in 3 minutes) to move from that level to the next level. You don't get to choose which tables to practise, it's a fixed journey through the facts. This is where your child should be playing if they are still learning their tables. Change the play time by clicking the dropdown arrow below the "Mode" icon in the centre of the menu bar - if they score 20 in a minute, this will reduce the time it takes to get to the next Gig.
Every so often, the children will get a "Gig" icon where the Garage icon normally is. This is 100 mixed facts to check where they're at. If they do really well at this, they will automatically move to a new, appropriate level (they can jump many levels and it will depend on their errors as well as their correct answers).
The "Studio" - is designed as an opportunity for the children to challenge themselves at all the facts to 12 x 12. Whilst they aren't at school - this is how they improve their Rock Status.
Mrs Sutcliffe's Top Tip!
If your child is still learning their tables - let them use a multiplication square to complete the studio game - it's NOT cheating, it's practising! They will only ht the best speeds once they know at least half of the table facts by heart.
"Soundcheck" is TTRS's version of the Y4 government check-up - we don't use it in school, but if you want to investigate, it's 25 questions with 6 seconds to answer each one.
Here's a multiplication square if you want to print one off.
A word on Avatars and shopping.
Upgrading your avatar is one of the things that make TTRS fun. The best way to earn money is to play in the Garage. You earn 10 coins for every correct answer that way - more than in any other zone.
BUT - try not to spend all your time scrolling through trousers in the shop! If you're on TTRS for, say 15 minutes, then 12 of those should be playing and 3 shopping.
Lastly - if you can ignore the urge to spend every time, you can save up lots of coins for some of the really cool, expensive items.