We all know that practice makes perfect and when it comes to maths, repetitiveness is important! Yes, we’ve had the last laugh at our teachers from the 80’s and 90’s who said we wouldn’t have calculators on us all the time and we would need to know every sum in our heads (thank you smartphones!). But whether they have calculators or not, little ones still need to know the types of sums and how to use the calculator!
Although the answers are within reach most of the time nowadays, knowing your times tables is a great platform for understanding concepts such as time, for being able to develop the ability to remember and recall information and of course once you know your times table you use them in everyday life without even really thinking about it! Even when doing the food shop and calculating how much 5 bananas will be!
So that’s why when I saw the Secret Scholar™ times table activity mats I thought they were an awesome idea!
The activity mats are double-sided and come with a secret decoder.. the decoder is a red panel which you place over the answer section to reveal the answer of the sum. It’s great for self-checking and building confidence in their own ability!
The mats come in two variations, times table in order and times table random. The ‘In Order Mat’ has each times table from 1 to 12 in order, whereas the random has them mixed up so you may have 5 x 9 and then 11 x 9 so they can’t just remember the pattern the answers go in…making it a little harder.
As we home educate these type of resources are placed around the home, strategically, to see if it sparks interest and a want to work with them! So I put the Times Table Random into her home education area where she spends a lot of her time and did not say anything.
She has picked this mat up a lot and it goes without saying that she loves the decoder, there is something very spy-like about it! She has also shown me this evening that you do not just have to hold the decoder to the mat you can also hold it up to your eye and still see the answers! Which she thought was very cool.
In addition to that Lilbit said it is good because she can do sums all over the sheet and randomly choose which ones she wants to do – which I can safely say means she is enjoying it as she is doing it on her terms. Most children I know love wipe off style resources so this is always going to be a winner, they can practice and practice without the need for lots of scraps of paper!
Another bonus is it is again great to take out and about or use in the car, train or plane, as they don’t need lots of paper, books or pens and they can have something to keep them occupied for a while without taking up lots of bag space! WIN!
This is a great way to learn and recall times tables and learn the skill of revising and recalling information.
We’re running a HUGE giveaway with Lilbits until the 14th of September. Head over to our Facebook page to enter now!