BROADGREEN INTERMEDIATE: THE NEW ZEALAND ROCKS EFFECT
SUCCESS AT NEW ZEALAND ROCKS!
Introducing Dan Green, the Maths Lead at Broadgreen Intermediate School, New Zealand! Broadgreen Intermediate can officially be recognised as a school of times tables royalty in its nation, following their superb results in 2021’s and 2022’s New Zealand Rocks. In 2021, Class RO6 were crowned the top class in the whole country for times tables – scoring a remarkable 6,913 correct answers across the four days! As a school, Broadgreen Intermediate finished as runners-up, an impressive feat considering the competition. Following that, Class R16 came in at third place in 2022!
Since the tournaments, we have spoken with Dan to gauge the level of impact that TT Rock Stars is having on his classes!
“This is a top competition. We can’t wait until the next one!”
BUILDING MATHEMATICAL FOUNDATIONS
Dan Says: We’ve taken the view that instant recall of times tables knowledge reduces cognitive load and allows students to access other areas of mathematics. Teachers that have embedded TTRS for a period of time can ‘feel’ the difference in their classrooms.
Consistent exposure to TTRS can help level the playing field in our classrooms. Students’ knowledge of multiplication and division facts seems to make acquisition of new maths concepts much easier as a barrier is removed…
We Say: The former teachers at Maths Circle HQ can definitely vouch for the fact that times tables are one of the building blocks of maths, underpinning many other mathematical concepts such as algebra, fractions, ratio, geometry – to name just a few! Therefore, it is widely accepted across the teaching community that a sound understanding of the times tables is crucial for maths learning.
IMPLEMENTATION AND IMPACT
Dan Says: Generally, most of our students access TTRS using Chromebooks during school time. We save the direct school link to the devices to remove a barrier.
The ability to see progress has quite a powerful impact on the students. However, some students need a nudge in the right direction.
Some teachers have identified that students with very limited understanding of multiplication facts are less likely than more competent students to choose to use TTRS. For these students, gentle nudging from class teachers can be helpful. This might include emailing parents, using an incentive, or ring fencing 3 or 4 minutes practise each day.
We run regular whole school battles to raise the profile of both maths and TTRS. Our school tv show runs “adverts” reminding students of TTRS and showcasing members of staff playing each other.
We Say: Progress can be monitored through many different means. Children have access to their stats through their ‘Pupil Profile’, where they can gain insight into their data, such as: Studio Speed, Effort, Fluency, and Gig Score. This allows them to identify which areas may need further practise and attention.
As well as this, their Rock Status improves in line with their average Studio Speed over the most recent 10 games, providing a simpler way for children to acknowledge their improvements.
For teachers, there are many ways in which progress and performance can be monitored. Without the Stats Bolt-On, teachers can view the Overall Leaderboards, which lists initial and current studio spee and total coins earned. With the Stats Bolt-On, teachers have access to endless statistical data.
LITTLE AND OFTEN
Dan Says: We have tried to get to a place where every student uses TTRS once a day for 3/4 minutes. It’s important that teachers find a space in their day for using TTRS and that they monitor stats to check on students’ use and progression. The session bolt on runs for about 6 minutes a day to ensure that students use Garage Mode and benefit from the sequenced nature of Automatic Training.
We Say: We are the biggest advocates of the ‘Little and Often’ approach! We encourage teachers to promote healthy attitudes when implementing TT Rock Stars into the classroom routine. For children to have the best playing experience, we believe they should play in short bursts frequently, for instance four minutes everyday.