HOW CAN S.E.N.D SCHOOLS MAKE THE MOST OUT OF TIMES TABLES ROCK STARS?
Currently, there are 270 Special Educational Needs schools in the UK subscribed to Times Tables Rock Stars. With this number still rising, we’ve taken a look at how SEN schools can use the different tools and functions of TTRS most effectively to generate the best educational outcomes.
So, for our next Showcase article, we spoke to Lulu Stanier-Martin, a teacher at Ridgeway School, a SEN school in Kempston, to find out how her implementation of TTRS became a classroom success! Here’s some advice she shared for other SEN teachers:
1. THE LITTLE AND OFTEN APPROACH
“Have a regular slot on your timetable where you use TTRS. With frequent interruptions to lessons, dedicate an allocated slot for TTRS. Pupils who are non-verbal but who are accessing the National Curriculum at KS2 can still access this through AAC (augmentative and alternative communication).”
We recommend that our programmes are played frequently in short bursts. For instance, approximately three to five minutes per day, three or four days a week. This allows for regular reinforcement of learning and development, however, prevents children from forming obsessive or unhealthy relationships with the platforms.
2. USE PHYSICAL REPRESENTATIONS FROM THE CLASSROOM
“Make good use of the teaching tools but have the physical representations with you. For instance, an obvious one is to use Numicon to reinforce.”
“Our Interactive Whiteboard Tools (featuring a dynamic Numicon widget) compliment all the great work you do with the physical representations. Additional resources are available in the Downloads section and are a fantastic way to diversify teaching methods.”
"The fact that some of them ask to play on TTRS is a sign that they enjoy it! Nobody ever turns down an opportunity."
3. USE JAMMING MODE
“Use the jamming session as much as possible to start with to build up confidence. This can be used as a whole class through the teacher’s account first in order to familiarise pupils with the game.
Afterwards they can play using their individual accounts. Before jamming mode, TTRS was challenging for some of the students; they would know the answer but because of conditions like cerebral palsy, they were unable to answer within the time limit.
The new jamming has helped get around this issue, particularly for the student which uses an eye gaze. Also being able to differentiate between testing multiplication and division has helped here, as some students are not so confident with flipping between the two.
One student practised his times tables using TTRS through the summer holidays (after he was taken into care) and consolidated his recall on all times tables up to 12. It was a fantastic effort and great to see.”
Jamming Mode allows for children to choose their own tables and pick between multiplication and/or division, handing them more control over their learning. Whilst a lot of children thrive under the timed element of the game, some don’t. Therefore, the aim of Jamming Mode is to enhance children’s learning experience; be it another step towards combating Maths anxiety, or just a way to practise without the pressure of the clock.