Tackling Times Tables

One of the biggest issues facing our pupils at Kip when they join us, is the common problem that they do not know their times tables. Lots of work goes on in primary classrooms to address ways of learning tables, but I’ve got to say, that the old-fashioned way of learning them by heart seems to bring the best results.
We always try to incorporate 10 minutes of Timed Tables into a lesson.  The purpose is to get as many random times tables correct in one minute as possible.   The pupils love the competitive edge to learning their tables, and this has a positive effect on their maths knowledge and problem solving skills.

One of our siters centres has written a great article on this topic.  You can view it here.

I never believed this was possible- but I do now.

I never thought that a student could improve their reading age by 2 years after just 14 weeks of tuition.  And I didn’t discover this until I started teaching at Kip McGrath. 

The reading scheme we use is the best in the world in my opinion, and without telling you the trade secrets, here is how it works:

  1. teaching the child how to break down a word into sound groups (phonemes)
  2. drilling words over and over again
  3. drilling high frequency sight words to improve visual recognition of words.  A sight word is to be recognised without being broken down into syllables and phonemes. For example the word “the” is a sight word because it cannot be “sounded out” as “t”, “huh” and “eh” and put together again.
  4. understanding what the sight words mean and using them in sentences.

I believe that if parents and teachers stick to the above 4 techniques when teaching reading, then progress will be much quicker.

Why I love my job.

My job = teacher.  How can i not love this job.  But it’s not just a job its an obsession and the more I do it, the more it becomes a part of me.  If you had to separate my personality from my job, then hand on heart I don’t think there would be much personality left.

I love teaching because it makes me feel good to know that I am making a difference.  I love teaching because every lesson is different and has its own challenges.  I love teaching because I can share my knowledge.  I love teaching because I learn from my students as much as they learn from me.

Any one can teach, but not everyone can teach well,

On this point I shall dwell

Because its important to know that teaching has its ups and downs

We have to cater for the sensible ones and the clowns

And that is why I love to teach

Because then I know that my efforts are not wasted.


Testimonial of the week.

I’ve just received this testimonial this morning and it has made my week.

“I would like to express my sincere thanks to you for the help you have given Emma and the flexibility you have shown. You have not only built up her confidence as we set out to do but you have managed to created an environment that Emma was happy to come to and enjoyed learning in, I can only remember one occasion where she did not want to go! I would happily recommend you and should Emma or her younger sister Hannah need help in the future I will not hesitate to be in touch.

I wish you every success for the future and again thank you very much.”

Emma started tutoring 2 years ago. She was bright but lacked confidence in Maths. She was particularly slow with mental calculations and didnt like problem solving. I put her onto our “timed tables” which is a computer programme designed to make learning times tables fun and to improve speed. In the first lesson her highest score was 12, but by the time she had done one term of tuition, she was getting 32.

Because she had made so much progress in Maths we then decided to do some english as well, and we have worked together with school and parents to overcome learning blocks in this area.

I wish Emma the best of luck in the future and will miss her – as I always do.

If you would like extra help for your child, call the Kip McGrath Education centre in Stevenage on 01438 746986 or the Luton centre 0n 01582 402225.