Does regular access to an online Times Tables programme improve accuracy and speed of times tables for pupil premium children? Clare Taylor
Context

At Baden Powell and St. Peters Junior School we have subscribed to an online maths programme called Times Tables Rock Stars. Children predominantly work on an i pad or PC to practise their times tables that are set individually or as a maths group by their teacher. My question was do all our pupil premium children have access to an i pad/ home PC? For 8 weeks all PP children in year 5 were invited to the following: Early morning i pad TT Rock Stars session supervised by me. All PP children were invited via email, letter and text message.

Design

The comparison group was set up with same academic grade and gender non- PP children also from year 5 – this group were not invited to the early morning group. All children were tested before and after the 8 weeks.

Intervention

The intervention took place at 8:30 – 8:45 a.m. Monday – Thursday in the year 5 practical area. The intervention was run by me, year leader, times tables were set for each children in a TT rock stars group called Taylor’s Terrific Bunch. The children had an i pad each and could log on themselves with their password.

Outcome Measure

The pre-test involved all participants of the research completing a timed 50 times table question sheet – focus was on doing as many correctly in the time given. This was repeated 4 weeks after the 8 week intervention block. The scores of every session that each child completed were recorded on line within the TT rock stars programme. The children that attended regularly made significant progress. Those that attended some sessions but not regularly did not make so much progress but did improve.

Results

Following the initial 8 weeks children that had attended regularly were very motivated to practise their times tables using the school I pads. Their speed and accuracy improved rapidly. The PP group performed more accurately in the post test too. The non- PP comparison group showed some improvement. Providing access to the technology used for TT rock stars has improved the speed and accuracy for this group of children. Not all children attended very regularly – messages home were resent via text, email and letter. Children were then invited to have a drink and snack at the club. One child’s previous poor attendance improved dramatically. Younger siblings were also invited to make it easier for parent/carers to drop off- this was praised by some parents/carers.

Conclusion

In conclusion this programme will be offered to PP children as it ensures they do have access to the technology required. I will share this idea with other year leaders as it would be possible for them to also provide such intervention. Each ‘course’ will be run as a 6 week block to keep it ‘sharp and focussed’. All year 5 PP children will be invited into school at 8:30 a.m. to practise TT Rock Stars on the i pads- registration is at 8:45a.m. Children attending will be offered refreshments alongside working on their times tables. Younger siblings may also attend to make things easier for parents/carers- these children will be supervised in a classroom and not use I pads. Parents/ carers will be contacted via email, text and letter. Financial – this programme is led in school time. TA’s to be trained to use TT Rock Stars programme and therefore lead the group in place of a teacher. It is designated school time so no additional staff cost implications. Refreshments provided from year 5 budget.

Student voice

It was fun to compete with your friends…in a game it made times tables exciting…it helped me with my maths in class

 

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