As a teacher myself, I know that pupil engagement, learning, time and budget are important. In the development of TT Rock Stars I've given all these aspects careful consideration.
- Maths teachers recognise how fundamental times table recall speed is to later success in maths lessons; yet it's not always easy finding engaging ways to do daily practice. TT Rock Stars (the paper version) has been used in many schools across the UK since 2010 and the feedback is that pupils and teachers love it. I'm confident everyone will enjoy the online version even more!
Incorrect answers are always immediately corrected in front of the pupil so that they start to associate the correct answer to every question.
More than that, the clever code behind the scenes works out which times tables facts each pupil is consistently taking longer to answer and then it gradually starts to present these facts more frequently until pupils have mastered them.
It will also ask related division questions 20% of the time in order to reinforce division facts.
- Lesson time isn't wasted - we've made sure that TT Rock Stars is lightning fast. Once pupils are logged in, they can begin a game in one click.
- One straightforward price gives all your teachers and all your pupils full access for one year so you can set up as many 'bands' (classes) and 'band managers' (teachers) as you like. Maybe have a band made up of band managers...which teachers are Times Tables Rock Heroes?
- As the teacher, you can select which times tables they practice each week. There is a rolling 20-week schedule that takes seconds to get going. What I found works is to follow a stepped pattern like this:
- Week 1 - 2 times table
- Week 2 - 3 times table
- Week 3 - 4 times table
- Week 4 - 2, 3 and 4 times table
- Week 5 - 5 times table
- Week 6 - 6 times table
- Week 7 - 5 and 6 times table
- ...and so on.
Note: the schedule applies to Garage and Rock Arena modes only.
You can easily create new pupil accounts by uploading a spreadsheet (a template file is available once you're logged in), which gives you the control over their usernames and passwords (tip: avoid "I've forgotten my password" problem by setting them up with the same username and password as their school log-ins)
Pupils can compete against others from around the world in live games (Rock Festival mode) and even more enjoyable than that is they can play easily against all their classmates (Rock Arena mode). Unlike other websites that limit you to 4 players in once game, TT Rock Stars online allows as many players to join a game as you want.
Taking a quick glance over the class stats page will show you which times tables facts the class needs more practice on. You can drill down and get the same data on specific pupils too.
If you want to know how other schools in your area are doing, you can see that too. There's a leaderboard that takes the average times table recall speed across your school and ranks you against the nearest 10 schools to yours. Nothing like a bit of healthy competition!
The site uses simple, up-to-date code that works on all browsers and doesn't use Flash - that means you don't need the latest Flash plug-installed and it also means it will work on an iPad.
Want to know more?
Before or after signing up, if you want to ask anything about TT Rock Stars or if something isn't working the way you think it should then email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I'm glad you liked the look of TT Rock Stars. It's been very successful for my pupils who have enjoyed seeing their times tables recall speed improve. The knock-on benefit, of course, is that their problem-solving is no longer hampered by not knowing the times tables.
First, watch this video, which will give you a good idea of what TT Rock Stars is and what it can do for your pupils.
Here's how I run it:
- I print out the worksheets for the half-term and staple them into a booklet for each student.
- At the beginning of each lesson pupils retrieve the Rock Star sheet from their folders and I tell them that there's "20 seconds until the Rock Clock starts!" I use it as the Do Now.
- When I'm ready, I start the onscreen stopwatch and the music and they frantically start completing the sheet.
- Each day there's a time limit of 3mins.
- When the time is up, I nominate students to read out a column of answers. They self mark in a green pen.
- Once they have their score and time for the day, they file the booklet away.
- On Friday, after we've marked the sheet, they work out their total scoreand their total time and call it out to me as I enter it straight on to the website.
- The website automatically calculates their average time per question and converts it to a rock status.
When you subscribe, schools will have access to all the resources that are needed to run the paper version, including:
- Worksheets for every lesson for 37 weeks. Choose the sheets to suit the frequency you need (3, 4 or 5 times a week) and the programme of tables to follow. You can even make your own.
- Grids to determine your pupils' baseline speed
- A parent handbook
- A student pack
- Fonts to be installed on all computers in the school
- Various posters and certificates for making it exciting
If you have any questions about using Times Tables Rock Stars in your school, don't hesitate to get in touch. Good luck!