Editor’s note: This is an updated version of a blog post published on October 21, 2021
As teachers, we probably would never ask one another “Why on earth do my pupils not learn how to use a semicolon at home?” It would be a ridiculous question considering it’s learning that needs to be facilitated carefully in a classroom, not taught at home by parents. Yet I suspect many of us have heard colleagues complain that some of their pupils don’t learn their times tables at home.
It should clearly be OUR responsibility to teach times tables, and the upcoming test in year 4 is a reminder we have to do it well. If we put aside any arguments about the existence of that test to begin with, most teachers would agree that having times table facts at hand is vital to lessen the cognitive calculation load in order to “move on to more interesting maths” (Jenny Field 2020).