Times Tables

Many schools are targeting times tables recall this year with the potential opportunity to trial the Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) this academic year before it becomes statutory in summer 2020.

I’ve been delivering Times Tables CPD in schools this term and reminding colleagues about the importance of the teaching of times tables sitting alongside the testing of times tables. Many schools are buying into TTR – Times Tables Rockstars – which is a real motivator for many children to develop their quick recall.

But let’s remember about teaching time tables as well, thinking about the key teaching points of repeated addition, commutativity, related facts, inverse and fact families. Using manipulatives can highlighted many of these key features.

I have also been showing the ATM clip of Jill Mansergh teaching a large group of student teachers the x17 tables. My delegates have been watching this open mouthed, often reluctant to join in at first then unable to resist by the end. One teacher asked a great question after watching it: “does it work for any table?”. We then proceeded to practice with a counting stick using the table of their choice (most chose x7). If you have never seen this clip or haven’t for a long time, I strongly advise that you look it up on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXdHGBfoqfw

Interested in finding out more….

For more details and to book your place, please visit:


Seeking out the maths …..


I’ve spent this summer in Portugal travelling from north to south. It’s really amazing just how much mathematics you do encounter along the way when you’re looking with your ‘maths eyes’. There is a great deal of Moorish architecture in both Portugal and Spain and the Portuguese were great explorers and mathematicians. I just love the fact that a city, in this case Coimbra near Porto, has a ‘Mathematical Road’.

So I’m always on the lookout for mathematical images and interesting stimuli that I can use as part of CPD. I think they can also form a great (and easy) working wall with pupils encouraged to contribute their mathematical questions via post-it notes. Pupils can then follow a line of inquiry that is of interest to them. Sometimes there isn’t an answer and that’s ok too.


Pictures are a great stimulus for mathematical discussion and differentiation can be achieved vary easily by varying the complexity of the question posed or discussed.

Tiling and architecture are often symmetrical and provide a good starting point. The top left is a window that demonstrates both reflective and rotational symmetry. On the lower right, we could discuss repeating patterns, sequences, arrays or symmetry. On the lower left, we have a tessellation and could discuss angles and therefore the properties of shapes.

On the top right is a great grate that I happened across in Sintra, near Lisbon and couldn’t resist taking a photo of it. Assuming that the triangles are contained within a square, what other angles can you calculate? What other assumptions have you made?

Using Numicon and Other Concrete Resources to Develop Secure Understanding

Tuesday 11 September  09:00-12:00

This course is aimed at teachers and TAs and will discuss the concrete, pictorial and abstract approach and why it is so important for teachers to use manipulatives in the classroom at both KS1 and KS2.

We will explore how different manipulatives (Numicon, Multilink cubes, counters, bead strings, Cuisenaire rods, counting sticks, place value cards, hundred squares, digit cards, dice, dominoes) can support conceptual understanding in the primary classroom as well as being developed to be used as a reasoning tool.

For more details and to book, please go to go to robsnaith.co.uk


Meeting a Maths Hero at Maths Hub Conference


On 5 July, I had the pleasure of delivering a workshop at the NCETM  North Midlands Peak, Central and Salop & Herefordshire Maths Hub Secondary Conference at the University of Wolverhampton, Walsall campus . My session was a highlights version of the work group work I have been carrying out this academic year on Challenging Topics at GCSE for the North Mids Maths Hub. The topic we have been exploring has bee ratio and proportion starting off with the question – “ratio and proportion, what’s the same and what’s different?”



Of course the big highlight for me was meeting my maths hero Johnny Ball so I of course couldn’t resist a selfie along with Prime Maths Solutions. Johnny is still passionate about mathematics and gave a great lecture on the history of mathematics with a couple of ideas that I can’t wait to try out with preciouslearning.co.uk