21st June 1996 at 01:00
I have been concerned for 15 years about the poor ability of most of our 14 to 16-year-olds to recall multiplication facts and to perform simple division - in other words they do not "know their tables".

The article "Do it with class" (TES, June 7) included the statement "whole-class teaching . . . need not imply a return to the bad old days of bored youngsters sitting in rows chanting tables". I also know of headteachers who have forbidden the teaching of tables by rote in their schools.

In my experience few seven to nine-year-olds find chanting one or two tables boring; most children seem to enjoy learning in this manner and demonstrating their prowess in a weekly test.

Would readers please inform me what method(s) they would recommend for teaching children multiplication facts which isare as effective as the combined use of chanting, testing and playing a tables game occasionally.

Angela Benson 219 Ross Road South Norwood, London SE25

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