MEGAMATHS: TABLES. Age range 7- 10. BBC Educational pound;13.50
Based on the Megamaths television series, this book and cassette resource pack is designed to provide support for the Number strand of the key stage 2 programme of study.
The emphasis is on tables as an example of applied number-crunching. Children need to translate the memorisation of number facts to everyday situations. On the way, they are encouraged to use a mixture of calculation methods, to explore multiplication tables and to assimilate a variety of mathematical language.
The book includes advice for teachers, 37 photocopiable pages of activities and games, and the words for the songs from the Megamaths broadcasts. It is worth enlarging and laminating the games for durability.
In case you don't feel musical, the audio-cassette will probably inspire your classroom karaoke stars. The musical style is reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland's Queen of Hearts - jolly well join in or off with their heads. Dare I say, there's even a trace of Spice Girl groove in the "Eightness Greatness" song.
The book provides ready-to-go games that explore number patterns in a fun and quirky approach to times tables. "Spies 'R' Us", can you believe? I liked the "Socky Toothpaste Pizza" game, in which the product answers lead you on a trail of pizza while trying to avoid the totally tasteless booby prize.
Most of the games use familiar ideas from card games, bingo or snakes and ladders, with a slight twist. Others, such as "The Queen's New Sparklers" have a nice story element and offer useful discussion and problem-solving material. An economic, enjoyable times table teaching resource that is well worth adding to your timetable.