Multiplication tables check – how TTblast can help!

From the 2019/20 academic year onwards, all state-funded maintained schools and academies (including free schools) in England will be required to administer an online multiplication tables check (MTC) to year 4 pupils.

The purpose of the MTC is to determine whether pupils can recall their times tables fluently, which is essential for future success in mathematics. It will help schools to identify pupils who have not yet mastered their times tables, so that additional support can be provided.

Schools will have a 3-week window to administer the MTC. Teachers will have the flexibility to administer the check to individual pupils, small groups or a whole class at the same time.

Schools will be able to familiarise themselves with the tests and let pupils try them out, ahead of a national pilot between June 10 and June 28. The pilot will help to shape the final version of the tests, which will become statutory for Year 4 pupils in June 2020. Schools can access this area via the NCA Tools website, or via this quick link .

The check will focus on the 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 times tables because, the DfE says, “these have been determined to be the most difficult multiplication tables”. There will be 25 questions and pupils will be given six seconds to answer each question.

Each pupil’s score out of 25 will be reported to the school – there will be no expected standard threshold. Children will be tested using an on-screen check (on a computer or a tablet), where they will have to answer multiplication questions against the clock.  The test will last no longer than 5 minutes and their answers will be marked instantly.

TTblast from Just2Easy (available as part of your LGfL subscription) has updated features that will help children practice ahead of the check. When children either go ‘live’ within TT blast, or if they use it in practice mode, a clock will appear in the top right hand corner as can be seen below.

This will count down 6 seconds and then turn red. Children can still answer the question after the clock has turned red, it just means that they have taken longer than 6 seconds to answer.

When the children have completed the live test, their final scores can then be seen, this screen has also been updated and children will be told the average time it took them to answer questions. Next to each answer there will be a green clock to denote if answered in 6 seconds or a red clock to show that they answered in longer than 6 seconds, as can be seen below:

The children can use TT blast both at home and at school logging in with their USO – a great way to get children to practice their tables ahead of the MTC.

If you are using TT Blast in school  why not share your top scores with u on our Twitter or Facebook accounts.

J2e new features added

Just 2 Easy have announce not one but two updates to their popular suite of tools.

The first update is to JIT: Junior Infant Toolkit, part of the Just2easy Toolsuite which has a range of digital tools to help introduce basic computing skills such as word processing, animation, graphing, coding and digital publishing. The online infant toolkit allows the following features – all linked via the LGfL USO log in:

  • Word processing
  • Animation
  • Graphing
  • Painting
  • Pictogram
  • Turtle control
  • Mix of all the above into an online document

We are really excited to say that this popular program has had some new features added!

Pupils can now paint or fill using textures as well as solid colours, the colour picker and pen sizing have all been improved and an eraser has also been added.  You can see these new features in the picture below.

 

Speech bubbles and text can now be added to painting or animations, vastly improving the learning possibilities, enabling story boards to be created across a range of curriculum subjects. A new stamp feature takes the creativity on to new levels, you now have the ability to not only create your own stamps but these are then all saved in a new My Stamps area and these can then be used across the JIT progam.

Internet search has also been added to the JIT program – this is a safe search with copyright filters in place.

You can see all the features in action by watching the short video below

The second update is to Visual part of j2Code, adding a new sprite in visual is now even easier, 3 tabs have been added and you can choose from my pictures (pictures stored within your own files on j2e), shared files any pictures that have been shared with you and a web search.  Using the web search you can either search for all images, faces, pictures and clip art, once you have search for an image you can then set it as your background, making it easier to add backgrounds into visual.

If adding a new sprite from clip art, there are a new set of commands with added directions so that you can set the direction you want the sprite to move.

The video below explains the new added improvements:

 

We would love to hear what you think of these new features or if you have any examples that you would like to share with us on how you have made use of the new features via our Twitter or Facebook pages.