Learning Number Facts

a guide to the principles and practice of number fact learning


Number facts (and particularly times tables) are one of the “essentials” for succeeding in life. We learn them from when we start school as they underpin the way we understand mathematics and progress in the subject. As adults, we use them daily for calculating shopping totals, estimating building quantities or picking the best unit costs. Memorising number facts allows us to focus our mental energy on the core task and not get bogged down in calculation. Yet many children, and too many adults, don’t “know” their number facts - they struggle with recall, have difficulty with calculation and immediately place themselves at a disadvantage in daily life. A numerate (and literate) society is one we should strive for in order to reduce social disadvantage.

This whitepaper is for teachers, senior leaders, parents, learners - all those who have a interest in the learning of number facts. In it we present an outline of how memory works and how schools use this in traditional methods for learning number facts. But, given recent research on memory, what might optimum strategies for learning use and, if we implemented them, what might they look like.

We believe this will provide an invaluable synthesis for all those who want to impact upon number fact learning and the benefits this can have upon numeracy during later learning.

Please click on the button above to download the white paper and, if you find one useful piece of information in it, email it on to a friend or colleague who might also benefit from reading it.