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17 February 2018

What is the new DfE times tables test / year 4 times table test DfE?

When will year 4 times table test DfE be introduced? Schools will administer the new times tables test to year 4 pupils from 2019-20.  When will the trials start for the new year 4 times tables test?

The government is to start trailing the times tables test in selected schools from March 2018.
How will the new Maths year 4 times table test DfE be conducted?
The new DfE times table test will be conducted as an on-screen test.  It will be sat by students aged 8 and 9 in Year 4. It is intended to ensure that primary school children know their times tables up to 12 by heart by the time they get to secondary school.

Is the new Maths year 4 times table test by the DfE a good thing? I think the answer to that is two-fold.
Some children do leave primary school with an insecure knowledge of the multiplications tables. This is not true of all children however, particularly those in more affluent areas of the UK. However, most schools have measures to ensure students that require extra help with times tables are given it. I cannot see why children need to be tested on their times tables/multiplication tables.
Free - Play Times Tables Snakes and Ladders Online

Some would say, there is no need for the test, as teachers already know which children are struggling with learning the multiplication tables. Thus, if they know - it can be fixed, right? Well, it seems it is not fixed for all. Perhaps testing times tables from year 4 will concentrate the minds of senior leaders to ensure that teachers are now given the resources to help those students that are struggling with learning the multiplication tables. There are students that leave primary school with an inadequate knowledge of their times tables. This can be rectified to some extent.
 Here is an example of how testing changed the perception of a subject:
For example, the government had a compulsory science test for all year 6 students as science was at the top of a good schools' agenda ensuring all students were well engaged in science and it was taught across the curriculum. However, now science is no longer tested, most schools do not allocate a high number of teaching hours to science. 
My point is that if times tables are given this platform whereby they are seen as a necessity, then perhaps more resources and time will be allocated to those children that need that extra help with times tables.  In contrast to the UK, they do not test in Finland - where they are outstanding!
Teaching in Finland:
They have no tests in Finnish schools and their students outperform UK students. However, Finland treat their teachers with respect and they are highly regarded – comparable to doctors or lawyers!  There is a different ethos - from the ground upwards. UK teachers have very limited control and so it is impossible to compare them equally to Finland. However, Finnish teachers are free to set their own curriculum, compared to schools in the UK and US which must adhere to the national curriculum.

This time tables measure is just another measure due to the entire system not working as a unit. It is a good idea but only because the UK system is not as effective across all schools. There are outstanding/ good schools that produce well rounded and equipped students, and then there are other schools that do not.  If we could only get the framework right then there would be no reason to test children, as they would be informally assessed and measures would be in place to help all students achieve – education is for all, not the few.
How can I help my child with the new year 4 times table test by the DfE?
Learning should be about fun, games, joy and laughter.  I think of the Finnish education system and see how it thrives but their mantra is not to put pressure on students.

The times tables do not just have to be taught just by reciting it all day long. There are paper based games, dice games, computer games, times table song, worksheets and drill sheets, hands-on activities to help with the new year 4 times table test.

         Make sure your child has a times table poster on their wall

         You can also get times table placemats

         Play games with them where you both are engaged – not just you testing them. Select a times table game that suits your child’s personality. This could be a times table computer-based game, internet game, paper game, pen and pencil times table game or a board game.

         Get outside - if the weather is fine. Take some chalk and write on the pavement/ sidewalk. Let them play hopscotch and count in multiplies of fives.

         Help your child to learn the multiples of tables first. Once they know the multiples well then go to learn the facts this will help with the new year 4 times table test.

         Make learning the times tables fun and take it in small steps. Start counting in multiples as soon as they can talk. Play games, sing times table songs and enjoy learning together. 

         Count everything! Count toys, pasta, balls and more in multiples of 2, 3, 4 and so on. This will all help your child learn the multiplication tables. Count cars, buses and people - in twos and threes as you walk down the street. Count the plants and trees in multiples!

Don’t put stress on your child. Have fun learning and take your time!

16 February 2018

How to Find Time to Exercise with A Busy Schedule Doesn't Have to Be Hard. Read These 6 Tips

Finding the time to do exercise can be daunting and quite frustrating. You feel exhausted, but you know you should be physically more active. Your brain is overwhelmed with all the tasks you have to do, but you know at the back of your mind that exercise is the key to a better you. Here are a few tips to help you find time in your busy schedule to exercise.

Have Fun: Selecting activities, you enjoy will help you stick with your program. Walking, running, ice skating, roller blading, surfing, dance classes or martial arts. I could go on. The key is to find something you like and stick with it.

Need a fitness organiser. Here is a good one here:
Printable Fitness Organiser, Gym Diary, Weekly Exercise Planner, Printable Habit Tracker, Workout Tracker,
Work around the kids:
If you have younger kids and find it difficult to schedule in exercise into your busy schedule, do a workout video in the living room while they play in their bedrooms. Or take them to the park or your garden.

Get the Kids Involved:
Take the little ones out in a stroller. Push that stroller round the park! Jog with them. Interact with your child/red. Walk them around the park. You can even stop here and there to do strength exercises.

Don’t just watch TV:
Get up and dust or sweep whilst watching. Read how many calories you can burn doing household chores here. You can see just as well if you are standing and doing something! Use the commercial breaks to do some stretches or lunges, jumps, hops and skip!

Be A Morning Person:
I find that if you schedule exercise for the mornings, you are more likely to do it. By finding the time to exercise with a busy schedule in the morning, you continue to burn calories after the workout is done. By keeping your metabolism at a high level, you will burn calories throughout the day, this has got to be a good thing!

Find Time During the Weekend:
If your week days are really busy. Use the weekends to fit in the majority of your exercises. Remember throughout the week you will be doing small task that will help you be active. Try to fit in just one or two during the week and the rest at the weekend. This will take the pressure off you, but make sure you schedule them in and stick to them.

How to Find Time to Exercise with A Busy Schedule Doesn't Have to Be Hard. Read These 6 Tips

15 February 2018

The Secrets of Parents Drinking Beetroot Juice First Thing In The Morning Look Amazing!

The  Secrets of Parents Drinking Beetroot Juice First Thing In The Morning Look Amazing!

As a parent we don't always remember about our health, but it is vital , no matter how old your children are, that you have health tips for good health, for yourself and them! Let's look at the benefits of beetroot juice and see if we can use that to stay fit and healthy.
Yes, it has a green part!

Beetroot has extremely good nutritional value; the green part of beetroot is high in, iron and calcium. It is a good source of vitamin A and C.  You can eat the green part – it is a bit like spinach! Beetroots are a good  source of manganese, potassium fibre and a very good source of folic acid.
A study conducted in the UK, showed that drinking beetroot juice could increase stamina by sixteen percent. This is because of its nitrate content which increases the oxygen uptake by the body. They also found that because of this the nitrate content, it could also help in the proper functioning of the brain and deter the onset of dementia. Further to this it has been noted that when nitrate is converted to nitrite it helps the brain to function better.  

Beetroot fibre has been shown to increase the number of white blood cells, which are responsible for detecting and eliminating abnormal cells. Red beetroots is one of the most potent antioxidant vegetables and has rich sources of glutamine, an amino acid, essential to the proper functioning of your intestinal tract.

Benefits of drinking beetroot juice first thing in the morning are:

1: Beetroot increases vitality:  The nitrates in the juice are said to help the body to deplete less of its oxygen reserves, meaning those exercising feel less tired. This can also be good for those setting out and about their daily lives!


2: Beetroot is good for digestion: Beetroot has high levels of betaine. Betaine is thought to be beneficial for good digestive health. Betaine has been reported to help improve digestion by increasing stomach acid levels, which could help prevent food intolerances, control yeast and bacterial growth as well as decrease bloating.


3: Beetroot is good for skin: The benefits of beetroot juice for skin work from within and on the surface too. Drinking a glass of juice purifies blood and eliminates toxins, leaving you with healthy and glowing skin. Who does not want to glow?


4: Help your liver out in the morning. Beetroot can detoxify your liver.

Beetroots contain betaine. This increases the functionality of the liver. The liver can be an overworked organ in the body. A build-up of toxins in the liver can lead to liver disease. Beetroot juice can help as it has a ready supply of B vitamins, calcium, iron and betaine. Which all act as an antioxidant.
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