## Times Tables Are Evil

Well, that's what the new boy in my class announced on Day 1 in our first Maths session together.

.....how can a 9 year old have such strong negative feelings about multiplication facts?

.....what can I do to change this negativity?

.....what are the other kids feeling about Maths in my class?

## So what do the kids think about their performance in Maths?

I asked the kids to reflect on their feelings about Maths, specifically about their level of confidence with mathematical thinking. I wanted to try to avoid performance-based self assessment that was confined to "I get good marks, therefore I'm good at Maths" type of comments. This was part of a Semester 1 reflection devised by my good colleague Capitano Amazing (4thgradebigquestions.blogspot.com.au/)

There was also a sliding scale where the children were asked to tick where they felt they were along a continuum from extremely confident to totally confused.

The continuum showed that about half the class is extremely confident and about half are somewhere in the middle. Two students indicated that they were totally lacking in confidence. This is great - now I know what I can do and where I can start with them.

The comments also were interesting - some good, some bad, some very revealing.

Here is a summary of what they said:

## The Good

I love Maths. I can safely say I'm good at it too. I try to find Maths in everything I do.

I love doing Maths because it is really fun when we learn something new.

I love Maths!

Maths is awesome!

I like learning my times tables.

I love solving problems.

Because I'm horrible.

## The Revealing

Sometimes it's really easy and sometimes I think, "Oh no, what am I going to do?"

I don't always understand Maths questions.

I would like to get a bit more confidence in Maths.

I have trouble concentrating.

Most things I am confident with but others things like "Time" and "Division" I need to work on.

Although everyone keeps insisting I'm good at Maths I don't think so because my Mentals is horrible and I don't have the habit to check my answers twice.

I have trouble with carry the one and where to put it. Let's chat please.

## So what?

Students have a very significant insight into their own learning. Ask them, they will tell you all about themselves if they are given the opportunity.

Self evaluation gives me so much information to work through that I could not get from other sources.

As a result, in class we will be spending more time looking at Division, Time and mental strategies.

And yes...we will chat. I will tell you where to put the one when you carry it.