Using Music to Remember Maths Facts!

At the start of the year, our school had a full day inset with Anthony Reddy. His ideas were fantastic to help engage and improve children's calculations skills. One of his biggest recommendations was using music to help children remember certain number facts. The idea is that maths facts such as times tables are something that can be memorised in a similar way as words. If children can read they should be able to remember maths facts. Finding the easiest way for children to remember the facts is the challenge for us as teachers.

Anthony started each session using examples from the Number Fun Songs website. The website provides over 6 books full of songs that cover almost every aspect of the numeracy curriculum. Most have a catchy tune and dance moves to accompany the words and the children love to sing all about maths in their lessons. All the teachers were up dancing during the inset reciting maths facts! With this idea of using music to assist children in remembering maths facts, here are some activities I have used to further develop this in the classroom. 

The first app/s that I have used are from Smule and are Autorap and CineBeat.

The Autorap app allows you to record a conversation of someone talking or rapping  and remix it into a catchy hip hop tune through mixing and autotune!

The children absolutely loved hearing back the songs and even could recite the facts using them! I am sure after listening a few times the facts would stick and be remembered easily!

I then repeated the exercise with the six times tables, again the rap is generated in seconds and there are loads of different free tracks to choose from, the children were bopping away to their times tables!!
Here are a couple of examples:

The challenge for next week??? Who can recite their 7 and 8 times tables to become a hip hop star, you wouldn't believe how many came in wanting to recite their tables.

With Year 3 today we recapped on our two and ten times tables, listen to our examples here:

Another way for children to incorporate music into their maths lesson is to use the app Garageband. 
This app allows children to create their own song to which they can they sing their times tables or other number facts over. The children love being able to create music and having them sing and listen to their  song over and over will hopefully make those number facts stick! 
Here are some of the children's effort making their own times tables song:

Another app that I came across thanks to @Cherise_Duxbury is VideoStar. This app allows children to create their own music videos in lots of cool and exciting styles. Click here to see Cherise's class who made their own reading music video. Inspired by this idea, I decided to let my Year 3 class create their own music video to one of the Number fun songs mentioned earlier.
First the children had to listen and discuss the song to generate ideas about how they wanted to video to look. They listened over and over to the lyrics trying to learn it so they could mime in the video. It gave them purpose to learning these facts and they were storing them without realising! 

Once they had planned and decided in a group what each person was doing, they filmed their videos. At the end of the lesson, I just asked a few questions relating to the theme of the song, it was amazing to see how quickly they could recite the facts. Here is a snippet from one of the videos:

Doubling Machine - Music Video from Davyhulme Primary School on Vimeo.

For more examples of useful songs that could be used for this type of activity check out @MrACDPresent's blog here -




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