OK, roll out the barrel, grab the gun: it’s time for the fish. Somehow we thought this one would take work but, really, there’s nothing to say.
It has obviously occurred to ACARA that the benefits of their Glorious Revolution may not be readily apparent to us mathematical peasants. And, one of the things we peasants tend to worry about are the multiplication tables. It is therefore no great surprise that ACARA has addressed this issue in their FAQ:
When and where are the single-digit multiplication facts (timetables) covered in the proposed F–10 Australian Curriculum: Mathematics?
These are explicitly covered at Year 4 in both the achievement standard and content descriptions for the number strand. Work on developing knowledge of addition and multiplication facts and related subtraction and division facts, and fluency with these, takes place throughout the primary years through explicit reference to using number facts when operating, modelling and solving related problems.
Nothing spells sincerity like getting the name wrong.* It’s also very reassuring to hear the kids will be “developing knowledge of … multiplication facts”. It’d of course be plain foolish to grab something huge like 6 x 3 all at once. In Year 4. And, how again will the kids “develop” this knowledge? Oh yeah, “when operating, modelling and solving related problems”. It should work a treat.
That’s the sales pitch. That’s ACARA’s conscious attempt to reassure us peasants that everything’s fine with the “timetables”. How’s it working? Feeling good? Wanna feel worse?
What follows is the relevant part of the Year Achievement Standards, and the Content-Elaboration for “multiplication facts” in Year 4 Algebra.
By the end of Year 4, students … model situations, including financial contexts, and use … multiplication facts to … multiply and divide numbers efficiently. … They identify patterns in the multiplication facts and use their knowledge of these patterns in efficient strategies for mental calculations.
recognise, recall and explain patterns in basic multiplication facts up to 10 x 10 and related division facts. Extend and apply these patterns to develop increasingly efficient mental strategies for computation with larger numbers
using arrays on grid paper or created with blocks/counters to develop and explain patterns in the basic multiplication facts; using the arrays to explain the related division facts
using materials or diagrams to develop and record multiplication strategies such as skip counting, doubling, commutativity, and adding one more group to a known fact
using known multiplication facts for 2, 3, 5 and 10 to establish multiplication facts for 4, 6 ,7 ,8 and 9 in different ways, for example, using multiples of ten to establish the multiples 9 as ‘to multiply a number by 9 you multiply by 10 then take the number away’; 9 x 4 = 10 x 4 – 4 , 40 – 4 = 36 or using multiple of three as ‘to multiply a number by 9 you multiply by 3, and then multiply the result by 3 again’
using the materials or diagrams to develop and explain division strategies, such as halving, using the inverse relationship to turn division into a multiplication
using known multiplication facts up to 10 x 10 to establish related division facts
Alternatively, the kids could just learn the damn things. Starting in, oh, maybe Year 1? But what would we peasants know.
*) It has since been semi-corrected to “times-tables”.