A Grantham woman has devised a fun and practical way to learn the times tables which has been been praised by children and teachers.
Debbie Wicks, of Gonerby Hill Foot, started devising her special grids to help children learn the tables when her own boys were growing up and struggling with them.
Debbie has called her system the Wix Way Times Tables Learning System and has put together a book.
She has also taught children in school using the system, with the backing of staff.
Debbie, who is not a trained teacher, was a dinner lady at Harrowby Infant School when she was given the chance to teach some of the children who needed extra support at sister school National Junior.
Debbie said: “The kids follow a system and after three or four goes they pick it up. I think kids need confidence. When they suddenly know the answers they are full of pride and say ‘pick me!’ when you ask the questions.”
Debbie says her system is very visual and contains lots of little tricks. “They can see things there that will help them. I have had great responses from the kids and the teachers.”
Debbie says her system works much better than the rote system – a method of learning by repetition – which schools use. She says children are easily bored by the rote system whereas her system introduces interesting visuals to stimulate the children. She says it has worked 100 per cent with the children she has worked with.
Debbie, whose grown-up sons are now a computer aided designer and an electrician, said: “It stopped my kids from struggling and it would help the teachers.”
Debbie says her system falls within the guidelines of the National Numeracy Project and she would like to teach it privately or take it into schools.
Kay Sutherland, headteacher of Harrowby and National schools, said she was impressed by Debbie when she gave her the chance to teach some of the children at the National over the summer term.
Mrs Sutherland said: “She has worked very hard with the children and the children loved it. She is a really good designer and this is another strategy. The only thing I told her was that I think it needs a bit of developing with quick recall. But it’s very intriguing.”
Debbie says she would like to teach privately or in schools using her system.
If any schools or individuals are interested in contacting Debbie about her system they can call her on 07505 208089 or email firstname.lastname@example.org