What are Learn Its?
You may recognise terms like Number Facts or Number Bonds, in Big Maths we call them ‘Learn Its’. Learn Its are simple sums that it is vitally important for children to learn and be able to recall them instantly, (with no thinking time). This name is simple because it perfectly describes what we want children to do, ‘Just learn it!’. There are 36 addition Learn Its (all the 1 digit add 1 digit facts from 2+2 through to 9+9) and 36 multiplication Learn Its (all of the 1 digit times 1 digit facts).
“Be clear! A Learn It is a fact to remember… just like they know their name!”
In Big Maths there are 7 principles of generating instant recall from all children, which are explained to teachers to help them in school. The most important principle is to BE CLEAR. Clarity allows children to understand where they are on their learning journey, which encourages them to make progress. We want children to know:
- that a ‘Learn It’ is a fact to remember just as well as they know their own name
- that Learn Its are 1d add 1d facts and 1d times 1d facts
- the 18 Max Rule -For 1d addition 1d Learn Its the answer can never be bigger than 18
- the 81 Max Rule – For 1d multiplication 1d Learn Its the answer can never be bigger than 81
- switchers – That 3 add 4 must be the same as 4 add 3 (for example). They can switch the numbers and end up with the same answer
- Fact Families – Read more here…
The Learn Its Challenge
There are 16 Learn Its challenges, beginning with 1+1 and 2+2 and finish with the Ultimate challenge, all 72 Learn Its which need to be answered in less than 3 minutes! Each step of the Learn Its journey is clear, listing new facts that must be learned. To help children to practice previous facts, along with the new facts, the Learn Its challenges include questions relating to 3 steps of the journey, 3,4,5 – 4,5,6 etc.
Learning should be fun, so keep it simple. Try to relate facts to real life, use fingers, the legs on a chair, playing dice etc to illustrate the fact and helps to anchor it into their memory. We provide some example flashcards and jingles below, but feel free to experiment and have fun until children can recall them instantly.
Learn Its Flash Cards
Write the sum on the front and the answer on the back of a piece of paper. Show your child the question side of the flashcard and ask them to shout out the answer on the back immediately (like ‘Snap’). Keep a pile of the facts that your child gets right every time and a pile of the ones they still need practice with. Focus practice on just 2 or 3 from the pile that still need to be learned, or from the specific ones that your child’s teacher has asked them to practice next.
These are easy enough to make at home! Work together with your children to create your own flashcards! Here’s an example of how to layout the page (questions on the front, answers on the back!) and fold to make your cards.