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Setting the tables (schools)

A teacher's guide

Bruno Reddy avatar
Written by Bruno Reddy
Updated over a week ago

Two things you absolutely need to know about setting the tables.

One: table setting only applies to Garage and Arena game modes.
(further reading: Game Types)

Two: our question algorithm works so smartly all by itself that you don't need to set the tables.

This is really important to appreciate and may come as a surprise but our recommendation is to let TTRS' intelligent system (refined over a decade) take responsibility because it is designed to:

  • personalise the questions for each individual on a continual basis so that they become rock stars at the tables up to 12×12 in the shortest possible time.

  • free teachers from laborious data analysis so that your precious time can be dedicated to high-impact activities like celebrating effort, small group intervention or running competitions. (further reading: 5 high-impact activities for teachers)

For the most part...

...setting specific tables is not necessary.

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Put your feet up ☕!

When to set the tables

We can tell - you're desperate to set some tables aren't you?

Well, ok, two specific scenarios merit choosing specific tables for your pupils.


  1.'re focusing on a particular table in lessons - in this case put your whole class on that table so that their practice reinforces and is itself reinforced by what you're covering in the curriculum. Remember to switch all the tables back on when you're no longer focusing on one table.

  2. ...some pupils are ready to learn beyond 12×12 - if you've got pupils who have 'completed their heatmap' up to 12×12 (i.e. it's all green) then they could be extended to practise the 13 to 19s or even apply previous knowledge to the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, etc.

Tell me how

You're going to smile at how easy it is. 😊

  1. Click on Set Tables (on the main menu) and choose your class.

    Optional: drag pupil names into groups within the class.
    Optional: switch to 13 to 19 or 20, 30, etc.

  2. Switch off the tables you don't want them to focus on.

👆 Example: setting the 6 times table only

Remember: these settings only apply to Garage and Arena games.

Do you recommend only setting one table?

In the event that you're having a class focus, yes, set that one table as described above.

But it's not recommended to set tables based on the age, year group or ability of the student. For example, you don't need to limit year 2 or 1st grade students to the 2s, 5s and 10s.

What if my class aren't ready for tables beyond, say, the 10s? I don't want them to struggle.

Neither do we! The algorithm will never introduce learners to questions and tables that they're not ready for. Instead it prioritises small groups of questions from the early tables and gradually 'releases' facts as the learner shows they're ready; the process continues until all facts to 12×12 are solid as a rock!

So by restricting a class to the 10s, say, teachers would be inadvertently holding back pupils who are more than ready to move on, while not actually 'shielding' the beginner learners any more than our system does naturally.

Time to embrace the tech that makes your job easier, after all, it's been designed by caring teachers like you 🤗.

Looking for how to set different tables each week?

You might remember that you could set different tables per week.

That functionality has been 'sunsetted', which is tech speak for 'removed', because it created additional work for teachers and was sub-optimal over the holiday periods.

In its place is a much more fluid and personalised experience for students that buys back time for busy teachers.

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Just a regular sunset gif 🌅

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