Read the following passage about the teaching of multiplication tables in Britain.
Children will now have to know their 12 times tables by the age of nine, but it's not about rote learning, it's about revelling in the profusion of patterns, writes Rob Eastaway, maths writer and dad.
There was a time - several decades ago now - when the reason for learning the 12 times table was obvious. As a country using imperial measurements, we were all measuring in feet and inches and paying in shillings and pence, so multiplying by 12 was a common, everyday experience.
But for today's children this is all ancient history. Yes, we do still count eggs in dozens, and a lot of people - including most Americans - do still work in inches, but that's hardly justification for spending hours swotting those extra tables.
And yet, there's still a case for learning your "twelves", but the reason is to do with discovering patterns and building a confidence in handling numbers. Once children begin to get comfortable multiplying numbers larger than 10, they start to get a feel for big multiplications. Knowing your 11 and 12 times tables can introduce intriguing patterns that might be missed if you stop at 10.
Choose the correct answer to complete the two statements below.
1. In the past, British children learnt the 12 times table because
A) rote learning was the traditional teaching method.
B) it exposed them to new mathematical patterns.
C) we used a different system of measurements and money.
2. The author believes that these days
A) there is no justification for teaching the 12 times table.
B) children should still learn to multiply numbers bigger than 10.
C) children lack confidence when handling large numbers.