Repetition Need Not Be Boring : From an early age on, children engage in and learn from repetitive behaviour, such as dropping and picking up things, opening and closing boxes and tins, repeating the same words, playing 'peek-a-boo' repeatedly, urging adults to repeat the same stories, and so on. Would you call any of these activities rote learning? Thus, repetition need not be rote learning
Repetition can be imaginative. It can involve the children in enjoyable activities, which could even be initiated by the children themselves. In these repetitions the participating children observe and experience something new and different each time.
Rote learning, on the other hand, does not allow for variety because it is not the process which is being repeated, but the 'information' which is being repeated mechanically (for example, memorising multiplication tables mechanically).
Repetition, and not rote learning, helps children learn.
If you look around you, you will notice that repetition happens with natural variety in a child's living environment. But it has to be consciously created in a formal learning environment, with enough variety to sustain the interest of children. How would you meet this challenge? Maybe, the following example can give us some ideas.
Children often consider multiplication tables to be the bane of their existence. Is it really necessary to go on and on mechanically repeating them? And does this memorising by rote help a child understand what the tables mean? Is it not true that learning by rote usually stays at the superficial level of repeating tables in a given order? The fluency of using them is absent, which you can observe if you ask them to find the multiples in a different order.stead of memorisation, isn't it better to help the child to see the underlying pattern? You could think of several activities to enable children to establish the notion of multiplication and recognise patterns in the multiplication tables. For example, children can he asked to identify groups of 2, 4 or 5 apples each, and then answer simple questions\ like 'How many groups of '4 apples each are there?' and 'How many apples in all is that?'. And this can be done with a variety of objects.