For example, children will be learning about money through organising their own bake sales, and using their skills in estimating and measuring to create 3D mathematical signs and shapes. Many families will already be working hard to produce a mathematical hat to wear to school on Friday 26 February. For more information see the letter that has been issued here.
At BISS Puxi, we are always trying to find ways to motivate and engage children by using contexts and challenges for them to solve problems. In this way, children apply their knowledge and learn to think like mathematicians, not just always ‘doing’ sums in exercise books. However, we also recognise the importance of learning number bonds and times tables, and this is an area that you can help with at home. Children need to develop a quick recall of number facts and here are some ideas for you to try with your child:
· Times tables songs many of which are available online are a fun way for you and your child to practise tables together. Can you make up your own?
· Play the doubles game by setting up any number sum that helps your child; for example by having matching ‘pair’ cards where 4+9 is matched with 13 and then turning them all face down and mixed up. Children have to match pairs together as in the traditional pairs game. Time them or race them for an extra challenge.
· Use cards numbered 1-12 and decide a times table to practise. Turn the card and quickly they shout out the ‘stations’. If the x9 is being practised and 8 turned over, they shout 72. Time it or increase the numbers on the cards to make it harder. Division can be practised in the same way by writing the ‘stations’ on the cards; harder still to write any number and then remainders need to be worked out too.
· Use a pack of playing cards without the face cards. Children then pick say 5 cards and lay them out turned over. How quickly can they add up all five turned over one at a time, or when all 5 are turned over together? Play the same game but subtracting from say 110? You can design this game to best fit your child. Make it a competition between the two of you!
· A pack of cards can also be used to help with fast recall of multiplication. Remove the Kings and let Jack represent 11, and Queen represent 12. Split the pack into reds and blacks. Turn two cards over at a time and multiply them together. How fast can you do the pack?
· Finally make up your own game! Remember it is the speed of recall that is to be encouraged, but also make sure that your child enjoys the game and is aware that they are getting better so they build confidence.
The benefit of playing a game with your child, rather than using a computer programme or app, is that it is a social learning situation that you can both enjoy together. You can actively support them, set them challenges that they can achieve, and praise their success. You are teaching and demonstrating that Maths is fun – all positive for future success.
Eleanor Jess, Head of Primary