Parent guide to maths

Posted by Peter on 15th May 2008

Maths help at home: more or less with playing cards

cardsA pack of cards is a great resource for helping with maths at home. Here is a simple game that can help to develop the concepts of more and less.
What you need:

  • A pack of cards
  • Paper to keep a tally score (optional)

What to do:
Take a pack of cards and remove all the Kings, Queens and Jacks.
Give the rest of the pack a good shuffle and deal 10 cards between you and your child. Make sure they stay face down in a pile in front of each of you.
Decide whether the winner will be the person with ‘more’ ( a higher card) or ‘less’ (a lower card). This could be done by tossing a coin.
Each player turns over one card and they are compared. Is it more or is it less? The winner keeps both cards, or a score can be marked on paper.
After all the cards have been turned over the winner is the one with most cards or the highest score.
Further info:
This is an excellent way to develop a sense of number. Children can count the shapes on the cards and match them to the numbers shown on the cards, as well as learning what more and less mean.
Talk with your child about the cards which have been turned over ( “Wow! You’ve got a really high card!” “ Is mine more than yours?” etc)
Vary the number of cards dealt; 5 may be enough to start with.
If you want to make the scoring much trickier the winner could score the difference between the two cards (i.e. if a 7 and a 4 are turned over the winner scores 7 – 4 = 3.)

Posted by Peter on 11th September 2007

What is expected? Part 8 Year 6

What is expected of children during their primary school years in England?
Year 6 ( aged 10/11)

The final blog in our series on expectations, although I will be returning to this theme again and again in the future.
Much of the work carried out in year 5 eg addition and subtraction will need to be reinforced and is not covered in these targets for year 6. Please note that this is only a summary of the key areas of maths to be covered in the year. Some of the work here will be too difficult for many year 6 children: it is very much a set of targets published by the Primary Framework rather than a realistic review of what children can actually achieve. It does give you a good idea of what teachers are hoping to achieve with their children by the end of year 6.
I believe that if a child can successfully meet these challenges then they have a very bright future in maths ahead of them. Continue Reading

Posted by Peter on 21st August 2007

What is expected? Part 7 Year 5

What is expected of children during their primary school years in England?

Year 5 ( aged 9/10)

Much of the work carried out in year 4 eg addition and subtraction is reinforced in year 5. Efficient written methods for all addition, subtraction and multiplication are expected and moving towards this with division.
Please note that this is only a summary of the key areas of maths to be covered in the year. Continue Reading

Posted by Peter on 14th August 2007

What is expected? Part 6 Year 4

What is expected of children during their primary school years in England?

Year 4 ( aged 8/9)

Now we have come to what is expected of children aged between 8 and 9: as defined by the English Primary Framework for Mathematics (part of the National Curriculum). In year 4 there is a greater emphasis on written methods, with the standard or efficient method expected for both addition and subtraction. Children are expected to know all their tables and there is a lot more work on decimals. Continue Reading

Posted by Peter on 8th August 2007

What is expected? Part 5: Year 3.

What is expected of children during their primary school years in England?

Year 3 ( aged 7/8)

In year 3 one of the major areas of progress is in using written methods for working out harder addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. At first these will not be the shortened ‘standard’ methods which we use, but steps towards them and may well take the form of jottings. However, the emphasis is still on mental calculations and a question should only be done on paper if it can’t be done mentally. To help with mental arithmetic more tables are to be learned by heart including the 6x table.
Remember to look at the year 2 expectations to see the progression. Continue Reading

Posted by Peter on 31st July 2007

What is expected of children? Part 4: Year 2

What is expected of children during their primary school years in England?

Year 2 ( aged 6/7)

Let’s continue by looking at the expectations for children at the end of year 2 (6 to 7 years old). This is a year where a huge amount of new maths is introduced. However, it is still important to keep the maths in a practical context using real life situations. One of the most important developments is that children are expected to work with larger numbers, up to 100 and whole hundreds. Partitioning (or splitting numbers) is introduced with questions such as 36 = ? + 6.
Remember to look at the year 1 expectations to see the progression. Continue Reading

Posted by Peter on 31st July 2007

What is expected of children? Part 2: Reception

What is expected of children during their primary school years in England?

Part 2: Reception 4/5 years old

Let’s begin by looking at what is expected by the end of the Reception year – that’s children aged between 4 and 5 years old. This is sometimes called the Foundation Stage. Yes, even our 5 year olds have targets to reach!
I will take each of the strands in turn, but as you go through them it will become clear that the most important thing of all is to talk with your children and use the vocabulary of simple maths to help them describe the world around them. Continue Reading

Posted by Peter on 7th July 2007

What is expected of children? Part 1: the 7 strands of maths

For parents it is often very difficult to know what is expected of their children at school. Over the next few weeks I will try to provide a guide for parents, starting today with how primary school maths has been broken down into ‘strands’. Continue Reading

Posted by Peter on 6th July 2007

What is expected of children? Part 3: Year 1

What is expected of children during their primary school years in England?

Year 1 ( aged 5/6)

To be able to successfully help your child with maths at home it is important to have a good idea of what is expected in school. Remember, we divided all the maths content into 7 strands. Let’s take each of the strands in turn to see what the Primary Framework for Mathematics suggests for children aged between 5 and 6 years old. Continue Reading