News: More male teachers needed in schools

more male teachers needed in schools

Well it was only a short while ago when I mentioned a piece of research which suggested it was not necessary to have male teachers in primary school. Yes, you’ve guessed it, another survey (the Yougov survey) recommends more men should be teaching in our primary schools. They say that it leads to better behaved boys. Continue reading “News: More male teachers needed in schools”

What is expected of children? Part 4: Year 2

maths at home, counting, understanding number, knowing maths, shape, measuring, data handling,

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 “What is expected of children? Part 4: Year 2”

Maths worksheets: Count in steps of one. Y2

Maths worksheets: Count in steps of one.

countingHere we have some practice at filling in number lines using two digit numbers. Some of the numbers have already been written in. Notice that the number line has the lowest number at the bottom – and the numbers are completed in ascending order. It is interesting to watch how children do this; most will fill in from a number already there and prefer to count up rather than count down.
A superb practical experience is to play snakes and ladders which has all the ingredients of counting on and going back down the snakes. Large floor game boards are great! Make sure you count out loud when it is your go. Other dice board games are also excellent as counting practice.

2201-03 Count in steps of 1 (pg 3)

2201-04 Count in steps of 1 (pg 4)

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 “What is expected of children? Part 2: Reception”

The Essential Arithmetricks: Book review

The Essential Arithmetricks review, murderous maths review

murdererous mathsThe Essential Arithmetricks (Murderous Maths)

Now, how serious do you like your maths?
‘Not very much!’
OK then the Murderous Maths series might be right up your street.
I have taken my favourite of the series: The Essential Arithmetricks featuring Pongo McWhiffy amongst many others, who guide you through the complexities of arithmetic – including awful addition, sickly subtraction, terrible tables, maddening multiplication and diabolical division. Yes, they do like their alliteration. It also includes all the signs you will need to use and pages on place value, estimation and manipulating equations.
Almost mad, but in fact there are plenty of really useful tips on how to improve mental arithmetic, all set out in a fun way with amusing characters and illustrations. Your children will either love it or hate it!

Written by Kjartan Poskitt.

9 out of 10
Maths content
7 out of 10
Value for money
7 out of 10

Free Y1 maths worksheets: Count in steps of one.

free maths worksheet counting in ones

countingTwo more maths worksheets to help with counting. Children need an awful lot of practice at counting. To begin with they will probably touch each picture as they count up. Try counting the same set of cakes, but starting from a different cake. Colour the cakes in two different colours and count how many of each colour – this helps with early addition. The more you can do the better – make collections of cuttings from magazines of animals, food, cars etc and create a scrapbook. Count the number of pictures. Nothing wrong with using fingers to count on – most people do it!

Free Y1 maths worksheets: Count in steps of 1 (pg 3)

Free Y1 maths worksheets: Count in steps of 1 (pg 4)

Maths worksheets: Probability. Y6

probability scale 0 to 1

data 1The language of probability develops further in year 6 to include:
perhaps, might, fair, unfair, biased, random, likely, unlikely, equally likely, chance, certain, uncertain, probable, possible, impossible, good chance, poor chance, no chance, equal chance, even chance, evens, fifty-fifty chance, likelihood, probability, possibility, and, or, not.

Children should understand the probability scale from 0 to 1 and be able to put events in the appropriate place on the probability scale according to the likelihood of the event happening. A probability of 0 means that something is impossible. A probability of 1 means that something is certain to happen. Sometimes children think that some events have a probability of 0 or 1 when in fact they are quite near these values, but not actually 0 or 1. For example it is highly unlikely that we shall have built a bridge across the Atlantic Ocean by the year 2030, but this is not actually impossible, therefore the probability of it happening is extremely small, but not equal to zero. Likewise, the probability of the Sun rising as usual every morning for the next year is very high but not actually 1 as there is a very small chance of some cataclysmic event happening in the Solar System.

Two maths worksheets below look at the probability line from 0 to 1.

6701-01 Probability (pg 1)

6701-02 Probability (pg 2)

Maths worksheets: Probability. Y5

Probability, certain, likely, unlikely, impossible

data 1Probability brings with it a whole new set of vocabulary and concepts. By the end of year 5 children should be familiar with the following terms:

perhaps, might, fair, unfair, likely, unlikely, equally likely, chance, certain, uncertain, probable, possible, impossible, good chance, poor chance, no chance, equal chance, even chance, evens, fifty-fifty chance, likelihood, probability, possibility.

The two worksheets below concentrate on children being able to say whether events are impossible (such as cows giving birth to hens), unlikely (such as tossing a die and getting a 4), likely (such as waking up tomorrow) or certain (such as throwing a normal die and getting a number from 1 to 6). Finding events which are either certain or impossible are often much harder than you might think.

5701-01 Probability (pg 1)

5701-02 Probability (pg 2)

Maths worksheets: Pictograms. Y4

Maths worksheets: Pictograms Year 4

data 1Plenty of progress is expected with data handling during Stage 4. By the end of the year children should have a good understanding of, and be able to spell, these words:

Vote, survey, questionnaire, data, count, tally, sort, set, represent, table, list, graph, chart, diagram, axes, label, title, most common or popular.

One of the most difficult concepts for them is the pictogram. This will be the first time that they come across a symbol which represents more than one item (eg. one stick person represents 10 people). Help is often needed in pointing out that the picture means ten people, not just one and that half a stick person represents 5 people. They should be able to interpret and answer simple questions about pictograms.

4701-01 Interpreting a pictogram (pg 1)

4701-02 Interpreting a pictogram (pg 2)

Maths worksheets: Sorting data. Y3

maths worksheets sorting data

data 1A couple of data handling worksheets. The first re-inforces the year 2 work on sorting numbers. The second uses a Venn diagram to sort shapes. This is the simplest kind of Venn diagram where squares are sorted as a special set of shapes. Give your children plenty of practice at sorting into different sets, using a variety of criteria, including shape, colour, size etc. Also get them to discuss the best way to show their results. Further examples of this will come later, including more on Venn diagrams and tallying.

3701-01 Sorting data

3701-02 Sorting shapes