Tag Archives: mathematics

There are two maths: one is better

What is the most effective way of giving KS2 pupils an understanding of how maths actually works?

Missing Digits Addition Puzzle

There is no doubt that the rote learning of times tables is helpful to most pupils. But for progress to be made beyond that point children also need to understand the meanings behind mathematical problems.

Perhaps the most effective way of encouraging children to think about such issue is to give them maths problems that need them to use their knowledge of the four basic functions to solve simple problems.

Of course this can be done through the classic, “A man goes to a shop three times and buys four items each time…” type of question. But before children are ready to enter into those conundrums, they need to be able to solve the maths problems in purely mathematical terms, without any words in the way.

And the most effective way of doing this is through missing digit puzzles in which the mathematical question is set out with one part of the problem missing.

Thus they can be presented with an additional problem in which part of the answer is written in, and one of the two numbers to be added together. They have to work out what is missing.

Later they can be asked for a number in the eight times table where the first number is between 1 and 6 and the last number is six.

The big benefit with this approach is that because the questions are presented as puzzles to be solved rather than maths to be learned, they are much more stimulating and attractive to most KS2 children – and they really do help the children progress towards a mastery of mathematics’ basic functions.

You can see examples of how this works on our website at: Missing digit puzzles for times tables

And there is more information about the book and its contents here.

You can order Missing Digit Puzzles on our website either as a PDF for £10.99 or as a hardcopy book for £16.50. There is also the option to buy the hardcopy and PDF together at a discounted price of £19.80.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, Key Stage, Key Stage 2, Mathematics, National Curriculum, Primary school, Teaching Ideas

Teaching division to beginners

When we teach division to primary children, we tend to introduce it as being a sharing operation where objects are divided into a number of groups of equal number. We also discuss that division has an opposite, multiplication. We talk about Division being about separating groups, while its opposite, multiplication is about combining groups.

We often assess our children’s understanding by using worksheets which can be printed for each child or which can be projected onto a white board. This worksheet is taken from Brilliant Publications ‘How to Sparkle at Beginning Multiplication and Division’ for 5’s to 7’s.The children are asked to share the objects evenly between the crackers.

If you like it, you will find more in the book. Click the button below to download a free copy to use with your class.

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Filed under Key Stage 1, Mathematics, National Curriculum, Primary school, Uncategorised

Springtime can be a source of great ideas for the Early Years

Springtime is fun – the days are warmer and the children feel happier. One idea is to set up a large spring picture on a wall or using powerpoint on a whiteboard, with a tree, pond and field. You can add frogspawn, tadpoles, frogs, blossom, spring flowers, etc as the season changes and as the children learn about them. Attach them with a tacky substance so that you can move them about and change the number of each of them on a weekly or daily basis.

Ask the children to count the number of butterflies, daffodils, tadpoles, lambs, ducks and caterpillars.

Each day or week change the numbers in the picture and ask them to count again.

Download the free worksheet from this blog and when the children are confident, ask them to complete it.

If you like this activity there are more in our book called Springtime Activities for the Early Years.

You can order Springtime Activities for the Early Years in any of these ways:

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, Early years, Key Stage 0, lesson plans, Mathematics, National Curriculum, Nursery and Preschool, Teaching Ideas

Can you learn maths by playing card games?

We asked some children what they thought of Deck Ahoy. Here are just a few of the things they had to say:

Deck Ahoy Brilliant Publications maths with a deck of cards Deck Ahoy Brilliant Publications maths with a deck of cards Deck Ahoy Brilliant Publications maths with a deck of cards“Deck Ahoy is much better than watching TV and cartoon shows because it shows different ways of how to do maths.” Angelica, age 8

“I like Deck Ahoy because it helps me with my maths and number bonds to 10 and 100. It can help you with your maths a lot.” Hadi, age 11

“I like Deck Ahoy because it helps me to learn maths and it helps me to add and subtract.” Sasha, age 8

“I can now partitiion and double 2-digit numbers.” Hersi

“I like Deck Ahoy because it helps me with maths and it’s so much fun!” Bilal, age 8

“It’s easy to learn time with Deck Ahoy.” Abed, age 7

“Deck Ahoy is fun and it is easy to learn maths.” Naomi, age 7

“Deck Ahoy will help everyone with maths and fractions. It’s awesome!” Cameron, age 10

“Deck Ahoy is very fun because every day I learn new stuff.” Ashley, age 7

Deck Ahoy Brilliant Publications maths with a deck of cards“I like Deck Ahoy because it’s fun and it helps us to do our maths.” Charlotte, age 9

“Deck Ahoy is very fun and you can learn from it.” Gilbert, age 10

Deck Ahoy Brilliant Publications 9781783171781

Deck Ahoy: Primary Mathematics Activities and Games Using Just a Deck of Cards

Deck Ahoy contains over 100 activities and games to teach primary maths skills with a just deck of cards – no need to buy expensive resources!

Deck Ahoy covers not only the main operations – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division – but also fractions, statistics, time, ratios, squares and cubes and graphs.

The ideas are great for homework as there are no worksheets needed (or marking to do!) and the whole family can get involved, any where, any time.

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Filed under Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Mathematics, Uncategorised

Do your maths lessons need a superhero (or two)?

The Mighty Fun Activities for Practising Times Tables series uses superheroes to motivate primary school children to practise all the skills needed to solve multiplication, division and word-based times table problems. Superheroes appeal to even the most reluctant of learners and instil a positive and competitive attitude towards learning. Your pupils will be eager and motivated to want to learn and practise their times tables.

Mighty Fun Activities for Practising Times Tables, Book 3 - Brilliant Publications

Mighty Fun Activities for Practising Times Tables, Book 3

Mighty Fun Activities for Practising Times Tables, Book 2 - Brilliant Publications

Mighty Fun Activities for Practising Times Tables, Book 2

Mighty Fun Activities for Practising Times Tables, Book 1 - Brilliant Publications

Mighty Fun Activities for Practising Times Tables, Book 1

There are three books in the Mighty Fun Activities for Practising Times Tables series:
Book 1: 2, 5 and 10 times tables
Book 2: 3, 4, 6 and 8 times tables
Book 3: 7, 9, 11 and 12 times tables

The books contain reproducible sheets and are designed to be used as flexible teaching aids, which teachers can dip in and out of in any order to support the learning of any times table. They work equally well as stand alone 5 to 20 minute lesson reinforcements or as regular times table learning.

We recognise that all children learn in different ways and that they need to have opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills. For each times table there is a mixture of practical activities to develop their understanding and written activities to consolidate their knowledge.

The mixed times table sheets at the back of the book allow children to apply the skills gained in learning individual tables, working out for themselves which multiple facts and methods they need to use.

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Filed under Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Mathematics

Finger tracing helps to solve maths problems

According to a research project published in the Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology,  tracing over mathmatical problems with one’s finger helps develop mathematical understanding.

Tracing can help when learning not only spatial topics such as shapes and angle relationships, but also for non-spatial tasks such as learning the order of tasks in arithmetic problems.

For instance, pupils who traced over the addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and brackets symbols in problems such as 7 x (31 – 20) + 56 ÷ (5 – 3) = ? solved more problems correctly on a subsequent test.

The study also found that pupils who traced over key elements of maths problems were able to solve other questions that extended the initial maths problem further, showing that the tracing was helping them develop a deeper, more flexible understanding of the problem-solving methods.

http://theconversation.com/finger-tracing-can-help-students-solve-maths-problems-54034

 

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What are children thinking about at this time of year?

If a lesson connects directly with what is on the children’s minds, then the speed and depth of learning is greatly enhanced.

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Filed under Key Stage, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Mathematics, Teaching Ideas