Maths at home
Supporting your child’s Maths learning at home.
Here is the presentation from the meeting held on September 15th 2015
Each week there will be a blog post about the learning that your child has been doing in class, across the curriculum. It will tell you about your child’s learning in Maths and will also sometimes give you links to games and resources that will help you child to practise the skills we have been learning in Maths. If possible, chat about the blog post with your child and ask them about what they learned and enjoyed during the week. Should your child seem unsure about any of their learning, please chat with a member of your child’s class staff team. We will be able to go over the learning; it is so important that your child understands each step of their Maths learning, as the next step will build on the previous step.
Current brain research has helped us to understand that when your child learns a new maths skill they create new pathways in their brains. For these pathways to become fixed, they need to practise these skills. With continued practise, over time, they will be able to recall this learning much more easily and quickly and this will make it easier for them to apply these skills and facts to help them solve trickier problems. Little and often is the best way to practise and it is important to keep the practise fun, so that your child is keen to do more and sees Maths as an enjoyable and fun subject.
What ever your experience of Maths has been so far, please speak to your child positively about Maths. Children are so susceptible to picking up their parent’s points of view, your child’s Maths ability is not set by their genes, it has far more to do with the attitude your child has towards learning and the effort they put in.
At Farsley Farfield Primary School we are continuing to help all our pupils develop a Growth Mindset. As part of this learning, they are encouraged to seek challenges that help them to stretch their brains. It is important that the time your child puts into practising Maths is well spent and is not used solely on facts and learning that they all ready feel confident with. We embrace mistakes, and understand that these are a very important part of learning. If your child makes mistakes, praise the effort they have made and help them to ‘grapple’ with understanding how to correct their work. Understanding how the mistake was made and how to correct it is a very powerful way to learn. Equally encourage your child to talk about their Maths learning and the ways they are solving problems.
Top Tips –
◦ Be positive about maths! Never say things like ‘I can’t do maths’ or ‘I hated maths at school’… your child might start to think like that themselves…
◦ Point out the maths in everyday life. Include your child in activities involving maths such as using money, cooking and travelling.
◦ Praise your child for effort rather than talent – this shows them that by working hard they can always improve.
Below are some useful websites with information for parents to help you support your child’s learning in Maths.
This website also has links to some excellent games and videos. Also find some of the documents that can be accessed on this site at the bottom of this page.
This website is still being constructed but it already contains some excellent ideas of ways to ebage your child in fun Maths activities outside school.
This links to the Education Scotland – Supporting Numeracy at home page.
Although Scotland follows a different curriculum to England, this site has more excellent ideas about engaging children in maths at home.
Using LEGO to support Maths Learning.
In class we use practical activities when teaching the children Maths. It is important for Maths learners to be able to see and feel what Maths is about, to do this we use Maths resources such as Numicon, which gives a representation of a number. We are also using LEGO to represent 10s and units and this may be a resource that you would find useful to replicate at home. Currently LEGO only produce a brick with 10 studs as a long brick with a single row of 10 studs. Representing 10 as 2 rows of 5, is a better Mathematical representation for learners as it reinforces the 5+5=10 bond and also replicates our 2 hands with 5 fingers on each. We create these bricks by gluing together the standard 2×4 stud brick and a 1×2 brick. You could of course have fun creating the tens with different combinations of bricks. At our Maths Workshop we will demonstrate how we use the bricks and also show you some Maths games you can play with tens and units. You can purchase these loose bricks in the Pick a Brick wall in the LEGO shop.
Connecting with Maths around us.
It is important that your child sees how Maths is used in everyday life. Please take advantage of everyday situations to encourage your child to see how the Maths they are learning at school, is applied in the world around them. Cooking, shopping, telling the time etc all give fun opportunities to apply Maths. Walking down the road, spotting the odd and even numbers on houses, working out the number of the house at the end, or spotting numbers on car registrations, all helps to spark Maths conversations. Try putting some Maths songs onto your device or playing them in the car; they can be a great way to help your child learn their tables and key Maths facts.
On line Maths Games.
From Year 2 upwards the children at Farsley Farfield Primary School have access to the online Maths game, Mathletics. Getting into the positive habit of a little Mathletics regularly, really does help children to develop confidence and improve their Maths skills.
Useful information about Mathletics.
◦ Children have their own Mathletics usernames and passwords. Please encourage them to learn them and ensure that they do not share them with their siblings or friends. In e-safety lessons prior to starting Mathletics we have reinforced the importance of keeping usernames and passwords (along with other personal information) safe. Should your child lose or forget their password, ask a member of staff and we will get it for you.
◦ The main activities on this site will be set at an appropriate level for your child and teachers will also set specific challenges for pupils to complete, which support their learning in class.
◦ To achieve a certificate your child needs to score 1000 points in one week. Mathletics scores go back to zero on Sunday evening, so it can be worth checking at the weekend to see if your child needs a few minutes play to reach this target.
◦ Children will score 10 points for each correct question on the main activities, while correct answers on Live Mathletics scores them 1 point.
◦ Every 5th Bronze certificate is called a Silver Award and the 20th certificate is a Gold Award.
◦ Children can only achieve one certificate in a week, however we do also award a certificate in Special Mention for the child with the highest score in the previous week. They also get to bring home the Mathletics trophy for a week.
◦ On the home page of Mathletics you will see the Mathletics leaderboards. The individual leaders are for points scored on the day, while the Class leader board is for the average pupil score for the class, over the week, starting on the Monday morning. If your child gets onto the leaderboard, please share this exciting news with their teacher and if possible take a screen shot.
◦ Mathletics has a free app which can be downloaded on most devices. On computers, it does require the latest Adobe flash player to be enabled.
We will have a Year 2 Mathletics Club on Tuesday Evenings. Parent helpers at the club are always appreciated too. Clubs for the children at KS2 will also be available and the timings of these will be announced shortly.
Should you have any questions about Mathletics, please ask a member of staff or speak with Mrs Fisher.
There are many other excellent free online Maths games available. Sometimes we will post links in our weekly blog post. The page of Maths Links on our Year 2 blog has many more links you can follow.
Children also have passwords for Education City and Purple Mash, which also have some great Maths games. Purple Mash also enables children to create their own Maths games and even times table songs, which they can share on our blog!
In addition to playing Maths games online, it is great to play ‘real’ games. Playing games together also encourages maths conversations and gets you talking about Maths and mathematical thinking. Try to keep the emphasis on fun and encourage collaboration rather than a ‘win, lose’ situation.
The Oxford Owl Maths pages has some excellent videos with the Maths Magician, Andrew Jeffreys.
Below are just a few simple ideas. Let your children come up with their own games and tweak games they already play to add a maths element.
A simple game with no resources – 1,2,3
Similar to ‘Rock, paper, scissors.’ Two players, both clench a fist and gently thump it down twice and on the 3rd thump reveal a number of fingers. What you chant together can be decided to fit the rules of your game, eg. Add, them, up – showing the fingers on the word up. Then players have to look at the fingers their opponent has shown and add up the total. The game can be made trickier if players use both hands, or can be adapted to practise multiplication rather than addition. If you want a winner, a tally can be kept, showing the person who gives the answer first.
Make your own dice games or play games such as ‘Snakes and Ladders.’ When using a board with numbers on, encourage children to work out the number they will land on and then check if they were right by counting on as they move their counter. Using 2 dice adds a little more maths, with the throws being added or multiplied.
Remove the Jacks, Queens, Kings, Aces and jokers from an ordinary pack of cards. Now you can adapt many simple card games and add your own Maths element. Play snap – where you have to spot pairs of cards that equal 10. Play memory games, turning over the cards to find different totals. You could extend this game to allow children to turn over more than 2 cards to try and make a total.
Adapt i-spy to a game looking for numbers.
Hopscotch, skipping and even trampolining can all be done while sequences of numbers are chanted. Instead of counting to 100, count in 1s to 10, 2s to 20, 3s to 30 and so on, this will exercise their brain at the same time as exercising their body. Equally this skip counting can be done as you walk to school together. Or play a game of verbal tennis together as you walk along – you say a number and your child has to give the number needed to make an agreed total.
Logical thinking games
Puzzles and logical thinking games, even when they don’t have numbers are great for developing mathematical skills. When making jigsaw puzzles, encourage your child to look for the edge pieces first by spotting all the straight lines. Then look for pieces with similar colourings. Sorting and recognising patterns are key Maths skills.
Games such as ‘Noughts and Crosses,’ ‘Dots’ and ‘Connect 4’can all be played with a pen and pencil and are good for developing strategic thinking. Ask your child, ‘Why?’ they decided to make the move they made and talk to them about your thinking. Create your own simple Bingo cards and give clues to the numbers, rather than calling the number straight out.
Suduko also encourages your child to think logically. Start with the 4×4 grid and work up to 6×6 before attempting 9×9 grids. Click below to access an online version.
Here are a selection of useful documents with more ideas from Oxford Owl Maths.
Here are some links to sites which show how to use the Bar Model.