Monthly Archives: July 2013

Praise versus Presence

There is a tendency in modern parenting and in current educational practice to praise children for even the most minor of accomplishments or behaviours. We now have the ability to record and report everything children do and I’m sure you know some parents who do just that, clogging your Facebook feed.
Why is there so much praise? Certainly children are becoming more conditioned to receive praise and expect it in return for completing tasks or even starting tasks. But could it be that it has been utilised as a shortcut in parenting?
With time at a premium (or it is at […]


‘I spy with my little eye, a rectangle’
‘Is it the TV?’ ‘Is it a place-mat?’ ‘Is it the family photo?’

There are stages of development when it comes to how children think of shapes. Initially babies will perceive shapes but be unable to identify and distinguish between many shapes. Their copied drawings of different shapes, like a circle, square or triangle all resemble a similar irregular curve. Then children begin to recognise shapes based on their appearance. They can visually identify shapes and will say things like,  “That’s a rectangle because it looks like the TV.”
At the descriptive level a […]

The Way Kids Feel About Maths Tests

I think this meme says it all – kids often feel reasonably on top of the work they are learning and studying in their everyday lessons, but then they sit down to do their test and every question seems a million times more difficult!
In fact, the most common question we have been asked by parents throughout our teaching careers is:

“My son/daughter seems to understand all the work done in class, they do their homework and you have written positive comments in his/her report, so why are their test results so bad?”
So why do some kids perform so poorly in […]

Financial Literacy – A Story from a Reader

From a recent discussion on our Facebook page we have an absolutely brilliant concept on teaching financial literacy, responsibility and independence shared with us by one of our readers.
Our reader, Evana, describes how her and her husband started teaching their 4 year old about money. She was keen to teach her toddler a sense of value and responsibility when it comes to money. She wanted to help him appreciate what he has and to recognise the importance of giving to others.
After coming across this blog, Evana and her husband Greg decided to try the three pots method in their […]

The Homework Debate

Should kids be given homework or shouldn’t they? This is an ongoing debate with many advocates on either side. With school going back, the thought of homework might be on your mind.
So what do we think about homework here at Education Equals?
We believe homework is both necessary and useful when given for the right reasons and under the right conditions. Let us explain!
As Mathematics educators, we know that most mathematical thinking can and should be developed through well constructed investigative tasks. However, these tasks are virtually inaccessible unless students have a strong foundational toolkit of skills to call upon. […]

Walk the Plank

This is a fun game that you can play with your toddler or young child where they have the opportunity to experience maths concepts. They may not recognise or fully understand the ‘maths’ behind the game at first but this hands on experience can help your child to build an understanding of integers (negative and positive whole numbers, including zero) and how to add and subtract integers. This is a concept that many high school students find very abstract and difficult to understand.
Equipment needed:
Sidewalk chalk

The Game:
This game can be played by either imagining the scenario or by using sidewalk […]

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    A Conversation About Arithmetic Overheard in the Supermarket

A Conversation About Arithmetic Overheard in the Supermarket

Let me tell you a story about an inspiring mother that I met in the supermarket recently. My husband and I were doing our weekly grocery shopping when a mother and her two young daughters, aged around 7 and 9, came down the same grocery aisle.
This mother was shopping her grocery list  and at the same time she was in turn asking each daughter an arithmetic question.

“What’s 4 x 3?” she asked one daughter.
“12” the daughter answered immediately.
“Good. And what else could give an answer of 12?” she asked the other daughter, who also answered quickly and correctly.

I observed […]

Parents as Educational Partners

To us, education  is the simple yet powerful equation of a partnership between the parent, the teacher and the child.
Parents play an incredibly important role in educating their children. This role begins from the day they are born and shouldn’t end when formal education begins. Every day we have countless opportunities to provide educational experiences whether through speech, play, song or activities.
It all begins with making learning a natural part of everyday life. Infant education can be a daunting concept but experts agree that if parents facilitate learning for their infants, this greatly improves their child’s ability for reasoning […]

Playing with Containers in Your Kitchen Cupboard

How familiar is this scenario? You leave your toddler alone for merely moments while you duck off to grab something from another room and when you return the entire contents of your tuppeware cupboard are strewn across the kitchen floor.
While infuriating, it’s also interesting just how fascinating your toddler finds these simple and seemingly boring objects. It’s time for some constructive and mathematical play and an opportunity for your toddler to develop some spatial and measurement skills, all with the variety of containers you already have handy.
Here are two learning opportunities that your curious toddler will find engaging.

Matching Shapes […]

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    Make Your Own Odometer: a crafty way to introduce place value and addition

Make Your Own Odometer: a crafty way to introduce place value and addition

Do you have a child who loves cars? This might be just the activity to get their motors running!
In this activity your children will have a car race, but not of the traditional kind. Let them use their creativity in creating a car for themselves out of an empty box. They can decorate it as much as they like. Once that’s done, it will be time to help them create the odometer for their car.
The aim of the game is to see who can reach a 100 clicks of the odometer […]