Monthly Archives: September 2013

Why Grit and Character are more important than IQ

Parents and educators want to help raise children who grow into capable, happy and successful adults. But to what extent are our achievements determined by our genes and by how we are raised and educated?
Paul Tough has researched the factors influencing how children succeed and released a now popular book on his findings. In a nutshell his argument says that character and “grit” are far more important in determining success than the IQ we are born with.
When we talk about grit and character, what do we mean? We’re talking about developing character traits such as conscientiousness, curiosity, optimism, gratitude, […]

Helping Your Child wth Mental Maths Strategies – Part 3

This video is the third in our next Homework Help Video Series – Mental Strategies. In this video we’ll take a look at our first strategy for multiplication. We will show you how to teach your child how to multiply numbers ending in zeros in their head. There are more strategies on multiplication to come!

We suggest the following approach to successfully help your child with this strategy:

1. Begin by doing a few sums using pen and paper as shown in the video.

2. Next, do a few more sums, this time writing the sums on paper, but working them out […]

To NAPLAN or not to NAPLAN?

On the weekend, 60 Minutes presented a special report on NAPLAN. If you’re not yet in the school game or you live outside Australia, NAPLAN is Australia’s national testing program for Literacy and Numeracy for students in Year 3, 5, 7 and 9. During one week in May, students across Australia in these year groups sit tests (most of which are multiple choice) on reading, comprehension, writing, language and mathematics. The aim of these tests is to gain and provide insight into students, schools, systems, states and teaching across Australia. What is then done with these insights is a […]

Helping Your Child with Mental Maths Strategies – Part 2

This video is the second in our next Homework Help Video Series – Mental Strategies. In this video we’ll take a look at how to teach your child to subtract two digit numbers using a mental strategy rather than a written strategy.

We suggest the following approach to successfully help your child with this strategy:

1. Begin by doing a few sums using pen and paper as shown in the video.

2. Next, do a few more sums, this time writing the sums on paper, but working them out verbally together with your child.

3. Without using any paper, ask your child to […]

Flip Homework in Your House – Have Your Kids Teach You

As a teacher, it’s always easy to see which students have mastered a concept ahead of others – they are the ones teaching their peers how to understand and answer a problem. They are often quite animated and excited, and rightly so, because they are proud that they have understood a concept and can help others understand it too. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of mastering some knowledge and having the opportunity to help someone else understand it too, and all during the same lesson.
It was this feeling that really sparked my interest in becoming a Mathematics teacher. […]

Movement Maths for Babies

Today we have a really simple activity to do with your baby that teaches them mathematics and algebraic ideas through movement.
This activity is like line dancing for babies, but will just use their hands and arms. Together you will do a short sequence of movements and then repeat them as many times as it is fun for both you and your baby to do so.
For example, together with your baby you might do the following sequence:
“Hand up!” – you put your left arm in the air while your baby copies and puts their right hand arm up.
“Hand on face!” […]

Helping Your Child with Mental Maths Strategies – Part 1

This video is the first in our next Homework Help Video Series – Mental Strategies. In this video we’ll take a look at how to teach your child to add two digit numbers using a mental strategy rather than a written strategy.

We suggest the following approach to successfully help your child with this strategy:

1. Begin by doing a few sums using pen and paper as shown in the video.

2. Next, do a few more sums, this time writing the sums on paper, but working them out verbally together with your child.

3. Without using any paper, ask your child to […]

A Healthy Introduction to Algebra

Patterning is the first stage of algebra so why not try forming patterns with fruit? Using cookie cutters you can make all sorts of shapes in all sorts of colours. At the same time your children will get their healthy dose of fruit. The kids I know have assured me that a rockmelon ducky tastes way better than just plain old rockmelon 🙂

Get your kids to help you cut up the fruit and once it’s cut there are many activities to try.

Patterning: Start a pattern using just two different shapes or two different fruits of the same shape and […]

A Teacher’s Tips for Parenting

In my ten years of teaching mathematics, I have had the privilege of teaching over 1000 students, many of whom I got to know really well. I’ve taught a variety of personalities and abilities and each student has taught me something about myself. All of these thousands of teaching hours and thousands of interactions with students have taught me some valuable insights that I hope will benefit your parenting.

1.    Kids love to learn
I’ve met students who are lazy learners, stubborn learners or reluctant learners, but in the end they’ve all shown me in one way or another that they […]

Helping Your Child With Fraction Homework – Part 5

This video is the fifth and final in the Fraction Homework Series and looks at how to divide fractions easily with a fun little poem to help your child remember how it all works.

You might need a refresher in some of the topics that they’re learning at school and we’re here to provide you with some tips and tricks.

We’ll be focusing on topics that we know from our teaching experience are most helpful and most appreciated by parents. Please let us know, either by email or in the comments below, if there’s any homework topic you’d like to help […]