Monthly Archives: November 2013

Win our Competition and Set Your Child On The Path To Success in 2014

ENTER OUR COMPETITION!Education Equals are giving away a full 13 month subscription of not one but TWO year groups…

Posted by Education Equals on Thursday, 28 November 2013


Go Exploring With Google Maps

When I was 8 years old, my grandfather would pick me up and drive me to my piano lesson each week. This was my special time with him and I deeply cherish the conversations we shared and the opportunity to have some treasured one-on-one time together.
While we would sit waiting in the car for my piano teacher to be ready for me, Grandpa took the opportunity to teach me to read a map. He thought it was a very important skill to have and thought it was silly that people thought women couldn’t read maps. So we’d sit there […]

Dinner Time Maths – Discount Sign FAILS

Dinner time is the perfect time for conversations and the perfect time to engage with your children. The idea of dinner time maths is to add a small spark of maths to the conversation. Discuss a mathematical idea as a family or solve a problem together.

Tonight’s dinner time maths discussion revolves around discount sign FAILS.

Start by showing your children this picture.   Ask them what is wrong with the sign and ask them if they can figure out what it should say. This one is just to get them warmed up. This next discount sign fail will allow for a […]

Educating Australian Children for the Asian Century

In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion about how to best position Australia in the burgeoning Asian Century. Much of the talk is about our relationship with Asia and how to best place our economy. Even more of the discussion is about education and the unique position that our children will find themselves during this period in history.
Many schools are planning to include the study of languages such as Mandarin as a priority ahead of the more usual languages of Italian and French, and I agree this is a great idea. There is also a call […]

A Random Approach to Allocating Weekly Chores

An interesting and mathematical way to organise the weekly chores roster in your household can be as easy as rolling two dice or selecting one card from a pack. Depending on your approach, you can teach your children, and maybe even your partner, a lesson in probability at the same time!
Let’s say you have the following eleven household chores:

put the bin out and bring it in


pack the lunches

feed the cat

clean the shower

clean the toilet

hang the washing out

dust surfaces

water the pot plants

rake up the leaves

empty the kitty litter tray.

Write each chore on a strip of card and allocate each chore […]

“I’ve never understood algebra anyway”

Chatting with some of my maths teacher colleagues over the weekend, the topic of how we remember being taught algebra came up.
Now before you click away or start snoring, it’s not what you think!
We began talking about the common responses we hear when we tell people that we’re maths teachers. And the most common by far is “I never understood algebra at school. I just don’t get what it’s for!” In case you’re wondering what the second most common response is, it’s “You must be smart!” We sure do appreciate that one 🙂
We then got to talking about how […]

Patterning – The Foundation Blocks Of Algebraic Thinking

Patterns serve as the foundation blocks of algebraic thinking. Through patterns and sequences children learn predictive reasoning and logic, which forms the cornerstones of Algebra.
Patterns exist naturally around us in everyday life and add a symmetry, beauty and comfort to the world around us. The simplest pattern that babies learn from an early age is day, night, day, night. When babies learn and understand that this pattern exists, they have a sense of security as they can predict what comes next.
We can start teaching our babies patterning from very early on and build on the complexity as the child […]

Maths Anxiety is Real

A recently published study by Sarah Buckley on mathematics anxiety indicates that it is a very real phenomenon and may affect around 20% of Australia’s population. In a typical classroom then, around 6 kids feel anxious on a daily basis when faced with the study of mathematics.
From my years of teaching mathematics to students aged from 12 to 18 years, I would estimate that the proportion of students experiencing real stress is at least 20%. As such I have seen my role as primarily being about building the confidence of whole classes so that they are ready and receptive […]