Monthly Archives: January 2014

Dinner Time Maths – Guessing PINs and Lotto Numbers

Dinner time is the perfect time for conversations and a great opportunity 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.
We use four digit passwords/PINs for so many things. Ask your children to try and guess your 4 digit ATM PIN code. After a couple of guesses ask them to think about how many possibilities there are. Discuss that there are 10 choices for the first digit, 10 for the second, the third and […]

Back to School Brain Training Games

In a week’s time you’ll be sending your kids off to school to start a new school year, and getting your kids to warm up their mathematical brain beforehand will help you, them and their teacher!
As a teacher, the first few days after the holidays (even the short holidays) are always a struggle for students. It’s like waking a bear after a long period of hibernation! Students are weary-eyed and their brains are foggy as they try to remember what learning is all about and how to get their brain into gear. A few activities on the day or […]

Back to School – Collection of the Best Expert Advice

Heading back to school for the start of a new school year can be stressful on the whole family. We’ve compiled four of the best articles offering advice to parents on how to ease the transition. All four articles agree that starting the day with a good breakfast and being organised to eliminate any extra morning stress are important steps to getting out the door on the right foot.
 
Back to School Preparation Tips – Huffingtonpost

Dr Gail Gross talks about how children “take their cue from their parents”. It is important that parents themselves don’t create a big fuss and […]

Can you afford NOT to teach your child early maths skills?

This year, make it a priority to include mathematics in your family life and in the education of your children. By doing so you will be creating foundations for your children that will improve their earning capacity by the time they are adults.

Studies show that even when you account for differences in gender, education and socioeconomic status, early learning of mathematics strongly influences the success and earning potential of an individual.
Let me explain that to you again.
We might think that those children who have the opportunity for a “better” education – more individualised teaching, the best school in the […]

Dinner Time Maths + The Simpsons = Mathematical Genius

Dinner time is the perfect time for conversations and a great opportunity 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.
Would you believe the Simpsons is loaded with references to complex mathematics and is actually known to be “the most mathematically sophisticated television show in the history of prime time broadcasting”?  Al Jean one of the executive producers went to Harvard University to study mathematics at the age of just 16. Other writers and […]

Getting your kids motivated for the new school year

A lot of research has been done on motivation, and in particular how to spark motivation in ourselves and others. One of the most challenging tasks for parents and teachers is to find a way to spark motivation in our children and students.
When it comes to motivation there are two types: extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation.
Extrinsic motivation is when our motivation is encouraged by external sources. Usually we do A to achieve B. B motivates us to get A done. You might put your hand up for an extra project at work so that you receive the bonus you’re […]

Are Australians Scared of Maths?

I’ve just been lucky enough to enjoy a European winter holiday in Prague, Germany and down the Danube to Budapest. It was all about Christmas markets and tasty treats and maths. Yes that’s right, maths. You see I can’t seem to go anywhere without noticing the mathematics in my environment, and it doesn’t help that my husband is also a maths teacher.
For example, last holiday we took this photo outside the famous Sagrada Famiglia Church in Barcelona.

Sure it’s a beautiful piece of art, but that’s not why we took the photo, we took the photo because of the magic […]

Dinner Time Maths – Popcorn Challenge

Dinner time is the perfect time for conversations and a great opportunity 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 conversation comes to us via figurethis.org. A great place to find some fun family maths challenges. All you need is a bowl of yummy popcorn and a couple pieces of A4 paper. You can make two cylinders (or tubes) using two separate A4 pieces of paper. Roll one into a short cylinder and […]

Add This To Your Shopping List

Doing your weekly shopping can be a great opportunity for incidental learning and fun. A lot can be achieved through simple conversations and interactions. Here is an activity that encourages your child to help you with the shopping, all the while learning a set of invaluable skills.
Start by choosing a way in which you’d like your child to categorise the items in your trolley. Next decide on two to four categories into which they can sort your shopping.
Depending on your child’s age your groups can be as simple as hard versus soft or separating into big, medium and small […]