Monthly Archives: October 2014

Maths 101 For Parents

Sometimes parents who were not terribly good at maths when they were at school, feel overwhelmed by the thought of helping their children with their maths. So we thought that we would provide you with what we feel are some of the basics for you to brush up on. You’ll be surprised at how much easier things may seem when you look at them with your older, wiser eyes.

Timetables
Having good number skills is one of the most important foundation blocks that children need to build and a lot of this stems from being confident and accurate when calculating numbers. […]

3 Do’s and Don’ts For Exam Study

With Year 12s in Western Australian about to embark on their final exams as they complete their final stage to achieve university entrance, we thought it would be a good time to share our advice on just how students should and shouldn’t study for maths.
These upcoming exams are worth 50% of their overall ATAR score, and so it’s not too late to tweak a few techniques and emphasise more efficient and worthwhile study habits.
Please pass this article on to anyone you know with kids about to embark on these examinations.

Don’t

Rewrite Your Notes

Perhaps this is a good strategy for English […]

Fractions in Time

Using some paper/plastic plates and a thick marker or pen, you can help your children to better understand the meaning behind some commonly used terms when we tell the time. Explaining the connection between the fractions of a circle and telling the time might seem obvious to some people, however; these obvious connections are not always made by children and it can help them immensely if we take a few minutes to show them.

Each hour is a whole 60 minutes and one whole circle.

Half of an hour is half of 60 minutes, which is 30 minutes, and we divide […]

Exploring 3D Shapes Using Lego

Recently we wrote about 3-Dimensional drawing. This can be a lot of fun and an excellent way to strengthen spatial skills. Naturally we became very excited when one of our readers shared a picture of her toddler experimenting with 3-Dimensional shapes. We love her idea, it is a brilliant way of introducing the concepts of 3D drawing, discussed in our earlier article, with your toddler.

Stefanie Schwartz has drawn the front view of various shapes for her toddler to replicate using Lego blocks. Once the object has been built using the lego blocks her child is then able to see […]

How to choose a school for your child – Part 1

My husband and I, both teachers, often get asked for advice about which school people should send their kids to. One of our closest couple friends are expecting their first child in 2 months and the father wanted to know whether they really needed to get their son’s name down at a school as soon as he’s born. We then started discussing the types of schools available in Perth and what their options were.
What I always assume is common knowledge is really not known or understood by most parents. Since we get asked this sort of thing so often […]

Logic Puzzles and Mathematical Reasoning

There’s a big difference between those students who can “do maths” and those who can explain what they’re doing and why. At all times our goal is to raise mathematical thinkers who have the skills to back it up.
Kids often ask me why they need to learn what they’re learning and how it is relevant to the real world. As part of my reply, I explain to them that maths trains the brain in problem solving and logic in ways that no other school subject does. In the “real world” it’s important to be able to break a problem […]

Either you’re good at maths or you’re not

Yesterday I went to the dentist and met my new dental hygienist. With my mouth open for nearly 40 minutes, you wouldn’t think we got much of a conversation in. After asking how my day had been and me explaining it had been great since I’m a teacher on school holidays, we got down to talking about which school and what I teach. And then the conversation went something like this:

Hygienist: “Wow! I always think maths teachers must be super smart. I’m terrible at maths and not very smart.”
Me: Using facial expression as best I can to indicate that […]