Lower Primary

x y z is as Easy as 1 2 3

A recent study just published in the journal Developmental Science looked at the ability of children aged between 4 and 6 to do basic algebra.  It was discovered that children of these ages, before any formal lessons have been taught, have a natural ability to do basic algebra. They used the “Approximate Number System” or “number sense” which is one’s natural ability to estimate the magnitude of a group without relying on language or symbols.  Our innate ANS is said to probably be an evolutionary adaptation which helped humans to survive in the wild.
What is interesting is that if […]

Dinner Time Maths – Tell a Maths Joke

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.

Telling and understanding a maths joke can require a good level of mathematical understanding and therefore telling a maths joke over the dinner table can be a great, light hearted, fun way to teach your children (and perhaps yourself) something new. The more maths you know the more instances you’ll understand internet memes and […]

Dinner Time Maths – Skipping Koalas

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.
This is a well known, popular puzzle with variations around the world. The aim is to move the yellow koalas from the left to the right and the green koalas from the right to the left. Playing this game over the dinner table will inevitably generate wonderful conversations, help your children to develop problem […]

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 […]

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 […]

The 12 Days of Christmas

The “Twelve Days of Christmas” is a well known song and poem that counts the 12 days from Christmas Day through to the day of the Epiphany (6th January). In the song, on each day, more and more gifts are received, and what do you know, there’s some important and significant maths going on there!
In case you don’t know the words, here’s a video with lyrics.

So let’s take a look at the maths and let’s see how you can explore this activity with your kids.

First, Second and Third Day of Christmas
So on the first day of Christmas you get […]

Dinner Time Maths – How Have You Used Maths Today?

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.

Help your children appreciate the importance of maths in their everyday life.
Ask your children how they used maths in their day today. Start by telling them how you used maths in your day. Perhaps you had to calculate the GST on an account, maybe you checked the amount of change you were given at […]