Middle School

Fun With Numbers

My students absolutely love this game and there is so much great maths learning involved. It is something  so easy to recreate and play at home with the whole family. All you need is a 10-sided dice with numbers 0-9 (I am sure there’s an app if you don’t have one, or use this website and the little random number generator in the top right of the screen), paper and a pen. This game will improve their number skills, especially their understanding and appreciation for place value.

Let’s Play
On the paper make this grid.

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Three […]

Le Tour – Cycling and Maths

Those who know me know that my interest and knowledge about sport is almost nil. So the fact that I’m writing a second post involving sport, when I just wrote one last week about soccer, amazes even me! But that’s just the thing about maths education – it’s so important to engage kids through what interests them, even if it doesn’t interest you.
My husband is a cyclist, and by that I mean the full deal – fancy bike, lycra, everything. So lately my evenings have been spent watching other men in lycra cycling through some of the most beautiful […]

Dinner Time Maths – Game Show Dilemma

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.
The Game Show Dilemma
A game show host offers you the choice of three doors and the chance to win an amazing prize which is hidden behind one of the three doors. Behind the other two doors is a booby prize. Once you’ve selected your door the game show host opens one of the other […]

Soccer World Cup Maths

It can often be challenging to get young active kids to sit and practise their maths skills when they’d much rather be running around outside to play. With the World Cup currently attracting young and old alike to soccer, why not capitalise on this and have your children interact with some soccer games that also help them consolidate some important maths skills?

Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division
Mental calculation skills are an important building block for all future progress in maths. This game lets kids choose what to work on, choose an international soccer team to play for and to play […]

Maths Play: Making 10

Understanding and being able to quickly recognise which pairs of numbers group together to make 10 is an extremely useful numeracy skill for children to have. It assists greatly with quick skills in addition, subtraction and multiplication as well as laying some great building blocks for problem solving skills. If you can easily recognise that 7 add 3 gives you 10, then even adding numbers like 67 add 4 becomes easier because you are able to recognise that 67 needs 3 more to reach 70, and you have one extra so the answer is 71. Having a ten digit […]

Dinner Time Maths – Equivalent Fractions With Bread

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.

I was reviewing equivalent fractions recently with a Year 7 girl. She understood the steps, realising that if she multiplies the numerator by a number she must then do the same to the denominator. She knew that the same goes for division as well. It was when I drew her a diagram and showed […]

Maths Activities with Lego

On the back of the popular Lego movie, kids are more interested than ever in playing with their Lego and creating their own Master Builder masterpieces!
Why not make the most of this and slip in a few maths activities for your kids to engage with while they’re open and receptive to using Lego in new ways?
After a little bit of searching around on the web, I’ve found some truly amazing, interesting and engaging activities that you’ll love. The best thing is that they don’t really require anything other than Lego and some input from you. Some of these activities […]

Know thy BIMDAS

Have you seen the video above before? It’s a classic and it makes me laugh every time. It’s funny, but it also highlights the many maths misconceptions floating around in society. And one of the biggest maths misconceptions that comes up time and time again is Order of Operations.
Here’s one of the latest BIMDAS memes being shared around on Facebook:

Ok, so which answer do you choose?
A: 320
B: 20
If you answered B, 20, then you have a great working knowledge of BIMDAS, or Orders of Operations.
Or perhaps you answered C, “Who cares?”.
Here’s why you should care and a few hints […]

Help Your Kids Learn Their Multiplication Tables

As Term 1 draws to a close (not that I’m counting!), the one thing I continually notice holding my students back from success is their lack of knowledge and easy recall of their times tables.
My Year 7s have been working on Prime Factors, Lowest Common Multiples and Highest Common Factors. They understand the concepts but get the questions wrong because their inability to recall their times tables easily is a major obstacle.
My Year 8s have been learning important foundation algebraic skills – simplifying, expanding and factorising expressions. I’m proud of how hard they’ve worked to learn and consolidate these […]

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 […]