Middle School

How to Help Your Kids Study for Maths

School is well and truly back and teachers are already thinking about writing the first round of reports. This means that students are currently sitting their first round of assessments and getting lots of feedback on how their learning is progressing so far.
Preparing for a maths test requires a different skill set than preparing for an assessment in any other subject. Here’s a guide to what your child needs to do to achieve success in their maths assessments this year.

1.    Devise a list of topics to study
Hopefully a list of topics and skills has been provided by your child’s […]

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 […]

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    Helping Your Child Start Year 7 Maths Successfully – Word Problems

Helping Your Child Start Year 7 Maths Successfully – Word Problems

This year I’m teaching two classes of Year 7s at a school in Perth. After week one I am both pleased at their effort and willingness to work hard and at the good response from parents to do what they can at home to help support their children’s progress.
It’s a tough time for these new high school students. In Western Australia it won’t be until 2015 that Year 7s start high school in the government system, so this makes it even more daunting for private school kids. The Year 7s in my classes have come from a variety of […]

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 + 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 […]

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 […]