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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]