Middle School

Maths Without Tears – the transition to high school maths

Why do so many kids find the jump from maths in primary school to maths high school so challenging?
Throughout our many years of teaching we often share a very common experience and that is the confusion and frustration felt by families when their child suddenly begins to struggle with maths upon entering high school. Only too often we hear parents who are angry and confused because their child was in an extension class in primary school, or never ever had a problem with maths and now they are struggling to pass their assessments. Now, all over Australia, high school […]

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.

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. […]

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 […]

How To Get Your Child To Do Their Homework

I think about homework nearly everyday. I think about my own homework (which currently consists of marking and report writing). I check whether my students are completing their homework (and far too often they are not). My husband expresses his frustration about his students not completing their homework. And these sorts of useful articles find their way into one of my news feeds (note sarcasm alert – the article is not at all useful in my opinion!)
We’ve discussed before why we think homework is important, especially when it comes to maths. Perhaps in an ideal world, kids could go […]

What teachers really think about NAPLAN

When it comes to NAPLAN we know that parents are usually in one of three groups: unconvinced that NAPLAN is worthwhile, indifferent to NAPLAN or they can see that it has some benefits. But what do teachers really think about NAPLAN?

We, at Education Equals, are both high school Mathematics teachers, and we’ve seen many students sit NAPLAN, so we thought we’d answer a few of the most common questions we’ve been asked.

Do students find NAPLAN really stressful?

In our experience the answer is no. By the time students are in secondary school, they are so used to the rigours of […]

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 […]

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 […]

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    Helping Your Child Start Year 7 Maths Successfully – Organisation

Helping Your Child Start Year 7 Maths Successfully – Organisation

As I’ve said in a previous post, this year I’m teaching two Year 7 Maths classes at my new school. Aside from teaching the mathematics, the biggest focus of my lessons so far is settling my students into my routines for the classroom and also helping them get organised.
Organisation is an important and key life skill and those that exhibit good organisation have better chances of success in life. In my classes I focus on not only everyday organisation of materials but also on the organisation of thoughts on the page.
So what can you do to assist your child […]

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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 […]