Homework Help

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 […]

Should I get a tutor for my child?

As the school year begins and the first assessments are right around the corner, more and more parents start to wonder whether they should get a tutor for their child on top of the other investments they’re making in their child’s education.
Back in the 90s (!) when I was at school not many of my peers had a tutor, and if they did they kept it pretty quiet. These days though it’s not uncommon for students to have at least one tutor, and some for almost all their subjects once they’re in Year 11 and 12.
Tutoring maths has been […]

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 […]

Can you afford NOT to teach your child early maths skills?

This year, make it a priority to include mathematics in your family life and in the education of your children. By doing so you will be creating foundations for your children that will improve their earning capacity by the time they are adults.

Studies show that even when you account for differences in gender, education and socioeconomic status, early learning of mathematics strongly influences the success and earning potential of an individual.
Let me explain that to you again.
We might think that those children who have the opportunity for a “better” education – more individualised teaching, the best school in the […]

Win our Competition and Set Your Child On The Path To Success in 2014

ENTER OUR COMPETITION!Education Equals are giving away a full 13 month subscription of not one but TWO year groups…

Posted by Education Equals on Thursday, 28 November 2013

 

“I’ve never understood algebra anyway”

Chatting with some of my maths teacher colleagues over the weekend, the topic of how we remember being taught algebra came up.
Now before you click away or start snoring, it’s not what you think!
We began talking about the common responses we hear when we tell people that we’re maths teachers. And the most common by far is “I never understood algebra at school. I just don’t get what it’s for!” In case you’re wondering what the second most common response is, it’s “You must be smart!” We sure do appreciate that one 🙂
We then got to talking about how […]