Mathematical Confidence

5 Important Ways To “Speak Maths” With Your Children

Sometimes we don’t realise it but maths is a language in itself. New mums are always keen to expand their baby’s vocabulary; to teach them lots of words and to help them learn to speak and understand English. Stacey Keyser, an experienced speech pathologist says, “Language development begins from birth and needs to be modeled everyday by parents and caregivers.”
Teaching your baby the words and language associated with mathematics is the easiest way to incorporate maths into your baby’s life from an early age. Here are my top 5 essential ways to “speak maths” with your children.
Keyser suggests that […]

The Resourceful Child

What are some of the thoughts that spring to mind when you are asked “What do you want your child to gain and experience from their education?”
You might want your child to be happy at school, to make lasting friendships and to develop a long-lasting love of learning (and an appreciation for alliteration!!).
But when we drill down to the number one skill that we hope children will develop to prepare them for a successful future, I would say that it is resourcefulness.
What do we mean by resourceful? We mean that an individual will have both an attitude and an […]

Why Grit and Character are more important than IQ

Parents and educators want to help raise children who grow into capable, happy and successful adults. But to what extent are our achievements determined by our genes and by how we are raised and educated?
Paul Tough has researched the factors influencing how children succeed and released a now popular book on his findings. In a nutshell his argument says that character and “grit” are far more important in determining success than the IQ we are born with.
When we talk about grit and character, what do we mean? We’re talking about developing character traits such as conscientiousness, curiosity, optimism, gratitude, […]

To NAPLAN or not to NAPLAN?

On the weekend, 60 Minutes presented a special report on NAPLAN. If you’re not yet in the school game or you live outside Australia, NAPLAN is Australia’s national testing program for Literacy and Numeracy for students in Year 3, 5, 7 and 9. During one week in May, students across Australia in these year groups sit tests (most of which are multiple choice) on reading, comprehension, writing, language and mathematics. The aim of these tests is to gain and provide insight into students, schools, systems, states and teaching across Australia. What is then done with these insights is a […]

Flip Homework in Your House – Have Your Kids Teach You

As a teacher, it’s always easy to see which students have mastered a concept ahead of others – they are the ones teaching their peers how to understand and answer a problem. They are often quite animated and excited, and rightly so, because they are proud that they have understood a concept and can help others understand it too. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of mastering some knowledge and having the opportunity to help someone else understand it too, and all during the same lesson.
It was this feeling that really sparked my interest in becoming a Mathematics teacher. […]

Why Educational Funding Isn’t the Answer

Educational reform, with the intention of building strong educational opportunities for all children of a nation, is something that all voters can support. Whatever reform is proposed, it is always backed by a plan for significant funding in order to signify the seriousness and importance the politicians are giving to the policy.
The thing is, funding won’t even come close to improving education. Yes, we definitely agree that all students should have access to the resources they need and a comfortable educational environment. Funding is needed to bring equity to physical school environments. But to what extent will that really […]

What You Need to Know About Learning Maths in High School

The transition from primary school to secondary school is both exciting and very stressful, especially for the first born child.
The secondary school pond is always so much larger than the primary school pond. The environment of the school itself is foreign with so many numbered classrooms, lockers, hallways and specialised subject areas, not to mention the hundreds of people walking around who are verging on adulthood.
Secondary schools are well equipped to deal with the main points of the transition. They make sure your child has a supportive form group and contact teacher, they conduct induction days and tours, they […]

The Secret to Your Child’s Happiness at School

A few years ago, in the school I worked at as a Maths teacher, the results from a survey that the school had given to the parents were reported to us at a staff meeting. Our Head of Secondary informed us that the number one reason parents sent their kids to this particular school was so that their children would be happy.
Now this sounds fair enough, but some of my colleagues and I were more than a little concerned as quite a few questions sprang to mind. What sort of happiness did the parents have in mind? How were […]

Helping Your Teenager Deal With Stress and Anxiety

Adolescence is a difficult stage of development for our children to go through, but why do some children cope better than others? The short answer is resilience. When asked about resilience principal clinical psychologist of GroupWorx Psychology, Stefanie Schwartz said,
“Resilience is a word that is commonly used today but is still often misunderstood. The idea of building resilience in your child is building your child’s ability to adapt well; whether it be to minor changes or more significant sources of stress.”

It is sadly not an uncommon occurrence as a high school teacher to be confidentially informed about the fragile […]

Praise versus Presence

There is a tendency in modern parenting and in current educational practice to praise children for even the most minor of accomplishments or behaviours. We now have the ability to record and report everything children do and I’m sure you know some parents who do just that, clogging your Facebook feed.
Why is there so much praise? Certainly children are becoming more conditioned to receive praise and expect it in return for completing tasks or even starting tasks. But could it be that it has been utilised as a shortcut in parenting?
With time at a premium (or it is at […]