Inspiration

Teaching Kids to Work Hard

Working hard and applying effort is not something that kids usually encounter when they are young, nor is it something that most children develop naturally as the need arises. Of all the life skills that a child can develop, applying consistent and significant effort to achieve a goal is something that is valuable to learn from an early age. In fact, it is something that I spend a lot of time teaching my younger students in Year 7 and Year 8 to develop and establish by making them accountable for their class work and homework each day.
Let me share […]

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 […]

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    How to Approach Your Child’s Teacher Without Being Confrontational

How to Approach Your Child’s Teacher Without Being Confrontational

Recently a parent of a Year 12 boy asked me for advice on how best to approach her son’s teacher to inquire about the low course average. She was unsure as to how to do this without putting the teacher offside. Parents definitely have a right to inquire about how things are going in the classroom and request more information about things like course averages and student results, but there are definitely some key do’s and don’ts, which if adhered to, can help you get the information that you need without creating an uncomfortable, confrontational situation. Here are some tips […]

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 […]

How much preparation is really required for NAPLAN?

There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding whether or not preparation is necessary for student confidence and success in NAPLAN. Parents and teachers alike aren’t sure whether they should spend time helping students prepare for tests, and if they do decide to help they’re not really sure of the most effective strategies or activities to employ.

There are many sensationalised stories of kids spending hours and hours sitting practice tests, refusing to go to school and experiencing sleepless nights from the worry and stress caused by the very thought of NAPLAN.

The good news is that there is a middle ground […]

Why kids are scared of NAPLAN and how to help them

The other day I asked the students in one of my Year 7 classes “who’s a bit worried about NAPLAN this year?”

About 70% of the students’ hands went up and a few students had genuinely worried faces.

I then asked them to explain to me and the class what they were worried about. Their responses provide insight into student perceptions of NAPLAN and what we can do to help them feel more confident and self-assured this time around.

Here are some of the common responses and ways in which we can help our children overcome their fears.

“I’m scared I won’t know […]

How to explain NAPLAN to your child

Learning is most effective when students feel that they are a creative force in their own education. It is often the case that children feel that learning just happens to them, rather than growing from them, especially if conversations about their learning are absent.

Whether we’re a fan of NAPLAN or not, it exists as a significant element in your child’s education. But do they really know what it’s for? Do they know how it relates to their own education or even what each test is about? Hopefully these sorts of discussions happen in their classroom, but having a conversation […]

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    Should parents be involved in their child’s formal education?

Should parents be involved in their child’s formal education?

A few weeks ago I was at the Year 11 Parent Teacher Interviews at my school and I had a great chat with the parents of a student in my form group. They’d heard me give a talk at the school where their son attends and they were very interested in just what parents can do to assist their children in achieving success at school. We chatted so much about these things that we barely talked about their daughter at all!
They told me about an interesting remark a friend of theirs had made, and it is a comment that […]

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 […]