Here is a small selection of free resources for you to use with your children! Please click on the highlighted resource names for access.
I am in the process of writing children’s mathematics story-books based around a group of children in a school setting: Molly and Friends. They are designed to demonstrate a potential learning journey through each area of mathematics. I have been testing the first set of books written, aimed at Year 2, with Miss Rawling’s class at Wycliffe C of E Primary and they have given me some interesting and pertinent feed back. No publisher as yet, but I will keep trying!
Here is the book based on children finding patterns and relationships with the letters in their names. You might want to use it with your new class during transition: Show the story (on your IWB – no flashy turning page effects yet, I am afraid!) and, by stopping to respond to the text in italics, it will give the children tasks to do. It might also help you to learn their names! Even though the book is mostly aimed at Year 2 children, I feel it would be appropriate for most year groups in school.
The Reasoning papers contain many questions that involve the children having to follow instructions. Only a small fraction of these papers would be considered ‘word problems’. (By ‘word problems’ I mean a ‘maths story’ i.e. ‘John went to a shop with a £10 note. He got £2.30 change. How much did he spend?’ etc.) This document lists all of the instruction questions from the last three rounds of SAT papers (KS1 and KS2). Check out the most common forms of instructions such as: ‘circle’, ‘join’, ‘match’, ‘tick’, ‘complete’, etc. and practise these instructions with your class. I would write some questions on the playground using chunky chalk (borrowed from FS) and get the children to do these actions. Giving learning an emotional attachment ensures a higher probability of it remaining in the memory.
We must be careful, when introducing children to standard written methods in KS2, to not infer that the children should do all their calculations using a written method. Here is a poster to use in class, which supports children in making decisions about whether to use a written method or not, driven by noticing the types of numbers, and any relationships between the numbers, in the calculations. E.g. If I am a child in year 3 and I am given a calculation of 410 + 200, I should know that I can do it mentally (either by counting on from 410 in hundreds, or using my knowledge of bonds to six, for example) – this does not require a written method. The children will need to be trained to use the poster and will also need you to model your thinking, out-loud, when using it as a way to decide, so that they understand how to go through the thinking process.
Daily counting is very important. This does not have to happen during a maths lesson; it could happen at any moment of the day, such as when lining up or to settle the children back into class after lunchtime. This document contains the counting requirements from the mathematical domains for KS1 and KS2. There are also a few fun ideas, written in italics, which I have put in to make links to other areas of maths.
Mathematics is about noticing and understanding the rules and relationships and being able to justify the reasons for these rules and relationships (I love alliteration!). This document – which I put together when creating a Long Term Plan for year 6 – alerts you to how important it is for children to be exposed to certain mathematical behaviours. If they have not been taught these ways of thinking before they begin to tackle algebra in year 6, they will find this area of maths confusing and baffling. The problem for any school is that this advice is not something that will have an instant impact – it will need to be committed to over time, so that it becomes part of the ‘woodwork’ of the school. Only then will it reap rewards.
Songs and rhymes can be a powerful learning tool for many children. Here is a rhyme that a child taught me. It can be set to the tune ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and used as a song to help children learn the number bond pairs of ten.