Maths Support at Home
A few quotes here which I think are really important.
Maths is a subject which many of us are quick to say we are no good at. It is so important that we support the children in avoiding that mindset. It is not that we cannot do something, simply that we cannot do it yet. The act of perseverance is a demonstration of excellent learning behaviour and this is what we hope that you will support us in promoting. If we model constantly positive mindsets where we look for ways to reach our full potential, the children will reflect this attitude too.
The second quote addresses a misconception which many of us hold where we think maths is simply about finding an answer. We teach the children a variety of addition and subtraction strategies in year 2 and we use many hands-on resources to promote this understanding of number. The aim for the children is to select the most efficient strategy to solve a problem in maths. This is equally, if not more important, than finding a correct answer. In class we have sometimes referred to ourselves as being number detectives because we are searching for the best way to answer a question.
Finally a simple quote which explains, maths should be fun. Although we may think this ourselves, the children will learn best when we are enthusiastic about maths (how are your acting skills parents?!) Our aim is to help the children see that maths is not just sitting down at a table and completing a number sentence, it is about weighing the ingredients for a cake and beating your time when practising running, buying sweeties and seeing how much older your Mummy is than you!
While we support the children in developing mental maths skills throughout school, it is vital that the children are all exposed to hands on maths where they can feel numbers, build numbers and physically add and subtract. This is absolutely essential for them to develop a deep understanding of number.
This term our maths focus is upon understanding place value and developing addition and subtraction strategies. Here is a list of national curriculum targets which we will be working towards this term.
Hopefully this will give you an idea of the types of activities you could do at home if you have completed the mymaths activities and are after some further challenges.
Some activity ideas to develop your child's number sense at home:
- Play shops!
This game will address so many of the children's targets for this year. To buy an item from your shop, your child will need to recognise the place value of a number, they could compare the value of numbers (if they know that 76p is more expensive than 28p then they hopefully that 76>28). Your child will also need to recognise the value of coins, add together the coins to create a total, they may need to find several ways to do this is the particular coin they want is not available, they will be counting in multiples of 1, 2, 5 and 10 to add together the coins. They could also provide change and to do so they will need to subtract. I understand that sometimes it feels as though homework should be sat down completing a worksheet because this is what we grew up with, but this is not a necessary, or particularly effective, way for a 6-7 year old to learn. My number one recommendation to support your child with maths is to play shops!
- Snakes and Ladders!
Have a game of snakes and ladders with your child so support them in recognising their numbers to 100. To increase the challenge you could get them to practise comparing the numbers ("who is on a greater number, you or Mummy?"), working out the difference between numbers ("what is the difference between the number you are on and the number that I am on") and finding missing numbers "you are on 73, I wonder how many more you need to get all the way to 100... let's work it out 73 + ___ = 100?").
Baking is a good way to help them become familiar with mathematical skills like weight and volume. Cooking is great because you can adapt it to your child’s age so if you have other children, they can be practising different skills while doing the same activity. Year 2 children should practice weighing ingredients and reading the numbers on the scales, counting out ingredients and measuring liquids while using appropriate vocabulary while younger siblings could be experiencing the process of cooking and older siblings could have challenges such as doubling or halving the ingredients.
- Learning to tell the time
In year 2 the children should be able to tell and write the time to five minutes, know the number of minutes in an hour and know the number of hours in a day. You could play time based games with your child, discuss the time with them and perhaps even invest in or make a watch of their own!
Here are some links to online maths games which the children may enjoy: