Children have specific maths targets which are changed termly and shared at parent consultations. All these targets are designed to help children to understand numbers more thoroughly and be able to develop the basic number skills which underpin so much of the work we do in school.
Practising maths targets at home can be very quick and easy. Your child's target will include some examples or advice about how best to practise at home. For instance, if your child is working on number bonds to 100 (this means numbers which add together to make 100) you could practice over the dinner table by saying a number (e.g. 43) and asking your child what they need to add to make 100 (57). Give them some thinking time before expecting the answer, but do encourage them to get quicker as these skills work best when children hardly have to think about their answers. If your child is clearly struggling, try spending some more time talking to them about strategies they could use to help them work out the answer in their heads.
Maths around the House
It is important that children recognise that maths does not just happen in the classroom! When they start to make the links between the maths they learn at school and the maths taking place in the 'real world' they will appreciate the need for maths more fully. As often as you can, put maths into context for your children. Here are some examples of how you can do this:
- Counting - the number of carrots that go into the shopping bag, the pairs of socks on the washing line (good for 2 times tables!), odd and even numbers on the fronts of houses.
- Shapes - look for 2D and 3D shapes around the house. Which shapes come up the most? Which shapes are used for which purposes?
- Weights and measures - using the scales and measuring jug in cooking, recording how tall your child is each year.
- Money (and decimals) - which bag of pasta is cheapest? Do they have the same amount of pasta inside? Which is better value for money? How much change should I get? How much pocket money do you have left?
- Fractions and percentages - look for them in writing and talk about what they mean: 1/2 price sale, 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 a mile to Cambridge, 50% off, 25% more rain than last year.
- Ratio - cooking, filling the car with petrol.
- Probability - how likely do you think it is that....
We're sure you can think of lots more ideas of your own. Let's make maths relevant!