Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Supporting Maths Learning at Home

Many parents are keen to support their children’s learning at home but often feel less confident in assisting with maths than other areas, such as reading and spelling. The most important thing parents can do is to encourage a positive attitude towards maths, embracing it as a subject which has lifelong importance and one in which everyone can succeed.

Sometimes parents who hold negative memories of their own maths learning empathise with their children by sharing comments such as,  “You’re just like me, I was never very good at maths in school.” Research has shown that such messages can deeply affect children’s attitudes, effort and achievement by feeding into a fixed mindset in which one’s potential is believed to be preset. The reality is that with practice, anyone can succeed in maths. Please click here for an article linked to this.

At school, we are often asked by parents for practical ideas for things they can do at home to help their child with maths. This post is designed to support parents with ideas for engaging mathematical activities they can try at home.

Maths Games
One of the best ways for children to develop maths skills is to play games. Board games are a great way to make math practice fun. In school, we often use games which support conceptual learning and provide opportunities to reinforce maths skills. In the links below, you can find games which teachers use in class to support learning at each of the grade levels. Your children will enjoy playing these games with other family members. More games will be added throughout the year to connect with the units we are teaching in class.

Khan Academy
All students have been set up with a personal Khan Academy account which they can use at both home and school. At the start of the year, each child will begin the relevant mission for their grade and they are encouraged to practice regularly to strengthen their skills. The program is adaptive to each student’s needs and teachers are provided with data on each child’s progress. If a child completes a grade mission, they can progress to the next mission. However, we would advise that if students want to do more maths at home and they are already working in Khan Academy in the grade above their current school grade, then they should draw on other activities from this post to supplement their learning.

iPad Apps
There are numerous iPad apps designed to support mathematical understanding but having tried and tested many, we would like to share our top recommendations for effective maths apps to direct your child to at home.

Ten Frame Mania
A fun game for G2 students to build early number sense
Math Drills

Practice basic math skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

There are a few Squeebles apps for maths including Times Tables, Addition/Subtraction, Division and Fractions
A great fast paced game to practice addition
Motion Math
This covers a range of maths topics
Mt Multiplis
An engaging game to help children understand the concept of multiplication
Wuzzit Trouble
This games helps build children's number sense, problem solving and creative and critical thinking skills

Dragon Box Algebra
A fun way for kids to learn the basics of algebra
(without knowing it is algebra!)
A great game to improve computational fluency
Fun math puzzles with similarities to Sudoku ( watch out parents you may get hooked on this one)

A little practice here and there is beneficial and so much better if we can make it fun and engaging. We have high expectations for every child and genuinely believe all children can succeed in maths. So, our advice to parents is to embrace this ethos too and let it guide your support at home.