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Are times-tables important?

Are times-tables important? We probably all remember having to learn our times-tables as kids and most likely have forgotten a lot of them by now. You will have your own feelings toward them- whether you loved them or hated them, as will your kids! But do you think they are important? As with many things we learn in school, we sometimes fail to see the relevance to our real lives but we really do rely on table facts far more than we realise. In school, the tables are important. So much so that the government introduced the mandatory multiplication check in…

word problems

Why is a word problem hard in maths?

Why is a word problem hard in maths? A math word problem is when a problem is presented using a real life scenario and a child has to work out what maths they need to do to find the solution. It is so common to hear that a child knows how to add, subtract, multiply and divide confidently but then when they get to a word problem it all goes out of the window! Some of it is a mental block, they might not understand the problem, there could be a lack of familiarity with the format of questions, not…

How important are fractions?

How important are fractions? Fractions are often cited as a "problem area" when I take on new pupils and can cause a lot of anxiety. They can be an area that as parents we either have forgotten ourselves or the methods we use are so far removed from the methods used today that helping our kids ends up causing more confusion. I often hear “we don’t use it in real life anyway” in response to the frustration but mastering fractions is actually very important. Not only does is it in one of the building blocks of further math content but…