## How to make algebra easy to learn

How to make algebra easy to learn What actually is algebra and how can we make algebra easy to learn? The problem with maths is it is so abstract. What that means is we are often asking children to do things in their mind. When they are younger, we allow them more opportunities to see numbers as physical objects (often called manipulatives) for example 3  + 4 we may give them cars, marbles, cubes etc. The older they get, we are expecting them to calculate with numbers on paper. We can take for granted that these numbers are very abstract and…

## What is Ratio? Year 6 Maths

What is Ratio? Ratio and Proportion first appears on the National Curriculum for Mathematics in Year 6 and continues to be a firm part of the Key Stage 3 & 4 curriculum too. It is very much a topic that relates to real life; we use ratio as part of recipes, medicine, and various aspects of building work to name a few! But what does it look like as a topic taught in a maths lesson? Ratio can be linked to but should not be confused with fractions; it has its own distinctive way of representing parts of a whole…

## Christmas is full of maths

Christmas is full of maths I've heard so many people say that they don't need maths in the real world but this simply isn't true; Christmas is a great example of how many mathematical skills we use in the "real world". Children often stumble on questions in the Reasoning Papers because they aren't able to conceptualise the problems but if they are aware of the maths in the real world, these word problems become a lot more familiar and less intimidating. Here are just some of the ways that Christmas is full of maths... Christmas shopping is full of maths…

## How to keep up with maths during the Christmas Holidays

The Christmas Holidays are here, your kids are tired and you probably are too. You want them to have a break and enjoy themselves but you also don’t want them to lose any momentum with their learning. So how do you keep their maths brains engaged without it feeling like you are punishing them? Here are my 5 tips for staying on top of their maths during the Christmas holidays. Christmas Maths Tip 1: Engage your children in some of the real life maths that comes with Christmas. Shopping involves calculating costs, using percentages and comparing better values. Cooking involves…

## 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…

## 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…

## Back to school tips for Year 6 2022

Is your child starting Year 6 this September? Read on for some tips to help ease the transition now that the whirlwind couple of years of lockdowns, bubbles and home learning has eased. Settling back into school after the six week holidays is never an easy adjustment, let alone after the chaos and unpredictability of partial school closures and bubbles being sent home over the last few years. The Year 6's this year have experienced a particularly unusual time, having missed out on a large chunk of school time in Year 3 and then entering a completely unfamiliar learning environment in…

## Does my child need a Maths tutor?

Does my child need a Maths tutor? There is a common misconception that it's only children who struggle that need a Maths tutor. This is not the case. The real question is, would my child benefit from a tutor? The answer is an absolute yes. Common problems preventing getting a Maths tutor. Of course, there's lots of factors that might make getting a maths tutor difficult in reality. Financial reasons, a lack of space to fit a tutor in your home, being unable to commit to a regular time slot with busy family schedules. The trick is to find a…

## Should I use past SATs papers for revision?

Past SATs papers are available freely on the internet however it is debatable whether using them is beneficial for your child’s progress. While studying past papers for familiarity is good these can interfere with your child’s teacher being able to accurately assess their needs. They can (if not used in the correct way) actually damage confidence. However, using materials from past papers in the right way, can also increase confidence and prepare your child for the big day. Read on to learn more pros and cons and tips for utilising this freely available resource. Are past SATs papers used in…

## Why is long division so hard?

Why is long division so hard?  There is something about division in general which just intimidates a lot of kids (and adults!). Then you throw in the “formal written method” of long division and it‘s enough to put the strongest of mathematicians to the test. The method is lengthy and requires a fair amount of prep and this tends to cause a lot of children to give up before they have even begun. It is also slightly different to the methods most adults were taught and so helping with homework can sometimes just reinforce the belief that it is a…