Saturday, 17 May 2014

Where are we at with Maths?

We're always in the "moooooooo-d" for Maths in Room 15!

The only compulsory homework for Maths in the Pukeko Team is the basic fact practise sheets that go home in the Homefun books.

However, if you would like to support your child at home with some of the other skills they are learning in class, that would be great too.

I have written below a little summary of what each group has been up to in Math recently. Please remember that we are a class of Year 2 and 3 students - everyone is at different stages of development.

The Triangles

We have been learning how to count on and count back to solve addition and subtraction problems. That means we are beginning to picture numbers in our head, rather than using materials to help us. Your child will be able to explain to you that they can now hold the biggest number in their head and count on or back using their fingers only for the smaller number. i.e.

We have mastered using this strategy solving problems up to 20 - why not try some equations up to 50? We do exactly the same for subtraction, only we count back on our fingers instead. Subtraction is definitely trickier!

Please note: if you write out some equations for your child, please make sure the second number is 5 or less. This means we can track that number on our fingers.

The Squares 

We have also been working on solving addition and subtraction problems by counting on or back. We can apply this strategy when solving equations up to 100 (when the smallest number is 5 or less), although some of us need a bit more practise with subtraction.

More recently we have been learning our 2s, 5s and 10s times tables. Before we practise learning them by rote, we learnt about what the times tables sign (x) actually means! We know that we need to make equal groups to represent the equation and then work it out using skip counting i.e.

This is a picture that represents 4x2. We draw four groups of two objects. 
We can then work this out by skip counting in 2s (2,4,6,8). 

Please note: If you choose to write out some multiplication equations for your child to practise it really helps if the 2, 5 or 10 is the second number in the equation. If they get stuck and have to draw it 4x2 looks a lot different than 2x4.

The Triangles

As above, we have been practising our multiplication facts. We can work out 2s, 5s & 10s and are now working on 3s & 4s. As with The Squares, we had to do some work around what the multiplication sign actually means. Now that we know this, it's time to learn the times tables by rote. Using flashcards at home would be a great way to memorise the basic multiplication facts.

We have spent a lot of time learning about the place value strategy and how we can use it to solve addition and subtraction equations. This means we need to break apart the number into ones, tens and hundreds. i.e.

We can apply the same strategy for subtraction.

We have now moved onto learning about a different strategy (rounding and compensating) but could still benefit from the practise using place value so we don't forget it all :)

Hopefully that was of some help should you and your child wish to do some extra math work at home. Please remember that this is not an expectation. The strategies I have explained in this post are ones each group has been working on for some time - if they can do it well at home then that is perfect! As with all Homefun, the idea being that they can have extra practise to consolidate the things they have been learning in class. 

If you have any questions about using these strategies, or anything to do with our math programme, feel free to pop in and see me. 


  1. I love maths too Room 15 - in fact it's my favourite subject....but shush don't tell anyone. I think this explanation on what you have been learning about is really helpful Miss Chalmers. I would love to have some students over to the office tomorrow//Monday to show me what clever learners there are in Room 15!

    1. I think your secret is out Miss Harland - Jaime tells us all the time how Math is her mum's favourite subject! (although, I'm sure you love art just as much!!) Every group has made so much progress in Math lately - we'll be sure to make the time to send some special mathematicians over to celebrate with you :)

  2. In addition - let me say I love your photo Room 15. What a photogenic class!