This term has been another busy term for us in school as we are busily filling in the gaps in children’s learning and trying to expose the children to new topics such as measure, shape, money and time.
At the end of April, we held a Smartie Problem Solving Day with every child in the school bringing in a packet of Smarties! Other than boosting the local North Finchley economy through the sale of Smarties, every class managed to use the Smarties to aid their problem solving skills. We estimated, carefully counted, sorted, recorded in graphs and designed new Smartie packaging. Problem solving is one of the 3 key elements of the National Curriculum for Maths. Every Friday, the children take part in problem solving activities related to what they are learning in their Maths lessons. These lesson allow them to think ‘outside of the box’ and apply lots of different skills.
Before the half term, we interviewed several children from years 3-6 about their Maths learning. The children were all incredibly positive about the interesting lessons their teachers have planned and delivered and were particularly positive about their problem solving lessons. The children also knew that if they found an area of Maths challenging, they could either discuss it with their learning partner or use the displays in the classroom with examples and key vocabulary on to help them. The children also helpful came up with some great ideas for future lessons including more outside Maths learning and special themed days like our Smartie Day which we will plan in! It was certainly a very valuable discussion.
Early Years Maths
In September 2021, the early years curriculum will be changing. Last week, our Early Years staff received some training on the main changes and we have already started preparing, sorting and making some brand new exciting resources for this new curriculum! In the Autumn term, we will provide you with more details of these changes in a parents information meeting. One cheap and easy way of supporting your child at home is to play with dice and dominoes alongside small counting objects which match these numbers. Then enables your child to recognise number patterns and visualise numbers. Another free tip is to get your child to practise showing different numbers on their fingers. Ask them to show you how to make 3, how do you make 5? What does 7 look like? Research shows that children (and adults) who use their fingers to solve Maths problems, make better mathematicians!
We have also been working hard in the last few months to develop ready-made rucksacks filled with Maths resources that are available for parents to buy.
In December, we launched our Northside Maths Toolkits which are colourful rucksacks filled with Maths games and equipment along with instruction booklets to help your child with their Maths home learning. If your child loves Maths and being challenged, finds Maths a bit tricky or just prefers to use practical equipment, then these rucksack are for you!
This is an example of an EYFS Toolkit (suitable for Nursery or Reception children)
This is an example of the Year 3 and 4 toolkit
We now have Maths toolkits available for the following Year groups:
EYFS (suitable for Nursery and Reception children)
Year 3 and 4
Year 5 and 6
All of the rucksacks vary from year to year to reflect that year group's Maths curriculum.
The Year 3 and 4 Maths rucksack above will include: Dienes (plastic shapes which represent tens and ones and help with understanding place value and calculating), a set of digit cards, a set of comparison symbols, a moveable clock and clock display teaching poster, 20 cubes, a set of playing cards, a wipeable hundred square, a wipeable number line, 2 dice, a whiteboard pen, 2 place value charts and 30 counters.
Inside every toolkit, you will receive simple and easy to follow instructions with photos for at least 10 different practical activities/games that you can play at home with your child to improve their Maths understanding and allow them to have lots of fun at the same time! The resources can also be used to support your child’s online Maths lessons.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or pay on School Money to reserve your toolkit
Miss Bennett - Maths Leader