On February 3rd, we held our annual Numbers Day at Northside with every child in the school either bringing in a packet of Smarties, Skittles or a KitKat! Other than boosting the local North Finchley economy through the sale of Smarties, every class managed to use the sweets/chocolate to aid their problem solving skills. We estimated, carefully counted, sorted, recorded in graphs, researched the nutritional information and calculated the area as well as designing new chocolate packaging.
Problem solving is one of the 3 key elements of the National Curriculum for Maths. In our Maths lessons, 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.
In September 2021, the early years curriculum changed with an emphasis on subitising (instantly recognising an amount without counting) and having a deeper understanding of the numbers 1-10.
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. This 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 years to develop ready-made rucksacks filled with Maths resources that are available for parents to buy.
In the last couple of years, we have created and made 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 includes: 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