Firstly, the children have brought home their books from last year as we no longer need them for assessments.
Today we did a mental maths activity with the older children. They have brought this home to show you. On the back there are the questions we used and, in bold, the skills that these are linked to. I have asked the children to practise the skills of the questions they got wrong. Ways they could do this are listed below.
Sequencing (numbers with regular jumps) are closely related to times tables. Practising the 2, 5, 10 and 4 times tables both in and out of order will help the children spot the next number in sequences like 0, 4, 8, 12… As well as spotting doubles like 6 + _ = 12.
This is the splitting of numbers into hundreds, tens and ones (units). For example 154 is 100 + 50 + 4. Common mistakes are children missing the placeholder, the zero, from the number sentence. For example 154 = 1 + 5 + 4. In class we practise this by having a number of the day that we partition.
This is a key skill for mental maths. Learning to spot when numbers go together to make 10s can really help children add and subtract accurately. There are various online games for practising number bonds. One we use in school is called ‘hit the button’ which can be found on Google.
For this we are looking for efficient methods ‘shortcuts’. For example subtracting 59 from 65 could take a long time, but as they are actually close together a shortcut is to count on from 59 until you get to 65. The number you counted on is the answer. Another shortcut is to adjust the number. For example 21 + 15 could become 20 + 16, the 1 from the 21 has been moved to the 15. Then adding the tens should be easier to solve. This takes practise using different number sentences.
There are lots of different ways to say add and take away. Using different words for add and take away can familiarise the children with their meanings. Common mistakes are the meaning of difference (-) and sum (+).