Nearly a third (30%) of UK parents admit they don’t feel confident enough in their own maths skills to help their children with their primary school maths homework, according to a study released today.
The research coincides with the launch of a new primary school maths homework service, Maths Made Easy, by leading learning company Pearson and accompanying workbooks published by DK. Based on interviews with 2,005 parents of primary school age children across the UK, the results show that parents find Maths one of the hardest subjects for them to help their children to master, beaten only by French.
Almost everyone who studied maths at school will at some point have bumped into BIDMAS or its twin, BODMAS.
BIDMAS stands for Brackets, Indices (powers), Division and Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction. BODMAS is identical, except “indices” are called “Order”. Both acronyms tell us the same thing: the order in which to tackle the operators in an equation.
For example, in the sum 1 + 22 - (3 + 2) x 4, we must first evaluate the contents of the brackets. Indices (powers) would be next, then division and multiplication, then finally addition and subtraction.
This order of precedence is crucial in all arithmetic. To do things in a different order (to start solving the above sum by doing 1 + 2, for example) would often lead to a different and incorrect answer.
The National Education Trust are hosting five unique events leading up to the summer of 2013. Covering a range of subjects from primary Maths teaching to developing an outstanding curriculum. All events will be aimed at improving both primary and secondary education for all.
‘Closing the Achievement Gap’ - 28/02/2013
The Government has said that calculators will be banned in maths tests for 11-year-olds from 2014. Here are five cool apps for Android and IOS that should help pupils to sharpen their mental arithmetic and learn how to do more maths in their minds.
A no-nonsense app with a plain but clean interface, Math Workout helps pupils practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, indices, decimals and more. Its “Brain Cruncher” mode is good for training the mind to hold numbers in memory, and the “Times Table Master” should be particularly useful to primary pupils who are laerning their tables. Players must complete quite a few rounds on the easier levels to unlock the harder ones: this should ensure that pupils master the basics before moving on to harder questions, though it may irritate more accomplished mental mathematicians.
Scottish students beat England, Wales and Northern Ireland as the nation’s top mathematicians in The Four Nations Maths Challenge 2012, hosted by the team behind online maths resource, Mathletics.
Ryan C, from Scotland, took 1st place as The Four Nations Maths Challenge champion of 2012 with a whopping 22,099 points; closely followed by Alexander Y, from Scotland, who came 2nd with 20,196 points; whilst Vihangi R took 3rd place for England with 19,864 points.
The top class in the UK went to S1 from Arbroath Academy, Scotland, and 2nd place was scooped by class S3, also from Arbroath Academy. Class CDU-8 from South Holderness Technology College, England, came 3rd.
Since the beginning of September, we have been trying to maximise the use of 1:1 iPods in year 6 in all areas of the curriculum. The potential of enhancing teaching and learning in mathematics through the use of this technology has been particularly interesting. We have been developing the creative use of a range of apps to support progress, engage childrena and add relevance to maths teaching with positive outcomes. We have also explored a wide range of maths specific apps which have helped pupils mainly in the areas of number fact and tables recall. Recently, we have extended the use of the iPods to allow them to support independent learning, and play a central role in effective formative assessment.
Each week the children complete regular short assessment tasks based on assessment criteria appropriate to the level of maths they are working towards. We have adapted the assessment resources provided by Andrell Education as part of the Big Maths approach developed by Ben Harding. For those unfamiliar with Big Maths, the assessment feature uses a 10-step checklist to identify the specific steps a pupil needs to secure before achieving a level and moving on to the next. As teachers, we have found this element of Big Maths extremely powerful and it is central to our developments with the iPods in terms of formative assessment and independent learning.
3P Learning, the company behind the award-winning online maths program Mathletics, have this week introduced the Four Nations Maths Challenge 2012 - a free competition that will see schools and students involved in the largest online UK maths event.
Join students from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in their quest to reach the top of the leaderboard. Which students and schools can make the most improvement in their maths ability over the duration of the event? You don’t have to be a maths genius to take part, just get involved and be prepared to practise!
The National Education Trust is hosting four unique events over the autumn term. Covering a range of subjects from primary Maths teaching to the future of the GCSE. All events will be aimed at improving both primary and secondary education for all.
When students have access to their own Internet-connected devices at any time, both at home and at school, maths instruction has the potential to be revolutionised. Here are three great innovations available to maths instructors in 1:1 classrooms:
1. Expanded Differentiation
1:1 technology allows for extreme differentiation, even individualisation, of both the type of content each student is working on and the tasks each student is asked to complete. Instead of all working on the same topic at the same time, students in 1:1 classrooms can watch teacher-created videos (or videos from an external source) on whatever mathematical topics they need to learn next. Once that’s complete, the student can work on differentiated maths problems that match up with the topic taught in the video. As a result of 1:1 technology, each student can now be permitted to learn at his or her individualised pace, moving from topic to topic as quickly or slowly as needed. This shift to mastery-based learning, rather than calendar-based learning, can completely revolutionise a maths classroom all by itself.
With a keen interest in ICT and maths, I have been exploring ways in which iPad apps (other than the “I can do maths…. 2+2” type) can enhance pupil progress and motivation. I believe that, when done the right way, gaming can play a huge role in learning.
If you are going to try any of these ideas in class, it's best to be quite familiar with the apps and how they work.
Here are 10 things I have tried:
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