Helping your child with Mathematics
Mathematics is recognised as one of the sciences and has been described and defined in many different ways. It is a creative activity and is one of the most useful, fascinating and stimulating divisions of human knowledge. It has the power to predict and provide solutions to practical problems as well as enabling the individual to create new imaginative worlds to explore. We use Maths in everyday life, in science, in industry, in business and in our spare time. Many people feel they are not good at Maths and many parents feel they are not good enough at Maths to be able to help their children with Maths homework. Parents may also feel that the Maths they are doing nowadays is different from when they were in school and they do not feel confident in explaining certain activities without confusion. Regardless of your own experience with school Mathematics you can encourage your child to develop a love of Maths through supporting them, helping them with homework and making Maths fun.
Making Maths Fun: Spend time with your children on simple board games, puzzles, activities that encourage Maths skills. We all use Maths in everyday life, whether we realise it or not. Young children playing with water or a sandbox are learning concepts of mass, volume, density, weight, measurement, space. The kitchen is filled with tasty opportunities to teach children about fractions; following a cooking recipe teaches concepts of weighing, measuring, logical reasoning, following instructions. Calculating money, filling a car with petrol, estimating the length of a car journey, estimating time intervals, are just some of our normal everyday activities which require Mathematical reasoning.
Tune into Technology: Encourage your children to use technology to enhance their Maths skills and problem-solving techniques. Educational websites such as www.ncca.ie www.khanacademy.org are excellent for practice and understanding operational methodologies. . Educational apps for use with a tablet or ipad are excellent and very child-friendly. (See Appendix A at the end of this document)
TOP TEN TIPS FOR PARENTS TO SUPPORT YOUR CHILDREN IN MATHEMATICS
- Help them to learn their tables and have quick recall of all tables up to 10 x 10 and related division problems – eg how many 6s in 42?
- Practise number bonds – eg what do you add to 45 to get 100?
- Encourage them to show all working out when doing homework
- Encourage them to complete homework to a good standard
- Ensure they have all the correct equipment for maths lessons
- Use every day situations to practise maths – eg estimating the bill when in the supermarket: is the large size better value etc
- Encourage a positive attitude to maths. Make maths fun!
- Reinforce where maths is used in everyday life including in the work place
- Encourage the use of the mymaths website, address www.mymaths.co.uk for revision, practise and fun!
- Encourage children to get involved in solving puzzles – eg Suduko, Logic puzzles, games of strategy. Puzzles can be found on the NRICH website www.nrich.org
The Primary School Curriculum
The Primary School Maths Curriculum (Government Publications 1999) outlines what is expected for children from Junior Infants to 6th Class. The purpose of this booklet is to outline the topics that are taught in each class. Our maths curriculum is based on a spiral approach to teaching and learning, meaning that topics are revisited from year to year and previous knowledge is extended and built upon.
There are 5 strands in the Primary School Maths Curriculum
Number—Counting, Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Place Value, Fractions etc.
Algebra— Number Patterns.
Measures—Length, Weight, Capacity, Time, Money.
Shape and Space—2D and 3D shapes, Angles.
Data—Understanding, interpreting and making charts and graphs
Junior Infants Maths Programme:
Here are some of the topics covered in Junior Infants:
- Match objects that go together.
- Sort groups of objects.
- Say the numbers 1 to 10 forwards and backwards.
- Recognise the written numbers 1 – 5.
- Write the numbers 1—5.
- Make and count a group of objects up to 5.
- Add two groups of objects to a total of 5.
- Count how many are left in a group when some are taken away,
- Recognise and make simple patterns using shapes and beads etc, for example
- Sort and name shapes such as square, circle, triangle, rectangle
- Compare objects using words such as heavy and light, longest and shortest, full and empty.
- Talk about time using words such as before and after, early and late and night and day.
- Recognise and use coins up to 5cent. Recognise which coin is which and start to understand the value of coins and simple addition of coin
Activities for home:
- Counting: A lot of time may be spent on oral maths and counting skills in school every day. Children practise counting forwards and backwards to advance their number knowledge and help with addition and subtraction. Practise chanting the number names. Encourage your child to join in with you. When they are confident, try starting from different numbers e.g. 4,5,6 and larger numbers for older children. Also try counting backwards. This is suitable for all age groups. Getting children comfortable with forward and backward number sequence is Give your child the opportunity to count objects (blocks, buttons etc..) Encourage them to move each object as they count them. Play games that involve counting e.g. snakes and ladders, dice games.
- Match and sort objects: Sort toys into groups by colour, by shape. Ask your child: How would you sort them?
- Recognise the numbers 1-5. Pick a number for the day and look out for it when you go out.
- Add two groups of objects to make a total of 5. Ask your child to get you 2 apples, then 3 more. How many altogether? How many ways could I share 4 cakes between you and your brother? How could I share them fairly between you both?
- Recognise and make simple patterns. Draw attention to patterns on clothes such as stripes or spots. Look for patterns around you such as on tiles or on curtains.
- Talk about time. Ask questions such as: what do you do before bed? What do you think will happen next in the story? What day is it today?
- Compare objects by weight. Ask your child to help you sort the shopping. Can you find the heaviest item etc.
- Recognise and use coins up to 5 cents. Play shop. Which coin is worth the most, the least etc
Senior Infants Maths Programme: Some of the topics covered:
- Recognise and say the numbers 0-10.
- Write the numbers 0 –10.
- Count the number of objects in a group and count how many are left when some objects are taken away.
- Add two groups of objects to make a total of 10.
- Start to use the symbols + and = to add groups o
- Estimate (guess) the number of objects in a group
- Recognise simple number patterns for example 3, 4,_, 6.
- Sort and describe and name 3-D shapes, including cube, sphere, cylinder and cuboid.
- Compare objects using words such as heavy or light, heav-iest or lightest.
- Recognise familiar times and read the clock in hours eg. 2 o’clock. Put daily or weekly events in order.
- Recognise coins up to 20 cents and use coins up to 10 cents
Activities for Home
- Encourage careful counting, particularly up to 20. Try counting in twos up to 20 eg. 2,4.6,8,10
- Estimate the number of objects in a set or group up to 5.
- Count how many are left when some objects are taken away. I have 10 apples but how many will I have if I eat 2 of them?
- Talk about times and the clock. Put times up on the fridge door or notice board eg. Basketbell 4pm Wednesday, Training 9am Saturday. Talk about things we do in Spring, Summer, in Winter, during the day, at night.
- Find numbers. Look at the microwave, the telephone and the TV remote control. Look for numbers outside as you go for a walk.
- Recognise coins up to 20cents and use coins up to 10 cents. Let your child handle money and work out change. Talk about the value of coins when you are out shopping. Which coin do you need to pay for the sweet? Can you swap me some coins for this 20 cent coin?
- Order coins from smallest value to largest value.
- Play board games with dice to encourage your child to count, add on and recognise numbers.
- Add two groups of objects to make a total of 10. When playing with toys make groups of objects and then ask your child to put them together. Encourage your child to “count on” which means “continue counting”. I have 6 cars and I get 4 more—6…. 7,8, 9,10.
- Compare objects by length. Ask your child to help you sort the washing: Find the long trousers? Can you find some that are shorter? Build a tower using blocks. Can you make a taller/shorter tower?
First Class Maths Programme
Some of the topics covered in First Class:
- Begin to understand addition tables up to 20 eg. 2+1=3, 2+2=4.
- Read and write the numbers 1 –100 and put them in order.
- Understand the value of numbers eg, the 4 in 54 means 4 units and the 3 in 30 means 3 tens.
- Add and subtract numbers with a total less than 100 16+5, 70+10, 18-5.etc
- Count forwards and backwards in twos, fives and tens.
- Recognise patterns in numbers including odd and even numbers.
- Sort and name shapes such as square, rectangle etc. (2D shapes) cubes, cuboid (3D shapes)
- Measure objects in metres and talk about lengths that are more than a metre, less than a metre etc. Your child will also be taking about and weighing objects in kilograms and measuring liquids in litres
- Read time in hours and half hours 3 o’clock, half past 4.
- Recognise, exchange and use money up to at least 50 cents. Children should also be able to swap coins for those of equal value, for example 20 cents for two 10 cents.
Activities for Home:
- Learn addition and subtraction tables
- Add and subtract. Help your child to see how adding and subtracting are linked. Use small numbers at first. 3+4=7 4+3=7 7-3=4 7-4=3
- Read time in hours or half hours. Draw your child’s attention to times. We have swimming at 5.30. What time will we need to leave the house at? Look at the TV Guide; what time does your favourite programme start?
- Measure. Encourage your child to work out approximately how many kilograms a bag of rice weighs or how many litres in a bottle. Then check by weighing or measuring. Talk about the markings on the weighing scales or the measuring jug. Other activities may include measuring distances in the house or garden etc
- Recognise, swap and use coins. Ask your child to put items less than 50 cents in order from the cheapest to the dearest. How many 10 cent coins can I change for my 50 cent coin. How much change will I get if I buy an orange for 45 cents?
- Have fun with numbers. You and your child can have fun with numbers on car registrations plates. When walking through a car park ask your child: What numbers can you see on the cars’ plates? Can you find a plate where two of the numbers add up to 10, 12…. Add all the numbers on the plate. Which of us can get the bigger number?
- Play games. Here’s a fun skittles game. Put some small stones or rice in the bottom of plastic bottles to make a set of 5 skittles. Put a number on each eg. 10, 25, 5, 15, 0. Roll a ball and keep score as you knock the skittles down. Ask your child to work out the final score.
2nd Class Maths Programme:
Some of the topics covered in 2^{nd} Class:
- Read and write the numbers 0-200.
- Understand the value of numbers eg, the 4 in 54 means 4 units and the 3 in 30 means 3 tens and the 1 in 126 means 1 hundred.
- Know and understand addition tables up to 20 eg 7+8=15, 9+9=18.
- Estimate answers to sums by getting a “rough answer” first, for example 42+29. As 42 is close to 40 and 29 is close to 30, adding 40 and 30 will gave an answer close to the real one.
- Add and subtract numbers with a total less than 100. your child will also learn to add 10 or a lot of 10s to a number eg 36+10=46, 36+20 (2 tens) =56.
- Rename numbers. Your child will use renaming when doing subtraction sums such as 52- 48 (c.f demo video Subtraction with renaming)
- Identify halves and quarters of objects and of groups of things.
- Work out the next number in a pattern, for example 3, 5, 7, 9 _, _,what numbers come next
- Identify shapes—2D and 3D.
- Measure lengths using metres and centimetres; weigh objects using kilos, half-kilos and quarter-kilos;
- Measure liquids using litres, half-litres and quarter-litres.
- Read time in hours, half-hours and quarter-hours and use a calendar to find important dates.
- Recognise, exchange and use money up to €2. Your child should be able to swap coins for other coins of the same value.
Activities for Home:
- Understand addition and subtraction tables to 20.It is important that children can recall certain facts quickly or know what to do if they are stuck, for example if your child doesn’t know 3+6 try asking 6+3.
- Recognise, swap and use money.Encourage your child to add up the coins in your purse or to work out what change you will get when buying things: I have €70 in my pocket. What is the least number of coins I could have? We’re coming to the toll plaza. The toll is €2.40. Can you get the coins ready for the machine please?
- Fractions Involve your child in cutting an apple into quarters or in dividing the chocolate bar in half.
- Measure activities. About how long is our garden? Measure distances in metres and centimetres using a measuring tape. 100m and 200m races- how far did I run? Encourage your child to look at the weights of items in the cupboard. How many grams in a kilogram (1000)? So 500g is half a kilogram. How many of these packets would add up to a kilogram? If1 kilogram costs €2, how much would4 kilograms cost? Look at containers you have at home. Which bottles hold litre? A half-litre? A quarter-litre?
Activities for Home- 3^{rd} to 6^{th} class:
Try to link your child’s maths activities to real-life practical tasks involving Maths. For example, if the topic at school is Measuring your child may work to solve real-life problems such as measuring a room and figuring out how much wallpaper would be needed. Working through recipes in the kitchen- weighing and measuring capacity is a valuable activity, as well as calculating how to adapt a recipe for 4 into one for 6 people.
Use a T.V. Guide. Ask your child to work out the length of their favourite programmes. Can they calculate how long they spend watching TV each day/week.
Asking questions that encourage your child to use mental mathematic strategies learned in school, for example on a car journey, you could ask your child how far will you travel in 3 hours if we travel at a speed of 55 miles an hour or if petrol costs €1.52 a litre, how much will it cost to put 30 litres in the tank?
Giving your child shopping receipts and bills with the totals removed and asking him/her to estimate the total cost by rounding the figures to the nearest Euro.
Buy items with a percentage extra free. As your child to calculate how much of the product is free.
Create opportunities for your child to handle money and work within a budget. For example give him/her a list of items to be bought for the house within a particular budget and reward savings made. Encourage research on price savings through internet etc.
3rd Class Maths Programme:
- Explore and identify place value in whole numbers, 0-999
- Read, write and order three-digit numbers 0-999
- Add and subtract, without and with renaming, up to 999
- Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction
- Develop an understanding of multiplication as repeated addition and vice versa eg. 2+2+2 =6, 3×2=6.
- Recall multiplication facts within 100 counting in 2, 3, 5 and 10, doubles, trebles.
- Multiply a one-digit or two-digit number by 0-10
- Solve and complete practical tasks and problems involving multiplication and division of whole numbers eg. how many days in 9 full weeks? How many cars are needed to take 27 children to a game if only 4 children are allowed in each car?
- Develop an understanding of division as sharing and as repeated subtraction, without and with remainders eg. 20 – 4 – 4-4 – 4 – 4 = 0 therefore 20÷5=4
- Divide a one-digit or two-digit number by a one-digit number without and with remainders
- Identify fractions in halves, quarters, eights and tenths.
- Develop an understanding of the relationship between frac-tions and division 1/4 of 32=8, 32÷4=8
- Identify tenths and express in decimal form 1/10 = 0.1, 2/10 =0.2 etc.
- Identify shapes—2D and 3D.
- Lines and angles
- Length including renaming units of length in m and cm. g. 125cm = 1m 25 cm.
- Area
- Weight
- Time including reading time in 5 minute intervals on analogue and digital clocks(12 hour) and renaming minutes as hours and hours and minutes. 70min = 1hour 10 mins and vice versa 1 1/2 hours = 1 hour 30 mins = 90 mins
- Money
- Data—bar charts, block graphs and pictograms
- Chance—use vocabulary of uncertainty and chance possible, impossible, might, certain, not sure.
4th Class Maths Programme
Some of the topics covered in 4^{th} class:
- Explore and identify place value in whole numbers, 0-9999
- Develop an understanding of multiplication as repeated addition and vice versa eg. 2+2+2 =6, 3×2=6.
- Recall multiplication facts within 100 counting in 2, 3, 5 and 10, doubles, trebles.
- Multiply a one-digit or two-digit number by a two digit number c.f demo video
- Divide a three-digit number by a one-digit number without and with remainders
- Identify fractions and equivalent forms of fractions with denominators 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 and 12
- Find the whole number when given a fraction of it 3/10 of a number is 45, find the number.
- Identify place value of whole numbers and decimals g. 3.45 = 3+0.+0.05
- Identify shapes 2D and 3D
- Lines and angles
- Length
- Area—Length x width
- Money- calculations
- Weight
- Data
- Chance
- Capacity
- Time including reading time in one-minute intervals on analogue and digital clock (12-hour) and renaming minutes as hours and minutes.
Addition and subtraction of times
4 hours 45 minutes
+ 3 hours 25minutes
7 hours 70 minutes = 8hours 10 minutes.
For subtraction you may need to rename first.
3hours 30 minutes
– 1 hour 40 minutes
As we cannot take 40 from 30 we rename 3 hours 30 minutes to 2 hours and 90 mins so it becomes 2 hours 90 mins
– 1 hour 40 mins
1hour 50 mins
5th Class Maths Programme:
- Identify place value in whole numbers and decimals 345.67 = 3 hundreds, 4 tens, 5 units, 6 tenths and 7 hundredths.
- Multiply a decimal (up to three places) by a whole number, without and with a calculator eg. 8.125 x9.
- Divide a decimal number by a whole number, without and with a calcu-lator eg. 75.6 ÷4
- Express improper fractions as mixed numbers and vice versa
- add and subtract simple fractions and simple mixed numbers using equivalent fractions to simplify calculations
- Capacity
- Length
- 2D and 3D shapes
- Lines and angles
- Area and perimeter
- Weight
- Money
- Data
- Divide a 3 digit number by a 2 digit number. (Long division) f. demo video
6th Class Maths Programme:
Some of the topics covered in 6^{th} class:
- Divide a four-digit number by a two-digit number, without and with a calculator f.video
- Divide a decimal number by a decimal, without and with a calculator
The trick is to convert the number you are dividing by to a whole number first, by shifting the decimal point of both numbers to the right: Now you are dividing by a whole number, and can continue as normal. It is safe to do this if you remember to shift the decimal point of both numbers the same number of places. C.f.demo
- Multiply a fraction by a fraction
- Solve problems relating to profit and loss discount, VAT, interest increases and decreases
- Capacity
- Length
- 2D and 3D shapes
- Lines and Angles
- Area and perimeter
- Weight
- Money
- Data
Appendix A: Websites and Apps
Apps :
Mathmaster Free
Squeebles Times Tables
Symmetry School
Numerosity
Mathmateer Free
Kids Math Ace Games Lite Free
Number Monster
Operation Math
Math Bingo