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Teaching Maths- quick question. Please help

Discussion in 'Primary' started by thedancingqueen, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. Hi. I'm a trainee and I'm on placement at the moment. I'm with a year 5 class and at the start of each of their Numeracy lessons the teacher gives them a maths sum test to work from and they need to write the answers in their Numeracy book. Today in Literacy, a child from the lower ability group asked me how to work out 5-0.01 or something to that affect and I found it very hard to explain how to work it out, since the child didn't have a good understanding of place value. The positioning of the numbers didn't seem to mean much to them. Can someone tell me how they would explain how to work this out, to kids please? They are encouraged to work things out mentally if they can but they can write things down if they need to. Thanks in advance.
  2. As you rightly point out the important thing is their understanding of place value. Start with HTU, no point doing decimals with someone who doesn't understand how whole numbers work.
    When working with decimals I always tell kids to think about it as money: so 5 = £5 or 500p and 0.01 = 1p, difference is £4.99 = 4.99
  3. Andrew Jeffrey

    Andrew Jeffrey New commenter

    I'd go further. If they don't have a secure understanding of place value, you are wise to avoid decimals as they have little chance of getting there, though as Alea says, money is often a useful and tangible way in.
    Deciding to tell them not to worry about that yet is good AfL (mark it on your folder as evidence!)
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Firstly your placement class look to be lucky getting someone like you.
    You're wise not to change things drastically- after all you have to hand back to the class teacher at the end & they write your report.
    What about using your starter to demonstrate 'How to work out today's sums'. Brainstorm methods children know & then move into the more cross-curricular questions?
  5. reddevil

    reddevil Occasional commenter

    I currently teach Year 5 and personally think that the calculation you mentioned in your OP is too hard for a lower ability child. If they really do have to do it, then I'd agree that money is the best way to approach it. However if it was my lower ability group I know they'd be better off practising times tables or number bonds to 20 which might be more relevant and useful to them!
  6. That's a good idea to do that prior to making the cross-curricular links. I'll be giving that a go. I want them to be more involved too because from what I've seen there's a tendency for the teacher to talk and the children could do with having more input. I'm a trainee and certainly have more to learn, but I'm willing to try things out if I think it will help them. I'll be sticking to the school's cross-curricular approach but I'm allowed of course to plan the activities and I aim to really get the children engaged and enthusiastic. The school likes children to learn independently too. How can I incorporate this into my Maths lessons, apart from problem solving based activities? Anyone know any good websites too with great and challenging problem solving activities which might come in useful with my year five class please? I normally make all of my own resources but I try to use the IWB too, if it'll enhance the lesson.
  7. Has anyone else got anything else to add please/ further advice that they could offer?

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