# You may find the following useful…Answers to questions asked at the P/T meetings

I was asked these questions at parent teacher meetings to date, and thought parents in general would find the answers of interest.

Are the children sight reading when they play the recorder?
I am teaching the children to sight read and read the ‘lines and spaces’
but generally, at the moment, I feel the children are playing ‘by ear’.

Could books be sent home more regularly for parents to see progress?
Certainly.
As you know the ‘Mental Maths’ and ‘Spellbound’ go home almost daily.
Occasionally I have sent exercises in ‘What A Wonderful World’, ‘A Way with Words’ and ‘Modern Handwriting’ home for homework. I have sent Alive-o home too.
The difficulty has been that the next time we go to work in a particular book, a number of children may be without it because it is left at home.
Certainly I will send home textbooks from time to time. Just don’t forget to send them back!

How can you help your child with problem solving in Maths?
Problem Solving:

The following strategies are useful in relation to problem solving
• Discussing the problem
• Rephrasing to make the meaning clearer
• Using concrete materials where possible
• Using smaller numbers
• Setting out problem on paper using diagrams, drawings etc.
• Estimating

Some teachers use the word RUDE to remind the children of problem solving strategies.
So the children are encouraged to Read, Underline key words, Draw, Estimate (Answer).
This is the simplest approach. ‘Drawing’ the problem can be very effective. It gives the child time to think and ptocess the information.

Another approach is
We LUV 2 C word stories!
Look, Underline (the key word), Visualise(draw), Calculate and Check.

In tandem with these approaches you could ask your child:

What do I have? (what info is given?)

What do I want to have at the end? (What am I being asked to do?)

How do I get there? (add or subtract or a combination)
From next year this will include the options to multiply or divide

When I am teaching addition and take away number facts, the children will have opportunities to compose problems based on the number facts. The children choose one number fact and express it as a number problem. These problems can be turn expressed as number facts by their class mates.

1. Number fact 10-7=3
Turn this into a problem
Problem: Ten ducks on a pond. A fox came along and frightened away seven of them. How many were left?

2. Problem: Seven bats hunting for insects.
Three went home to roost. How many were left?
This can be turned into a number sentence.

When children get used to doing these, they find word problems much less daunting.

This is a good website. It teaches a visual strategy for problem solving:
Problem Solving with Thinking Blocks

4. How do I help my child with comprehension?

When you read with your child check that they understand what they are reading by asking them questions.
I have noticed that when children aren’t observing the punctuation on a page they lose the meaning of what they are reading.
Sometimes, in the early days when children are doing comprehension exercises in school, they attempt to answer the questions without reading the piece!

1. To start with, I ask the children to read a piece of comprehension.
2. To read the questions underlining what they are being asked.
This means they will be reading the piece with the questions in mind. They will be reading with a purpose.
3. To read the piece again with the questions in mind…underlining what they think would be useful.
4. Then to go through the questions one by one, looking for the answers in the comprehension piece and writing down the answers.
As they get good at this, there is less need for underlining.

TRY THIS WEBSITE FOR GRADED COMPREHENSION EXERCISES
You could even do them orally. Try the Second Grade Ones. When these are complete have a go at some of the Third Grade ones.

PLEASE CLICK FOR AN EVEN MORE COMPREHENSIVE SITE ON STRATEGIES FOR COMPREHENSION