# 2. Helping your Child’s Learning; Mostly Maths (for 2nd Class going into 3rd)

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Dear Parent,

A number of parents have asked for more details

than was contained in the end of year report

about how parents can help their child’s learning over the Summer.

Suggestions for Children’s Reading Over The Summer

This post relates to Maths.

There will be a third post about using higher order questions

Photo Credit: Jimmie via Compfight

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment

have several short videos for parents

Short Videos from National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA)

They appear to be still compiling resources for 3rd/4th class

This post relates specifically to

students in 2nd Class going into 3rd.

It is a long post and you will find

over the next school year.

In many reports I wrote that;

‘3rd+4th Class is the window of opportunity

for learning multiplication+division tables.

They are easier to learn than

the addition/subtraction tables from this year

because of the number patterns apparent in them.

Prioritizing these tables next year will

give your child a very useful life skill.

Tables are gymnastics for the brain.

Knowing them well is confidence building

and allows your child to concentrate on methodology’.

Multiplication is introduced as repeated addition.

Towards the end of 2nd class, we did this in class.

You may find the following websites helpful.

The two introductory videos here are useful;

Teach the Times Tables on Multiplication.com

This is a useful follow up game;

Other online games that practice multiplication can be found here;

Multiplication Games from ICT Games.com

It may be that your child finds it hard to learn by rote.

So you may find this site useful;

Strategies for Learning Multiplication Facts from Olc.spsd.sk.ca

This  game also provides some gymnastics for the brain;

http://members.learningplanet.com/act/count/free.asp

Problem Solving is a skill that all students would benefit from practising.

I suggest an inexpensive purchase

perhaps using the 3-step strategy highlighted below.

Once they master these steps they can continue on, independently.

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 mnemonic  RUDE

to remind the children of problem solving strategies.

So the children are encouraged to

Underline key words,

Draw,

This is the simplest approach.

‘Drawing’ the problem can be very effective.

It gives the child time to think and process the information.

Another approach is

We LUV 2 C word stories!

Look,

Underline (the key word),

Visualise(draw),

Calculate and

Check.

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

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

3. How do I get there? (add/subtract/multiply/divide or a combination)

The additional website may be useful for some.

It teaches a visual strategy for problem solving:

Problem Solving with Thinking Blocks

Photo Credit: gfpeck via Compfight

I have checked out all these websites,

# Great Homework!

This week for homework the children were asked to write number problems featuring repeated addition.

This is some of the excellent work Patrick did.

How many legs have three dragons got?
4 + 4 + 4 = 12

How many legs have four ladybirds got?
6 + 6 + 6 + 6 = 24

How many legs have four spiders got?
8 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 32

Well done Patrick 🙂 Teacher is impressed!

# Can you solve these problems?

Problems written by the whole class
and by some individual children from the class also:

1. Nine fat sausages frying in a pan.

One went pop and the other went bang!

So how many fat sausages were left?

2. Nine aliens in a spaceship.

One fell out the door.

How many were left? (Conor wrote this!)

3. Ciara was walking nine puppies in the park.

Six went right and two went left.

How many were left? (This one is by Kate.)

4. The Seven Dwarfs were working in the mine.

Sleepy fell asleep and Grumpy went home in a huff.

How many dwarfs were left?

5. Destiny, the Pop Star Fairy,

Mia the Bridesmaid Fairy

and Summer, the Holiday Fairy

all went to the Talent Show,

but Destiny lost her voice

and was sent home by the judges.

How many fairy performers were left? (by Riona)

6. Tasha the Tap Dance Fairy,

Alice the Tennis Fairy

and Jessica the Jazz Fairy all lived in America.

They all flew over to England to go to the X Factor.

Jessica lost track of time and missed her flight.

How many singers were left. (by Nadine)

7. Five Roman soldiers went to war.

Two were injured.

How many were left? (by Maks)

8. Ten Smurfs are in a village.

Three got taken by Gargamel.

How many are left? (by Patrick)

# Changing Number Facts into Problems to be Solved.

PROBLEM SOLVING
These problems were written by 2nd as a whole class activity over a few days. We turned the number facts they were learning in tables into problems to be solved.
Over the next few weeks the children will be doing this for homework. I will collect the best ones and then get the children to turn the problems back into number sentences.
Writing these short problems integrates with literacy also.

2-2=0
Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after. How many children were left up the hill?
10-2=8
Emily had a party. She invited 7 girls from Room 6 and John and Edward Grimes.
Jedward had to leave early because they had to spike their hair!
How many people were left at the party?
12-3=9
The Three Billy Goats Gruff,
the Three Blind Mice,
the Three Bears
and the Three Little Pigs
all went ice skating in Storybook Land. The Three Blind Mice found it so tricky, they went home. How many animals were left?
3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 12 animals were ice skating
-3 went home
12 – 3 = 9
How many legs have these 12 animals altogether?
How many ice skates?
How many ears? How many tails?
8-4=4
Eight children went to the playcentre in Zoom. Half of them bumped their heads and went home. How many children were left?
10-4=6
When Teacher was little she had a packet of ten crayons. She ate four of them. How many crayons were left?

Luke’s “Self Portrait”. Well done Luke!

# 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!

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.

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?

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!

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

# Maths – Simple Computation: Addition & Subtraction in Second Class.

Maths – simple computation: addition/subtraction in Second Class

If you feel the need to supplement homework, these are some suggestions.

Learning simple computation (addition/subtraction tables to 10+10) really benefits the student in second class. Because when they go on to learn how to add tens and units with renaming they can concentrate on this new methodology because the addition and subtraction come easy to them.

The first  is an addition speed test.

http://www.ohio-distinctive.com/toybox/mathbarge/mathbarge.html

In preparation for adding tens and units with renaming, this game might be useful.

http://www.ictgames.com/sharknumbers.html

This is a good site for practicing number facts and computation:

TUTPUP.COM

Finally this site has games that practice addition and take aways at speed.

SKILL BUILDERS

Finally following a recent recommendation I will be using the following site in class.

Problem Solving with Thinking Blocks

The Thinking Blocks website teaches a visual strategy for problem solving.