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C of E Primary School

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Some parents have been asking for advice with Maths with children who have found number concepts tricky. This will not be an exhaustive post (sorry!) but hopefully something that might help and that I may be able to return too.

Firstly, there is NO SUCH THING as someone who is 'bad' at Maths, or who 'doesn't have a Maths brain.' I struggled with Maths myself, and liken it to Marmite. But as a teacher I have learnt that we can all do it and our adults opinions really influence children's perceptions and confidence with number.

Please see a video about Numicon- I hope it will help to explain and reveal what we mean when we talk about Numicon. This is one resource we use in school which I think is worth its weight in gold, but I am not expecting you to all go out and buy it (as it is expensive).


Children need to understand what numbers/quantites look like:

Use Lego bricks, coins, pencils, Numicon pictures etc and make number lines to 10 /20 to show what each number looks like. Label each number with a post-it

Make two-digit numbers with the Tens number on the left and the Ones number on the right: It must follow the Tens and Ones order so that children appreciate what "12" means etc.

Make "sticks of ten" Lego bricks and use seperate bricks as Ones.

Explore making "bigger" numbers with Lego "Tens sticks" and "Ones". Comapre which is more or less. Explore making the number "one more" and "one less" by physically using Lego bricks... Write the numbers on post-its. You might find writing each digit on a different packet of post-its to show the difference between Tens and Ones.

Explore adding "sticks of tens"... Which digit changes? Write on your post-its as you count the sticks of tens in 10s: 10, 20, 30... 3 sticks of ten is 30. And then the Ones. The eggbox method is also great for this.

Number bonds to ten are also essential to maths, as is understanding what numbers "look" like. Some children may need longer to "see" and "feel" what the number bonds are as opposed to learning numbers by rote. Once children can quickly recite and understand number bonds to ten, they can then apply this to number bonds to 20, 100 etc.

Hope this helps...if not be see me for more ideas.