Supporting Learning at Home
In school we teach phonics using Letters and Sounds as a core resource. In order for your child/ren to make the maximum progress throughout their academic year, it is very important for their learning to continue outside of school. Your support is really valued in the following key areas:
Reading at least once a day and recording sessions in the reading record books
- Phonic sounds (especially in the earlier years). This is a really useful link for exploring the pure sounds that we teach within school http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwJx1NSineE
- Key Instant Recall Facts - such as number bonds, times tables and doubles and halves.
- Encourage your child/ren to talk about and use Maths in real life everyday situations e.g. money, measures and solving Maths problems.
- Look at the Mathematics Prompt Sheet for your child's age group (under the Learning Tab)
- Theme work – each child is sent home with information for each term. Any support regarding this theme is fantastic – especially with Learning Logs.
General hints for parents helping children with maths at home:
Encourage children to talk about their calculation strategies. Ask questions such as, ‘How did you work that out?’, ‘Can you think of other ways?’ and ‘What if you started with…?’
Don’t worry if some methods seem long winded or unfamiliar to you. Building confidence in mathematics is crucial so be pleased with their efforts and always encourage with praise. If your child is not in the mood it is the wrong time to be practising.
With younger children always have apparatus…toys, small objects, coins etc available so that they can work at a very practical level and check their mental calculations with real materials. Older children may choose to support their thinking with rough jottings. Ultimately we are encouraging children to ask themselves ‘Can I do this in my head?’ but they should always work at a level in which they feel secure. To rush and discourage support materials would slow down the development of their thinking in the longer term.
The best possible way to develop a real understanding of meaningful calculations with money is practise with real money and set up mini shopping situations. Involve older children in budgeting projects such as costing the purchase and weekly care cost of a new pet/the petrol costs of a regular shuttle service to swimming lessons etc.
A sensible place to develop an early understanding of capacity is in the bath! Provide a range of containers and allow children to experiment. They will soon learn that narrow tall bottles don’t necessarily hold as much water as they thought! With older children look together at labels on food and drink products. You will find some interesting facts! Some ‘liquids’ are measured in grams and millilitres and products such as bark chippings and other garden products are measured in litres.
Comparing different containers and converting litres to millilitres/kilograms to grams and talking about fractions of measurements is an excellent way to provide practical opportunities for your child.