Helping your child with Maths

 Helping your young child with Mathematics[1]

From birth your child has been learning about maths. Maths is everywhere around us. Talking to your child and letting him take part in everyday activities like going to the shop, cooking, and helping to set the table helps your child with maths. You can help your child to solve maths problems by working out how to share sweets equally, by making sure that everyone has a knife and fork at dinner time. When your child starts school, you can continue to play a key role in helping him to understand and enjoy maths.

Some tips

  • Give your child containers to play with. Talk about: holds more/less, empty/ full.
  • Encourage your child to tidy up toys. Compare toys: This toy is heavier/ lighter, bigger/smaller than
  • Make patterns using buttons or clothes pegs. Thing about pattern in terms of colour, size, shape.
  • Say simple counting rhymes. Ten Green Bottles
  • Give your child maths objects to play with: measuring tapes, rulers, jugs, weighing scales, phones, watches
  • Look at the clock. Time for school/ bed.
  • Ask your child to help with sorting – matching socks or putting things into fridge
  • Look at shapes. How many circles can you see in the kitchen? In the garden?
  • Draw attention to the days of the week and time of day; today, tomorrow, morning, night
  • Look at numbers on cars, buses, shops
  • Measure your child. How tall is he? Shoe size? Use words such as big/ small/narrow/ wide/ tall/ short
  • Play counting games such as Snakes and Ladders, Bingo, Hopscotch
  • Draw or make shapes. Circles, squares, straight, curved
  • Make a pretend shop. Use real or pretend money. How many? How much? What change did we get?

 Helping your child with maths in Junior Infants

  1. What your child is learning in school
  • Match objects that go together. (Shoes and socks, a pencil for each child)
  • Sort groups of objects. (Put all the blue blocks together).
  • Say the numbers 1 to 10 in the correct order counting forwards and backwards
  • Recognise the written numbers 1 to 5
  • Write the numbers 1 to 5
  • Tell at a glance the number of objects in a group up to 5
  • Add two groups of objects to a total of 5
  • Count how many are left in a group when some are taken away
  • Recognise and make simple patterns
  • Sort and names shapes such as square, circle, triangle, rectangle
  • Compare objects using words such as heavy and light, long and short, full and empty
  • Talk about time using words such as before and after, early and late, night and day
  • Recognise and use coins up to 5c
  1. How your child can learn at home
  • Sort toys into groups by colour/shape
  • Pick out a number for the day and look out for it when you go out.
  • Ask your child to get 2 apples and then 3 more. How many now?
  • Look for patterns on tiles or curtains
  • What day is today?
  • Encourage your child to count objects carefully by taking time to touch each item and saying the number name at the same time
  • Play dice games
  • Ask your child to help with the shopping. Which is the heaviest item?
  • Play shop. Price items up to 5c
  1. Talk about measurement

The language you use helps children to learn maths. When talking about weight, use words such as heavy, heavier, heaviest etc. If you are pouring water, talk about full and empty;

See www.ncca.ie/parents for more information about helping your child with maths.

Helping your child with maths in Senior Infants

  1. What your child is learning in school
  • Recognise the written numbers 0 – 10
  • Say the numbers 0 – 10 in the correct order. Use the word ‘zero’ for 0.
  • Write the numbers 0-10
  • Count the number of objects in a group and count how many are left when some objects are taken away
  • Add two groups of objects to make a total of 10
  • Start to use the symbols + and = to add groups of objects
  • Estimate the number of objects in a group
  • Recognise simple number patterns, 3,4,_, 6; 5, _, _, 2, 1.
  • Sort, describe and name 3-D shapes including cube, sphere, cylinder and cuboid
  • Compare objects using words such as heavy or light; heaviest or lightest; long or short
  • Recognise familiar times and read the clock in hours. Put daily or weekly events in order
  • Recognise coins up to 20 cents and use coins up to 10 cents.

 

  1. How your child can learn at home
  • Try counting in 2s up to 20.
  • Put items on a table. How many are there?
  • Talk about times and the clock. Put notices on fridge door. “Football 3pm on Tuesday”.
  • Look at numbers on the microwave, the remote control
  • Let the child handle money and work out change
  • Play board games with dice
  • Ask your child to help with the washing. Find the long trousers/ short trousers etc
  1. Talk about shapes and directions

Talk about shapes seen around the house. Corners, edges, curved, round and flat.

Use words such as under, over, beside, left, right.

See www.ncca.ie/parents for more information about helping your child with maths

Helping your child with maths in First Class

  1. What your child is learning in school
  • Read, write and order numbers from 0 – 99
  • Memorise number facts within 20
  • Add numbers without and with renaming within 99.

Example: Without renaming;     With renaming

43                                            36

+        44                         +                  25

77                                            61

  • Count in 2s, 5s and 10s
  • Develop an understanding of subtraction. I had 10 sweets. I ate 3. How many had I left?
  • Subtract numbers without renaming up to 99
  • Use the symbols, +,-, =
  • Recognise ½ of sets up to 20
  • Use language of spatial relations: between, underneath, on top of, around, through, left, right
  • Recognise the following 2-D shapes: square, rectangle, triangle, circle, semi-circle
  • Recognise the following 3-D shapes: cube, cuboid, cylinder and sphere
  • Measure lengths using metres
  • Weigh objects using kilograms
  • Measure liquids using litres
  • Read time in hours and half-hours using analogue clock
  • Read day, month, year using calendar
  • Recognise coins up to value of 50c
  • Represent data in two, three or four columns using real objects, models or pictures
  1. How your child can learn at home
  • Talk about numbers: 4 + 3 is the same as 3+ 4 etc
  • Encourage your child to add up coins
  • Encourage your child to look at weights of objects; measure distances using a measuring tape. Look at containers – how much do they hold?
  • Read times and use a calendar
  1. Talk about maths problems which use words and numbers

Maths Vocabulary

Addition

  • more than
  • altogether
  • total
  • sum
  • plus
  • add
  • increase
  • count forwards

Subtraction

  • rename
  • take away
  • less than
  • fewer
  • How may are left over?
  • What change will I get?
  • Difference
  • Leave
  • Minus
  • decrease

See www.ncca.ie/primaryparents for more information on helping children with their homework.

Helping your child with maths in Second Class

  1. What your child is learning at school
  • Read and write the numbers 0-200
  • Understand the value of numbers: the 4 in 54 means 4 units
  • Know and understand addition tables up to 20
  • Estimate answers to sums by getting ‘rough’ answers
  • Add and subtract numbers with a total less than 100
  • Rename or re-group numbers
  • Identify halves and quarters
  • Work out the next number in a pattern, 3, 5, 7, 9, _
  • Identify shapes such as square, rectangle circle, semi-circle, oval and cube, cuboid, cylinder, sphere and cone
  • Measure lengths using metres and centimetres; weigh objects using kilos, half-kilos and quarter kilos; measure liquids using litres, half-litres and quarter-litres
  • Read time in hours, half-hours and quarter-hours and use a calendar to find important dates
  • Recognise, exchange and use money up to €2

 How your child can learn at home

  • Understand addition tables up to 20. If a child knows 3+6 = 9; he should begin to understand that 6+3 = 9. Subtraction tables are also important: 9-3 = 6 and 9-6= 3. The four facts are: 3+6 = 9; 6+ 3 = 9; 9-3 = 6 and 9=6=3
  • Recognise, swap and use money
  • Ensure that maths homework is done. Follow methods which are used in school
  • Finding fractions of objects – ½ of a chocolate bar etc
  • Measuring activities
  • Read times and use a calendar

Talk about maths problems which use words and numbers

See www.ncca.ie/parentsprimary for a video on renaming. There is also a fact sheet on the NCCA site which gives information on the teaching of subtraction by renaming.

Helping your child with maths in Third Class

  1. What your child is learning at school

Number

  • Explore and identify place value in numbers, 0-999
  • Read, write and order three-digit numbers
  • Add and subtract numbers within 999
  • Know and recall addition and subtraction facts
  • Solve problems involving addition and subtraction
  • Develop and recall multiplication facts within 100
  • Multiply a one-digit or two-digit number by 0-10
  • Develop and recall division facts within 100
  • Divide a one-digit or two-digit number by a one-digit number by a one-digit number with and without remainders

Fractions and Decimals

  • Identify fractions with denominators 2, 4, 8 and 10
  • Identify tenths and express in decimal form

2-D, 3-D Shapes, Symmetry, Lines and Angles

  • Identify and describe the following 2-D shapes: square, rectangle, triangle, hexagon, circle, semi-circle, oval and irregular shapes
  • Identify and describe the following 3-D shapes: cube, cuboid, cylinder, cone, sphere, triangular prism, pyramid
  • Identify symmetry in the environment and in 2-D shapes
  • Identify and classify vertical, horizontal and parallel lines
  • Classify angles as >, < = to a right-angle

Measures

  • Estimate and compare objects using metres and centimetres
  • Estimate and weigh objects using kg and g
  • Estimate and record the capacity of a variety of objects using appropriate measures, l, ml.
  • Read time in 5 minute intervals on analogue and digital clocks
  • Rename amounts of euro and cents using symbols and decimal point
  • Solve and complete one-step problems and tasks involving addition and subtraction of money

Representing and interpreting data

  • Collect, organise and represent data using pictograms, block graphs and bar charts

Chance

  • Use vocabulary of chance – possible, impossible, might, certain, not sure
  • Identify and record outcomes of simple, random processes
  • Recognise, swap and use money

 How your child can learn at home

  • Help with the memorisation of number facts. It is of great assistance to a child if he knows multiplication tables
  • Ensure that maths homework is done. Follow methods which are used in school
  • Recognise, swap and use money
  • Finding fractions of objects – ½, ¼, 1/8, 1/10 of a chocolate bar etc
  • Look out for examples of the use of decimals – money, length, weight, capacity
  • Measuring activities – practical examples
  • Read time and use a calendar

 

  1. Talk about maths problems which use words and numbers

See www.ncca.ie/primaryparents for more information on helping children with their homework

Helping your child with maths in Fourth Class

  1. What your child is learning at school

Number

  • Explore and identify place value in numbers, 0 – 9999
  • Read, write and order four-digit numbers
  • Add and subtract numbers within 9999
  • Multiply a two-digit or three-digit number by a one or two-digit number
  • Use a calculator to check estimates
  • Divide a three digit number by a one digit number with or without remainders

Fractions and Decimals

  • Identify fractions with the denominators 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 and 12
  • Compare and order fractions
  • Express tenths and hundredths as decimals
  • Identify place value of whole numbers and decimals to two places
  • Order decimals on a number line
  • Add and subtract decimals up to 2 places
  • Multiply and divide decimal number up to 2 places by a single-digit whole number

2-D, 3-D Shapes, Symmetry, Lines and Angles

  • Identify and classify the following 2-D shapes: equilateral, isosceles and scalene triangles, parallelogram, rhombus, pentagon, octagon
  • Identify and classify the following 3-D shapes: : cube, cuboid, cylinder, cone, sphere, triangular prism, pyramid
  • Identify lines of symmetry in the environment
  • Identify lines of symmetry as horizontal, vertical or diagonal
  • Solve problems involving lines and angles

Measures

  • Estimate, compare and record lengths of a variety of objects using appropriate metric units
  • Rename units of length using decimal or fraction form
  • Estimate, compare and record weights of a variety of objects using appropriate metric units
  • Rename units of weight using decimal or fraction form
  • Estimate, compare and record capacity using appropriate metric units
  • Rename units of capacity using decimal or fraction form
  • Read time in one minute intervals on analogue or digital clock
  • Read and interpret simple time-tables
  • Rename minutes as hours and hours as minutes
  • Rename amounts of money as euro or cents and record using €symbol and decimal point

Representing and interpreting data

  • Collect, organise and represent data using pictograms, block graphs, bar charts and bar-line charts
  • Read and interpret simple pie charts involving use of ½, 1/3, ¼
  1. How your child can learn at home
  • Help with the memorisation of number facts. It is of great assistance to a child if he knows multiplication tables
  • Work with your child each night on some mental calculations
  • Ensure that maths homework is done. Follow methods which are used in school
  • Recognise, swap and use money
  • Finding fractions of objects – ½, ¼, 1/8, 1/10 of a chocolate bar etc
  • Look out for examples of the use of decimals – money, length, weight, capacity
  • Measuring activities – practical examples
  • Read time and use a calendar
  • Revise any new maths vocabulary

Chance

  • Use vocabulary of chance – likely, unlikely, never, definitely

See www.ncca.ie/parentsprimary for fact sheet on “Helping your child with Division”.

Maths Vocabulary

Multiplication                                         Division

  • Repeated addition Repeated subtraction
  • Times share equally
  • Groups of split
  • Double group into 2s, 3s,
  • Multiple of Remainder
  • Factor divisible by
  • Product divisors
  • Multiply dividend

Helping your child with maths in Fifth Class

  1. What your child is learning at school

Place Value and Operations

  • Read, write and order whole numbers and decimals
  • Estimate sums, differences, products and quotients of whole numbers
  • Divide a three digit number by a two digit number
  • Divide a decimal number by a whole number

Fractions, Decimals and Percentages

  • Compare and order fractions with denominators, 2-12
  • Add and subtract simple fractions and simple mixed numbers
  • Multiply a fraction by a whole number
  • Express tenths, hundredths and thousandths in decimal form
  • Develop an understanding of percentages and relate them to fractions and decimals
  • Compare and order fractions, decimals and percentages

Number Theory, Directed Numbers and Equations

  • Identify simple prime and composite numbers
  • Identify square and rectangular numbers
  • Identify factors and multiples
  • Identify positive and negative numbers in context
  • Solve one-step number sentences and equations

2-D, 3-D Shapes, Lines and Angles

  • Use angle and line properties to classify triangles and quadrilaterals
  • Identify the properties of a circle
  • Identify and examine 3-D shapes
  • Recognise, classify and describe angles and relate angles to shape and to environment
  • Estimate, measure and construct angles in degrees

Measures

  • Estimate and measure lengths using appropriate metric units
  • Estimate and measure the area of regular and irregular 2-D shapes
  • Estimate and weigh objects using appropriate metric units
  • Estimate and measure capacity using appropriate metric units
  • Read and interpret time-tables and the 24 hour clock
  • Compare value for money using unitary method

Representing and Interpreting Data

  • Read and interpret pictograms, single and multiple bar charts and pie charts
  • Compile and use simple data sets

Chance

  • Identify and list all possible outcomes of simple random processes
  • Construct and use frequency charts and tables
  1. How your child can learn at home
  • Practise tables
  • Work each night on some simple mental calculations
  • Ensure that maths homework is done. Follow methods which are used in school
  • Recognise, swap and use money
  • Finding fractions of objects
  • Look out for examples of the use of decimals – money, length, weight, capacity
  • Measuring activities – practical examples
  • Read time and use a calendar

Strategy for Problem-Solving in maths

RUDE

  • Read the problem (3 times) – what are you being asked to find?
  • Underline the key words – is it one-step or 2?
  • Draw a diagram of the problem – +, -, x or ÷ ?
  • Estimate your answer and then solve the problem

 

See www.ncca.ie site for glossary of mathematical terms to support the Mathematics Primary School Curriculum.

Helping your child with maths in Sixth Class

  1. What your child is learning at school

Place value and Operations

  • Read, write and order whole numbers and decimals
  • Round decimals to one, two, three places
  • Multiply a decimal by a decimal, with or without a calculator
  • Divide a four digit number by a two digit number
  • Divide a decimal number by a decimal with or without a calculator

Fractions, Decimals and Percentages

  • Compare and order fractions and identify equivalent forms of fractions
  • Add and subtract simple fractions and simple mixed numbers
  • Multiply a fraction by a fraction
  • Divide a whole number by a unit fraction
  • Use percentages and relate them to decimals and fractions
  • Solved problems relating to profit and loss, discount, VAT, interest, increases and decreases

Number Theory, Directed Numbers and Equations

  • Identify simple prime and composite numbers
  • Identify and explore square numbers
  • Identify common factors and multiples
  • Write whole numbers in exponential form
  • Add simple positive and negative numbers on the number line
  • Know simple properties and rules about brackets
  • Identify and discuss simple formulae – a = l x w; D = 2 x R
  • Solve one-step number sentences and equations

2-D Shapes S, 3-D Shapes, Lines and Angles

  • Construct triangles from given sides or angles
  • Construct a circle of a given radius or diameter
  • Identify and examine 3-D shapes
  • Recognise angles in terms of a rotation
  • Estimate, measure and construct angles in terms of degrees
  • Explore the sum of angles in a quadrilateral

Measures

  • Select and use appropriate units of measurement
  • Estimate and measure perimeters of regular and irregular shapes
  • Calculate the area of regular and irregular 2-D shapes
  • Measure the surface area of specified 3-D shapes
  • Calculate area using ares and hectares
  • Find the volume of a cuboid experimentally
  • Explore international time zones
  • Explore the relationship between time, distance and average speed
  • Convert other currencies to euro and vice versa

Data

  • Collect, organise and represent data using pie charts and trend graphs
  • Explore and calculate averages of simple data sets
  • Use data sets to solve problems

Chance

  • Identify and list all possible outcomes of simple random processes
  • Construct and use frequency charts and tables
  1. How your child can learn at home
  • Practise tables
  • Work each night on some simple mental calculations
  • Ensure that maths homework is done. Follow methods which are used in school
  • Recognise, swap and use money
  • Finding fractions of objects
  • Look out for examples of the use of decimals – money, length, weight, capacity
  • Measuring activities – practical examples
  • Read time and use a calendar

Strategy for Problem-Solving in maths

RUDE

  • Read the problem (3 times) – what are you being asked to find?
  • Underline the key words – is it one-step or 2?
  • Draw a diagram of the problem – +, -, x or ÷ ?
  • Estimate your answer and then solve the problem

 See www.ncca.ie site for glossary of mathematical terms to support the Mathematics Primary School Curriculum.

Assessment

Senior Infants

Drumcondra Tests of Early Numeracy (DTEN)

There are two separate tests. DTEN-S and DTEN-D

DTEN-S

This is a screening test which is used to identify pupils who may be having difficulties with maths. It is administered to groups of 10 and takes about 40 minutes to administer.

DTEN-D

This test is recommended for pupils who have attained low scores on the DTEN-S. It is administered individually and takes about 45 minutes.

These tests are usually administered in May/ June, and the results are used to inform the end of year report.

First to Sixth Classes

Many different ways are used by teachers to build a profile of a child’s learning.  It may be done by observing a child at work, by questioning a child during a lesson, by giving short tests to a child, by correcting written work, by listening to a child’s explanation of opinions and/ or ideas and by completing standardised tests. Each element of these procedures enables a teacher to celebrate a child’s achievements and to plan the next steps which are needed to build on progress already made.

Standardised tests in maths are completed in May/ June of each year. A standardised text compares a child’s achievement in maths to other children in all schools in Ireland at the same class or age level.

What do the results mean?

The results are reported as Standard Scores or STEN scores. Standard Scores usually go from 55 to 145, while STEN scores go from 1 to 10.

Standard score What the score means STEN What the score means
130 and above Very high 8-10 Well above average
120 -129 High
110-119 High average 7 High average
90-109 Average 5-6 Average
80-89 Low average 4 Low average
70-79 Low 1-3 Well below average
Below 70 Very low

What does a Low Score Mean?

A Standard Score of below 80 or a STEN of 1, 2, or 3 suggests that a child may have difficulties in maths. Other tests may be required to determine if this is the case. A teacher may suggest that a child would benefit from extra support.

How can parents help their children?

In addition to the tips which have already been given in this document, the NCCA has developed online resources to help parents to support their child’s learning in primary school. Many of these resources are available in various languages and are on www.ncca.ie/parents.

Websites

www.scoilnet.ie

www.mathletics.co.uk  (Subscription required)

www.topicbox.org.uk

www.beam.co.uk

www.nzmaths.co.nz

www.counton.org

www.bbc.co.uk.schools/websites/4-11/site/numeracy.shtml

[1] NCCA, Information for Parents: Helping your young child with maths.