“Useful and informative, good to learn about the different strategies”, “Knowing what my child is learning about and how we can help him at home”, “Learning about the strategies used – different to what we are used to”, “The enthusiasm of the teachers” – were just a few of the comments from parents when asked what they enjoyed at the Maths Workshop held at Pilling Primary School on Tuesday, 1 October 2013.

With just over 30 parents in attendance, the workshop was led by Mrs Carol Youde and was the result of enquiries from some parents who found they did not always understand the Maths strategies their children were doing in their homework exercises.

The aim of the workshop was:

• To make parents aware of the different methods/ strategies taught in each year group for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and,
• To show parents how they could give support with Maths at home.

The evening started with a fun but stimulating, group ‘Number Challenge’ activity. All groups were under pressure to score the most points in only a few minutes. Competition was fierce and there was much laughter, with a few rather surprising but questionable Maths skills coming through.

Parents then moved into the different year groups, where Class Teachers and Teacher Assistants demonstrated methods/strategies of the four basic rules of number for their specific year group. Parents were shown the practical activities that were linked to the written methods so that children would have a better understanding as to why they were doing the different strategies. Children are taught various strategies for each rule of number so that they have a choice and can then use the strategy that they are most confident with.

The evening was rounded off with a discussion and examples on the fact that ‘Maths is Everywhere.’ Parents were encouraged to use the many opportunities to teach and reinforce Maths with their child/children.

Carol Youde, Advanced Skills Teacher
Education and Employment Directorate
8 October 2013

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