Best tips for helping your child with math!

bad at maths

Best tips for helping your child with math

Doing math homework is sometimes challenging not only for children but for their parents as well. However, if a child asks us for help, we must respond. How can you help if you finished school twenty years ago and remember nothing from the math course? Here
we offer several tips for making it easier for you.

Tip 1: Make a Schedule

Setting specific timing when doing homework with elementary students is crucially important. They must be aware of this time and be prepared. One should comply with this rule not only when doing math homework, but homework on other disciplines as well. Its duration should not exceed half-time spent in class – around 20-25 minutes. A child will be more alert and concentrated if he/she had enough rest after school lessons and ate well.

 

Boy incorrectly decisive simple mathematical example

 

Tip 2: Avoid Doing Homework Instead of Your Child

Some parents are tempted to complete math homework instead of their children for saving time. However, this will do more harm than good. It would be better to ask your child whether he/she understands what the initial problem is. Experiences have shown that in 90% of all cases children merely don’t understand the problem. If the problem is clarified, but your child can’t extract the meaning from your explanations, write a note to your child’s teacher asking him/her to provide an explanation in class.

Tip 3: Respect Math Program and Demonstrate It

The majority of parents are not professors. Only a few of them are doing great in this discipline. However, showing that you value the program will help to develop respect to math in your children. As a rule, children copy the actions of their parents. By showing respect you can encourage them to learn this discipline in-depth. You can also show your interest and practice math when you both have some free time: on your way to school or
coming back after classes. It’s also important to create a positive atmosphere around math at home and school. Maybe you will need to talk about it with your child’s teacher. Math homework help must not be only homework help, it should rather be an object of interest.

Tip 4: Talk to Your Child’s Teacher Regularly

By building relationships with your child’s teacher you will be able to control your child’s knowledge and directly ask for help if needed. It would be great if you meet with the math teacher at least three times per the semester to ensure better classroom connection.

Tip 5: Find Math Homework Help Online

You can find math homework online if you failed to solve the problem independently. Parents who solved the same math tasks before often place their solutions online. So, you can browse the internet and find a solution of your task if you tried to solve the problem during five hours without success. However, don’t overuse this tip as it can become a bad habit with time. We hope you find our tips useful and now you can help your child to get better grades on math.

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5 Reasons to Learn Java in school and Why It Rocks!

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5 Reasons to Learn Java and Why It Rocks

Are you dreaming to have a successful career in IT and wondering which programming language is the best to start with? Learning to program opens up endless opportunities, and there are lots of programming languages to choose from. A good idea is to learn Java which has proved that it’s one of the best programming languages around over the course of more than 20 years. Read on to learn about the most important reasons why you should learn Java programming.

 

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Java Is Easy to Learn

Actually, it’s one of the top reasons to learn Java. The language has an easy syntax with not many magic characters so you if you become familiar with the key concepts and procedures, you will be able to write a program in Java. There are tons of online resources that can help you in the learning process but be ready to work hard and focus on coding if you want to become a Java expert.

It’s common knowledge that students who study computer sciences usually don’t like writing essays which they have to complete to graduate with a degree. Learning to code requires much time and effort, and numerous essays and term papers make students feel overwhelmed and lead to a stressful college experience. Luckily, there are online writing agencies and ordering sample papers on a reliable website can be a good solution to relieve stress and have more time to focus on the subjects that really matter.

Lots of Jobs Opportunities

Java is widely used in the real world. According to the TIOBE index for July 2018, Java is the most popular programming language so it continues to create jobs in the tech industry. Java programming skills are in great demand almost everywhere. Java is platform independent and can work on anything from smartphones to Kindle e-readers, cars, medical devices and much more. It enables cloud development within the IoT and for enterprising in different industries. This feature attracts lots of new development. Java programmers outnumber any other programming language professionals, and they are among the highest paid programmers with an average salary of $69,722 in a year’s time.

It Is Open Source

We all like free things. Java is free so developers don’t have to pay anything to create Java applications. Costs are very important if an organization wants to use a technology or when you want to learn a programming language. Anyone can build and execute applications absolutely free with Java. This feature helped Java become popular among large organizations and individual programmers.

Java has a great collection of open source libraries contributed by Google, Apache, and other organizations. These libraries make Java development fast, cost-effective, and easy. There are also frameworks like Maven, Struts, and Spring.

Java Community

There are more than 10 million Java developers in the world, and this strong and thriving community continues to grow. There are a lot of active forums, Stack Overflow, different Java users groups, where beginners and advanced programmers can get free help from community experts. As a newcomer, you can always get free advice from experienced programmers.

Rich API

It’s the crucial factor behind Java’s success. Java is highly flexible and provides API for almost everything – utilities, networking, database connection, I/O, XML parsing. Java has a powerful IDE that makes development fluent, easier, and faster. NetBeans and Eclipse make coding in Java a pleasant experience. You can get everything you need if you couple Java with a wide variety of tools supported by the open source ecosystem – JconSole, decompilers, ANT, and Maven for creating Java applications, Visual VM for checking Heap usage, and more.

 

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How you can find a cheap online content writer

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How you can find a cheap online content writer

In this modern age, it is very essential to find a qualified and knowledgeful online cheap article writers that make an excellent quality article by using proper grammar rules and following all given instructions by the client. There are many online cheap writers that create an article and of these writers, you will find varying levels of writing skills, vocabulary, punctuations and grammar usage. Before entering into a contract with any writer you should ensure that they have the proper skills you are looking for and produce the type of quality work that your company requires.

In 2108 if you are looking for a specific type of writer then you need to be as specific as you can in your advertisement. Sometimes many clients want articles in other languages. A linguistic has a firm grip on different languages at the same time. If your articles are written in English then you should state that you are looking for native English speakers. Usually, customers required articles in English, without any permission you can visit writer cheap online for quality English writers to enhance the level of your content.

There are few suggestions for cheap article writers:

Quality articles will always be worth the price whereas substandard work will use additional time and money, more than originally anticipated. Price and quality are not mutually exclusive but it is possible to get desired work in your desired price range.

Most of the self-employed writers take pride in their work and want to produce articles that are of good quality so that you will want to continue using their services. There are some writers that do not take as much pride in their work and those are the ones to be on the watch for. Quoting a cheap price does not mean you will get good work at a low price, it may mean that you are just getting a low rate. If you have to deal with a writer that has writing problems then you or your customers may spend additional time fixing mistakes and checking work.

Time frame is one the alarming problem for online writers and their customers. It is mandatory to give a proper timeline to writers to accomplish their tasks for writing the content. Most companies require writers to submit some kind of writing sample. They may request the writer to write them a test article or to rewrite a short article following specific instructions. They usually include a deadline, as many companies do need a quick turn over, within 24 hours. Companies will usually select a few individuals to send in writing examples and then chose the one that best fits their needs.

Your substance essayist ought to likewise make sure to embed interfaces on your substance pieces. This ought to be done to encourage web-based promoting, as in any guest that odds upon your site by means of the articles beaten by your substance essayist could very well turn out to be keen on your specific line of business. A proficient substance author would know how to do this with the assistance of substance administration framework devices. Being Internet-sharp is without a doubt amazingly, one more quality you should search for in your substance author. With these characteristics joined, your independent substance essayist will have what it takes to make your site the most read in your specific speciality.

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Differentiated Instruction in the Math Classroom

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Differentiated Instruction in the Math Classroom

Differentiating in the math classroom is a must for teachers who want to engage their students and shift math learning from passive to active.  Gone are the days where the math teacher worked problems on a chalkboard in front of a class and the students watched from their rows of desks and then silently practised sample problems.  The age-old I-do, we-do, you-do is not enough to reach today’s learners.  Direct instruction leaves minimal room for differentiation, so in order to meet the needs of all learners consider constructing lessons that incorporate the following types of learning – and check out Study.com’s new differentiated instruction hub for a host of practical and useful resources for differentiating in schools.  Your students will thank you!

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Authentic

The long-standing question in the math classroom is: “When am I ever going to use this?”  And students are right to ask this question.  As teachers, if we’re not connecting the learning to practical applications, we’re only teaching part of math. Understanding math is more than crunching numbers to arrive at an answer.  It is crucial to engagement and comprehension that students understand the function, use, and purpose of math in order to attain success at higher levels of math.  Make math authentic by including real-world connections in your instruction.  For example, what careers are your students interested in pursuing?  Making math relevant to those careers is particularly authentic. Also, make learning meaningful to students by connecting to their interests outside of school.  Baseball stats or money are motivating and differentiating for some students.  Use this to your advantage.  Much of math is abstract; make it concrete for students by teaching the connections between math and our world.

Active

Math isn’t seen as fun for many students because it’s not taught in a way that’s active.  Teacher instructs, models, and then students practice.  A more effective way to meet student needs is to have them collaborate and problem solve.  When introducing a new topic, put students into groups and encourage them to use what skills they already know to solve the problem.  When a group comes up with the answer, they can show their classmates the steps they took.  If no one is able to come up with the correct answer, use their methods to lead a class discussion about why none of the ideas worked.  Brainstorm what the next steps could be to solve.  When necessary, direct instruction can act as the key to unlock impediments to problem-solving.

Hands On

Math is all about numbers.  Getting students’ hands-on items that represent numbers is a great way to engage and differentiate for learners.  Physically manipulating items or arranging laminated numbers for a problem is a great way to help students think about math differently.  For some students, the concreteness of realia is what’s needed to make learning stick.  Seeing, holding, and manipulating numbers takes them off the page and engages a different type of learner.  Even foldables are effective for approaching math content in a more hands-on way.

Make your math instruction accessible and effective for all learners by differentiating.  Include authentic, active, and hands-on learning in your lessons to meet the needs of learners with different abilities, learning preferences, and backgrounds.

Check out the new differentiated instruction hub at Study.com for practical, useful ideas and resources. And as a little giveaway to our readers, if you like their stuff you can use the promo code StudyComTeacherDiffPromo to get 20% off the first three months of their teacher plan!

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Financial aid shouldn’t be based on income!

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Financial aid shouldn’t be based on income

Many schoolchildren heard from their peers or teachers that it is possible to study free of charge at a prestigious university and, at the same time, to receive money. But for the most people, it remains a mystery how to get a scholarship or a grant for education. Mainly, there are two types of financial aids: for children from low-income families and for students with high academic achievement. Prevailing part of experts consider the second type to
be fairer because it provides for a direct relationship between the work of the student and the reward. Such a natural selection allows bringing to the forefront the most capable, talented guys and girls, to motivate them for further work.
It’s no secret that teenagers with excellent marks feel very depressed when educational institutions and authorities do not pay attention to them and direct all finances to orphans and kids whose parents earn little. Luckily, today, universities provide enough rewards based on talent and purposefulness. Let’s talk about what to do to get such financial aid.

Who conducts scholarship and grant programs?

In most cases, financial aid for students is provided by:

  • universities that initiate research in a particular industry;
  • the country’s governing bodies or regional representations;
  • Department of Education;
  • private firms that are interested in finding specialists;
  • charitable funds, which cover their educational activities.

Who can pretend to a scholarship or a grant?

First of all, a student needs to understand that the times when only people of brilliant knowledge or children from rich families could study at prestigious universities have already passed. It is necessary to learn that personal abilities in combination with desire and motivation give an opportunity to absolutely all students to take part in beneficial educational programs. As practice shows, committees choose those participants who are among 10% of the best students of a university, take an active part in the conferences and forums, have experience in their speciality, write scientific articles and publish them.

Universal requirements for a candidate for a financial aid
It is difficult but quite real to get a scholarship or a grant that would cover 100% of the cost of education. This requires serious preparation of a student for participation in the program, as well as high academic indicators and active out-of-university development. It's easier to get a
scholarship that covers half of the cost of education. In this case, the requirements are lower, but the costs for housing and food are not included in the amount of financial aid. In general, a candidate can expect to receive a scholarship or a grant if he meets the following
basic criteria:

  • high marks achieved at school and university;
  • participation in competitions and contests;
  • the average score of the certificate not below the level "good" – the mark itself depends on the educational institution and the speciality;
  • high achievements in sports, volunteering, scientific research, creativity, etc.;
    possession of several languages;
  • availability of good characteristics from teachers.

Relying on these requirements, a candidate can assess his chances to receive a scholarship or a grant. As a rule, the list of mandatory criteria is set by the initiator of the funding.

How to get a scholarship: the necessary documents

The collection of documents is a very important stage in the process of applying for a scholarship program. It is worth preparing for it in advance and carefully check all the information. It depends on the correctness of the submitted data, whether the members of the committee will take your candidature for consideration.

So, an approximate list of the necessary documents is as follows:
1. Written application for participation in the program.
2. Autobiography and CV with a full description of the candidate’s achievements.
3. A motivation letter which answers the question: “Why should you become the owner of a scholarship or a grant?”
4. 2 or more letters of recommendation from your mentors with their contact data(teachers/employers).
5. Copies of educational documents (certificates).
6. Other documents that are specified in the program description.

How long does a scholarship or a grant program last?

Scholarship programs for students can be designed for different periods: the shortest – 2 weeks of stay abroad, the longest – 3 years in a foreign or native university. It should be understood that a grant or a scholarship cannot be postponed. Financial aids are issued for a certain period of time.
Also, remember that it is not enough just to become a participant in the scholarship program. You will not receive regular payments if your academic performance will deteriorate. Marks should always be perfect. This is a rather difficult task, especially for young people who plan to
combine education with work.

Sometimes, it’s better to contact the specialists of the reliable essay writing service with a request “Do my homework” than to lose control over a situation and to be deprived of payments for the next semester because of the one paper submitted to a teacher with a delay.

Resources for the search for scholarship programs

How to get a scholarship and where to find information about it? These are the most popular questions from students. If you are looking for such offers on your own, look through the official websites of the universities where you would like to study. If you did not find the necessary information about scholarships and grants there, contact the department of financial support of the educational institution. When searching for worthy offers abroad, visit the websites of the government authorities of the country where you want to travel for study. For example, proposals on scholarships or grants for foreign students can be placed on official pages of the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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What is the EdX Coin?

What is the EdX Coin?

Click here for more information on the EdX project.

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Using Tech in the Math Classroom with Study.com

Using Tech in the Math Classroom with Study.com

Teaching math calls to mind college-ruled notebooks filled with numbers, symbols, and problem sets copied from a textbook. Math is often seen as a formulaic subject that requires memorization of certain concepts such as multiplication tables or repetitive practice to learn how to do problems like long division, algebra, or calculus. Whether you are a specialized math teacher in a middle school or high school or an elementary school teacher who teaches basic arithmetic, you can benefit from a host of lessons, quizzes, and activities offered by Study.com to help students with learning math. Here are some of the major advantages of using the Study.com platform in your math classroom and how you can make math more engaging for your students.

Use videos to help explain difficult concepts in the classroom.

Study.com offers engaging online math lessons in topics including math for kids, pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, statistics, calculus, business math, and more. The platform’s 5-10 minute video lessons are an effective way of starting a class to generate interest in the topic, or they can be used toward the middle of a lesson to show a concept put into practice. For example, animations can help students more easily visualize fractions by using slices of pie or demonstrate probability through experiments with rolling a pair of dice.
While in a typical lecture setting, the teacher typically goes through a math problem only once, students can watch the problem-solving process over and over again on a video until they understand it. Videos can either be watched in class or assigned for homework.

Use virtual classroom tools to reinforce student learning at home.

Virtual Classrooms are often used as homework platforms that incorporate teacher feedback, analytics, and personalized learning. Teachers can assign text and video lessons for students to watch at home and online homework quizzes to complete in order to check comprehension. Teachers can also notice if a large percentage of the class is struggling with a certain concept, homework problem, or means of showing their work, and can address it in class before the exam.
Assignments through virtual classrooms also enable scaffolding, so students who require extra help can receive different problem sets than students who might be more advanced in math. For elementary students in particular, the ability to watch lesson videos and have additional text-based lessons that aren’t based on the notes they took in class makes it easier for parents to be involved in the homework process and help them with problem sets or watch their progress.

Enhance your own teaching skills with our certification prep materials.

Teachers seeking additional training or official certification can make use of Study.com’s preparation materials and study guides for Praxis, FTCE, TExES, and more. Like the math courses geared toward students, Study.com’s certification materials include a variety of media, including videos, text lessons, flashcards, and practice tests, to help you gain and retain knowledge. Designed with your busy schedule in mind, Study.com’s certification prep is both comprehensive and accessible from any device with internet access.

By bringing multimedia into a field not typically known for it, you can distinguish your math class from your students’ experiences with math and provide a well-rounded educational environment. Sign up for Study.com today to gain access to math videos, online quizzes, lesson plans and more to bring your classroom to the next level.

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How to Write a Great Essay – 6 Useful Tips

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Useful Tips for Easy Essay Writing and Proofreading

Discover Experts’ Piece of Advice on How to Write Essays and Research Papers Easily. Order Different Papers Cheap and Fast. How to Make a Great Essay.

How to Write a Great Essay – 6 Useful Tips

Have you ever written an essay? We are sure that most of you will say yes. But was it easy rather than challenging? Probably, yes. That is because many students have no clue how to write a perfect essay to impress their teacher or they just write all essays using a template without any interest in the process.

Actually, you have to understand that essay writing can be even exciting if you have motivation. And when you have support, everything becomes more pleasant. You can ask a friend, teacher or college for help. Moreover, all resources on the Internet are working for you, and UK essay buy are always ready to offer a high-quality essay for a reasonable price. Different situations can happen in life, but you still can count on a paper writing service to make your life easier.

Choose an Interesting Topic

The topic is the base of your whole essay. If something goes wrong at this stage, that doesn’t bode well. So, you should be very serious when you are choosing a topic and think carefully about it. You have to be burning with ideas and be excited. Otherwise, you will be dreaming about the end of this torment.

 

If you hesitate and don’t know which topic you have to pick, define the purpose of the paper. Is it informative or persuasive? Choose the best one and start from there. Pick something you know really well if it is an informative essay. Go with the topic you are passionate about to write a great persuasive paper. It will help you to make the right choice.

Make an Outline

Good planning is key to success. It will save time and help you to organize work. Moreover, you won’t forget anything crucial, if you write it down. Let’s see how to do it easily:

 

  • Write down the main topic at the top of a page
  • Point your thoughts below, but leave space under each one
  • Add in smaller ideas associated with the main ones

 

After that, you can add more and more suggestions to develop your topic fully. Remember that you have to find strong arguments and support them with corresponding evidence. Only in this way, your essay will be successful.

Follow the Structure

There are three main parts in every essay: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Depending on the type or the paper, there can be an abstract, citation list or references as well.

 

  • The introduction. The aim of this paragraph is to grab the reader’s attention and introduce the main thesis.
  • The body. It is 3-4 paragraphs long, where you have to develop the main topic, provide evidence, discuss or explain, depending on your aim.
  • The conclusion. This paragraph summarizes all arguments and restates the main claim.

 

So, you see that there is a pretty easy structure, which you have to follow. Remember, that all their parts have to be logically related.

Read Similar Essays

If you don’t know where to start or what to say, you can read other essays. It can help you to understand your topic better. You can pick some interesting information or make a presentation. It will prompt how to find the right structure if you hesitate.

It doesn’t mean that you have to copy someone’s paper, but it can hint you. You should remember that everybody loves unique papers. Moreover, your paper will be checked for plagiarism. So, if you want to save your time and nerves, don’t plagiarize someone’s else essay.

Quote Good Authority

You have to show that you have read a lot of literature and resources to conduct this research. Quotations is a good way to prove it. Furthermore, a quote of some famous person can be used as an additional argument. It will be a great decision to support your ideas with authority ideas, especially if they are aligned.

If you write an essay on physics, quote Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton to impress your teacher and so on. It is a great way to stand out.

Proofread Carefully

Remember that you should proofread your essay, anyway. Many students have lost their high grades because of simple mistakes. Therefore, it would be better to read it even a couple of times. If you have someone, who can do it instead of you, do it! You can skip your own mistakes, but another person would see them. Moreover, you can use an online service which can check your paper for mistakes.

So, here we are, now you know how to make your essay really good. Follow these pretty simple tips, and you won’t regret it. Without a doubt, you will definitely succeed at studying, because writing will become like an interesting funny game instead of a boring torture!

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WOW! Bitcoin and Litecoin! Magical Educator accepts digital currency as a payment method

spend bit coin accepted here

WOW! Bitcoin and Litecoin! Magical Educator now accepts digital currency  as a payment method

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We are pleased to announce that as of February 2018, Magical Educator will be accepting Digital currency for all forms of payment. Primarily we will be accepting Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Etherium but plan to accept others in the near future. Please contact info@magicalmaths.org for more information about payment URLs and for commercial inquiries.

All payments will be manual but we are working on an automated system to help users pay more conveniently.

Thank you for all the kind words and donations so far.

All donations are welcome.

LTC: LQ6m1ReGnGPn6Ds9XC53VJSRAjogb9joJU

BTC: 19cLLvdTeiGH1QNWk69rr4xGdfV5wMX7hZ

ETH: 0x7ff080111bF8bd4eB6bF1Aa51058830716873509

 

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Top Ten Places to Spend Accept your BitCoin BTC

spend bit coin accepted here

Top Ten Places to Spend or Accept your BitCoin BTC

I tend to like to keep hold of my bitcoin but I guess some of you may have made some profits and want to spend some of your profits. Also for the newbies, you probably want to know that there is a way to withdraw and spend some of your money.

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Teaching Algebra from Primary to Secondary

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#teammagicaleducator @MrLsMathsApps

Algebra from Primary to Secondary

In the new (well it’s been taught for a few years now) primary curriculum for maths there was an interesting new addition: Algebra. In the past, I have taught it to those higher ability children in a roundabout way without being totally explicit that it was algebra as I did not want to scare them off. Algebra was seen amongst children as one of those topics that the tutors taught if you were going for the 11+ (grammar school entrance exams). I do remember teaching it a bit more explicit way back in the time of levels to my level 6 booster group (yes we did do such as thing in my last school), most of whom panicked as they had never really quite understood it when learning it for their grammar test and often froze when facing questions with ‘unknows’ (algebra) in them.

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Fast forward 5 years and I have been back in Year 6 a while and wondering how best mathematically to introduce algebra. After careful thinking, I decided it was best to build up slowly from missing numbers in calculations to pictures representing numbers and then onto letters. I found that this approach in the class I was teaching worked well (even with my very bad drawings for pictures representing numbers). Children were very receptive and commented that ‘It’s just like using my number knowledge for pictures and letters’. Again, proving how important it is that children have secure and confident number knowledge.

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Keeping algebra fun and linked to real life is not quite so obvious to 10 and 11-year-olds. They understood pictures – which could easily link to shopping for different items which all had different costs. However, letters and real life were not quite such an obvious link to real life. That was the question in the SATs paper last year linking the time it took to cook a chicken to letters so that children could prove that they could write a formula. And post-test, most children who talked to me about that question commented that their parents just read the back of the ‘ready roast bag’ and they never saw them doing maths….

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For me, the hardest part of algebra for children has always been sequenced. If children see links between numbers they can continue patterns and find missing numbers but don’t get the relevance of finding the nth term. This I have found is all about confidence. So, if you build children up from spotting patterns, continuing sequences and then talk about how to explain a sequence you can make good links to writing formula. Again, this is the approach I have recently taken to this topic of algebra and it makes better sense to children than jumping in with find the 10th, 100th and then nth number in a sequence.

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As a mathematician, I have always enjoyed simplifying expressions. This topic of algebra to be in straightforward and can be introduced early on in algebra to children. However, in the curriculum, this is saved until KS3.

All of my ideas and experience from above culminated in the creation of my latest app: Astro Algebra which both aims to teach children about different topics in algebra and be an enjoyable space-themed game! The app follows my logical thinking of building up each topic (almost with no mention of algebra) to grow the children’s confidence and then drip feeds in the algebra so that they develop a good understanding of that topic.
My current year 6 class, who have been the trialists, want to learn more algebra on their own so that they can become quicker and complete all the levels. The competitive edge and game element often results in the children overcoming the fear of algebra as they all just call ask ‘Can we play the space maths again?’. So to them, algebra is nothing complicated or a bit of maths they can’t do, it is just a new area of maths where they get to apply their number skills. With my app, most of them are starting to love the idea of algebra as it is ‘grown up and fun maths’ which they are no longer struggling with.

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You can check out the app below:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/astro-algebra/id1278960520?mt=8

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How can you make Maths engaging?

Children will forget what they learn - unless regularly reminded

#teammagicaleducator ashleym.94

How can you make Maths engaging?

In my experience maths is a subject that people either love or hate, personally I love maths. I love manipulating numbers, finding answers and having that feeling that I ‘know’ something.
A lot of children are bored by maths, this is something that really frustrates me! Maths is a subject that can create curiosity, you just have to ask the right questions. If a teacher’s maths lessons consist solely of using a textbook and working in books it is no wonder that children are bored. If you give children a challenge, usually, they step up to the challenge and are really engaged. It doesn’t matter if the lesson goes slightly off plan because as long as children are interested they will learn. Learning in maths does not start with counting or knowing addition sums, it starts with engaging children and creating that ‘spark’.

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In a previous placement I was working with a group of HA children on one more and one less. I began with one digit numbers and quickly moved onto two digit numbers. Whilst 6 of the children were interested and were using the resources provided to manipulate I noticed two children were talking. I stopped and asked what they were talking about. One child replied “She thinks that 100 – 1 = 99 and I think she’s wrong I think its 199″. My favourite reply to the class at the time was ‘prove it’ so I asked him to prove he was right and she was wrong, so he did. The rest of the group carried on with my planned task, including the girl who had made the statement and the other child set about collecting resources that he might need (a felt tip, some counters and a piece of paper). My group quickly finished the task and went off to join in the other activities that were going on in the classroom. 15 minutes later I noticed the child was still working on proving he was right. He was drawing squares, counting them and scratching his head before carrying on, this continued for a while longer, but he was still engrossed in it. I left him to it and began working with another group and halfway through the next activity I got a tap on my shoulder. He had his piece of paper in his hand (it had the question on it, 100 squares and one was crossed through) and said to me that he had finished working it out and he had realised the other girl was right. He was a little disappointed that he was wrong but I asked him if he had learnt anything new, he had of course, and told him that he should be pleased that he had learnt something new, this cheered him up a little. He then went and found the girl and told her that he had found out that she was right.

I wasn’t really bothered whether he was right or wrong in the end, or how he had worked it out. I was more in awe of him because he came up with the question without input from an adult, he went and found the resources that he thought would help him to find an answer and then he sat at a table for more than 30 minutes concentrating in the midst of a chaotic classroom with 29 other children doing different activities and wasn’t distracted, he found the answer, realised he was wrong at the start, admitted this and congratulated the other child on being correct.

And he was proud of himself because he had ‘proven it’.

He may not have completed the planned activity, but in those 30 minutes he was learning, engaged and enjoying what he was doing, he had that ‘spark’.

Children say they are rubbish at maths. No child is rubbish at maths every single child has an ability in maths, it is just that some children do not associate what they know with maths as a school subject, but if you can get that spark, create a bit of interest and engagement children will come to realise they are not rubbish at maths, but they are children and they need to be excited about what they are learning to realise that they are good at maths.

Posted in G Post, Mathematics

Who is the Secret Walker in your classroom?

Secret Walker 2

#teammagicaleducator @samschoolstuff

Who is the Secret Walker in your classroom?

Let’s get this straight from the start, what follows is not my original idea. Like most teachers, I consciously and unconsciously soak up ideas from colleagues, the internet and, well, anywhere really. I only wish I could give full credit to the person who I got this idea from (who probably got it from someone else anyway) but the source is lost in the mists of time…

Secret Walker 2

So, Secret Walker. It’s a pretty simple idea and its success basically hinges on choosing the right person to be the first Secret Walker. Once you get it up and running you can use lolly sticks, or a random name generator or even go all old school and just tick names off a list when they’ve had a go. But the choice of your first Secret Walker is crucial because it has to be someone you know can pull it off. If not the whole thing falls flat on its face leaving you with two equally unsatisfactory options – either “let them off” and give out the prize anyway, undermining the entire idea, or refuse to name the Secret Walker, thus setting it up as an impossible task.

Secret Walker couldn’t be simpler to set up (one of the reasons I like it so much). You need a writing implement, a small piece of paper and some kind of whole class reward. That’s it. The rules are equally simple. It works well from Year 1 up, although towards the end of Year 6 they do tend to roll their eyes a bit.

Here’s how to play.

One person is chosen by an adult to be the Secret Walker. That person’s name is written on a piece of paper which is folded up and pinned up on a display board, out of reach. On the first game, you need to set aside a couple of minutes to explain the concept, after that, they usually ask “Can we play Secret Walker?” as soon as you line them up.

Once the class is ready to leave the room, say “Secret Walker starts now.” and the game is on.

Naturally, the children are expected to conform to the normal expectations about moving around the school, taking part in assembly etc. If the Secret Walker’s behaviour is of the required standard for the entire time the class is out of the classroom, the whole class gets a reward. At our school it’s house points, could equally be a marble in a jar or whatever reward system you are using.

On returning to the classroom, I usually favor an X factor style reveal, insisting on complete silence and an over-long pause to build the tension. I then ask the Secret Walker to confirm that they have indeed walked silently down the corridor, listened in assembly, etc. (of course I know they have because I’ve been watching them), before awarding everyone the prize of 5 shiny housepoints.

You’ve no doubt spotted the flaw in this plan. What if the Secret Walker has a chat in the corridor? What if they spend the entire assembly pulling the plaits of the child in front? What if, heaven forfend, they have to be moved by a member of staff?

In the event that the Secret Walker doesn’t manage it, I rip up the piece of paper and put it in my pocket. Not the bin, as that gives someone the opportunity to fish it out and be unkind. I say that unfortunately, the Secret Walker didn’t manage to be quiet while moving around the school and therefore no one gets a reward today. I never name the Secret Walker (I say never, it’s only ever happened once).

Since I mentioned this game online (in an interview with  @bbcTeaching  ) I’ve had a really positive response. I think there is plenty of potential for using this idea in other contexts. @LMisselle1 has already suggested a Secret Talker. If you like this idea, please take it, adapt it and make it work for you.
Sam is a primary teacher in Devon and the founder of schoolwell.co.uk. Should you want to, you can usually find her on twitter – @samschoolstuff.

Posted in Behaviour, Educator Toolkit, G Post, Primary

How do you Make Effective Cross Curricular Links?

crossing road pokemon go

#teammagicalmaths @PrimaryMathsRes

How To Make Effective Cross-Curricular Links.

The Cross Curricular Approach

The phrase ‘Cross-Curricular’ is often used to describe an approach to lesson planning whereby links are made between subjects rather than segregating them entirely. It is understandable that when subjects are separate some receive more emphasis than others, Literacy and Maths for example. Other subjects can then be seen as less significant to the students which reduces engagement and development.

While there are advantages to complete subject separation, it can create a mental distinction between similar or identical skills use in different subjects, for example pupils who can draw graphs in maths but struggle to use them in science. So how are effective links between subjects made?

Effective Links Between Subjects

A cross-curricular approach aims to reduce barriers between subjects to increase student confidence in applying skills in a different way and to help surround the student with the subject. It has been shown that when used well, this approach helps pupils to see the transfer-ability of skills and a gain a deeper understanding of their learning (See ‘Is Cross-Curricular Crucial?‘). For links to be effective and worthwhile they should be:

  • Meaningful – Provide some context for subjects or show a skill being used in a slightly different way.
  • Explicit – The link and purpose behind it should be clear.
  • Motivating – Subject overlap provides an opportunity for a wider variety of fun activities.

See ‘Implementing a Cross-Curricular Approach‘ and ‘Making Cross Curricular Links

But how are effective links made?

Some subjects are easier to links. For example, writing a brochure for a location covers Geography and Literacy in a meaningful way and doesn’t give preference to either subject with regards to its importance or value. Other subjects are more difficult to overlap without spending a lot of time resourcing and planning. So how else can subjects be linked?

Linking Maths and History

When I was in school, Maths and History were my two favourite subjects but were kept distinctly separated. Providing an overlap between these subjects can help pupils to see a different context in which their skills from Maths can be applied while spending more time surrounded by the historical subject to help pupils remember terms and names to reaffirm their learning. This was the inspiration behind developing www.PrimaryMathsResources.com , a free maths worksheet generator with the unique option to apply a historical theme to any worksheet. Historical themes, such as Ancient Rome, Ancient Egypt and the Vikings, are easy (and free) to apply to any worksheet generated using the site. Many options are provided to tailor worksheets to the needs of the class meaning that lessons can be resourced for a wide range of abilities across many school years. The website is completely free to use in an unlimited capacity and for each worksheet generated a full answer sheet is provided.

The aims of PrimaryMathsResources.com are:

  • Help busy primary school educators save time on their maths resourcing.
  • Provide fun maths worksheets to help nurture a love of the subject.
  • Enable teachers to generate resources which provide a cross-curricular link between history and maths.

The worksheet below is a Shopkeeper’s Orders division worksheet with an Ancient Rome theme applied which has been produced using the Division worksheet generator.

Division Worksheet Generator Example

With this worksheet pupils help a Roman shopkeeper fulfil their orders by calculating how many boxes of each item are needed to meet the customer’s demands. The primary skill used in this worksheet is division with remainders, but the student must understand the reason behind the task in order get the answer correct. For instance, Customer 1 requires 72 parchment rolls which come in a box of 7. A pupil may understand that 72 / 7 is 10 with 2 remaining, but they may miss that in order for the Roman shopkeeper to meet the needs of the customer, they must send 11 boxes. While completing this mathematical task the students are seeing examples of items that they can associate with the era of Ancient Rome to reaffirm their learning of the subject.

So has an effective link been made? Well, the link is meaningful as it requires division to be used in a context outside of ordinary questions and provides a context for the task in line with the historical subject. The worksheet provides a clear link between the subjects and is benefiting the learning of both, so it is explicit. Presenting this puzzle in the historical context (hopefully) provides a fun variation on division which the pupil will find motivating and engaging.

Below is an example of a Word Problems Addition worksheet with an Ancient Egyptian theme, generated using the Addition worksheet generator:

Addition Worksheet Generator Example

Again, this worksheet requires pupils to apply a common skill (addition) in an unusual context while surrounding the pupils with terms that they may have come across during their History lessons. Names like Horus and Set and terms such as slinger and embalmer remind the pupil of these words which they will associate with the historical topic. All while they apply a skill from their Maths lessons.

Currently, themes can be applied to any worksheet. With basic, ‘Plain Question’ worksheets, the application of a theme decorates the worksheet with images relevant to that theme and, depending on the subject, sets a context for the task such that a character (Zeus for example) needs help with the questions.

The full list of themes is shown below:

  • Ancient Romans
  • Ancient Greeks
  • Shakespeare’s Macbeth
  • Ancient Egyptians
  • Vikings
  • Cowboys
  • Christmas
  • Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream

So please give PrimaryMathsResources.com a try. It’s free to use, so what have you got to lose? I love seeing the worksheets in use, so send a picture to me via twitter (@PrimaryMathsRes) or post it on my Facebook page (/PrimaryMathsResourcesSite).

Happy Teaching!

Posted in Educator Toolkit, G Post, Mathematics, Maths Toolkit, Primary, Resources, Worksheets

The wonderful world of writable surfaces!

writable surfaces

#teammagicaleducators @PaulWat5

The wonderful world for writable surfaces!

Hi-tech isn’t always ICT based, sometimes it is a well thought out piece of design that transform a classroom. Writable surfaces are a must in every classroom as they engage the children and encourage collaboration while learning.

Using writable surfaces is a fantastic way to improve teaching and learning. Those tricky two mark questions were we have all been frustrated 😤 at the lack of working out displayed is overcome as sharing your method is so easy to do. Memory is improved if you take a photo (we all have those childhood photos were we can picture the time based on the 80s wallpaper) to share at a later date making it ideal for learners. The ideas are on display for all to share and use so learners can engage in discussions. Even teacher feedback can be jotted down directly on the desk.

writable surfaces

Don’t take my word for it, trust in my class who all delight when I allow them to draw on our tables.

Some to recap:

  •  Greater collaboration
  • Aids memory
  • Is just cool to do and kids love it
Posted in Educator Toolkit, G Post Tagged with: