Maths Matters

Around the country, from October 14th – 22nd, schools, colleges, museums, universities and communities are working together to deliver an exciting programme of events to celebrate this year’s Maths Week Ireland.

Maths Week 2017 partners include; W5, Ulster University, Queen’s University, Stranmillis University Collage, North West Regional College and Armagh Planetarium.  Maths is important for everyone and you can get involved in fun maths activities too! Visit: www.mathsweek.ie 

Children need a positive attitude to maths, if they are to succeed.  Mathematical ability is not a gene, everybody can do it!  As a parent, you can do many things to help build your child’s confidence with maths.  Here are St. Peter’s top tips for making maths matter:

Be Positive – Avoid saying ‘I was never good at maths’. When your child hears this, they will believe that they might not be good at maths too.

Be Encouraging – Your child is on a journey in maths and journeys take time!  Concepts, once learned, need lots of practise to become embedded.

Accept Mistakes – Often, we learn more from mistakes than we do from getting the answer correct the first time.  Be patient!

Make Maths Visual – It’s important that your child understands what they are learning, not just learning concepts by heart.  Talk about fractions when cutting up a pizza, measure out ingredients when baking, talk about calculations when doing home improvements.

Involve your child in maths through their everyday activities; How long does it take to get to school?  If your child is allowed to play a computer game for 30 minutes during the week, how many minutes would that be if they played Monday to Friday?  How many weeks until Halloween, how many days? When cooking, which ingredient has to be put in the oven (or on the stove) first, and how long until the next ingredient needs to be added?  How far did we cycle on the tow path if we cycled at 8kmh?  How much will we save on a toy that is now 50% off?  What change will we have out of £1 after buying that chocolate bar?  How many weeks will it take to save pocket money for a new toy?

Emphasise accuracy, not speed – Completing a task under time pressure can cause anxiety and could develop a negative attitude to maths.

Become familiar with your child’s curriculum – When you know what your child is learning at school, you can support them in a better way at home. Get involved with maths homework, talk to them about areas they find easy/difficult, spend time with your child as they practise maths skills on IXL.

Some topics may be taught differently than how you learned.  Make sure you don’t confuse your child with the ‘old’ way.  If your child is having trouble with any aspect of maths, speak to the class teacher.

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