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Pirates, Mermaids and The Beach

This week in Maths we are focusing on Problem Solving, also known as Reasoning.

It is very important in this area of Maths that the children understand the need to "trial" their ideas and to develop a philosophy of "that didn't work, what can I try next"; rather than it being "wrong".  In EYFS and Year 1 one of our aims is to develop the children's confidence to firstly give things a try, to be a "Tryatops", and then to develop resilience, to stick at things, to be a "Stickasaurus".  When working with your children at home, these words and concepts are familiar to them and we have found that they are great aid in helping your child to learn effectively.


In order to problem solve at this stage, your child needs to have developed some basic understanding of addition, subtraction, to be fluent in some number facts and have an understanding of certain mathematical vocabulary and positional language.  Subitising (an instant visual recognition of how a number can be made).  For example think of the numbers on a die.

I will illustrate with 6.  It can be seen as 3 rows of 2 dots, or 2 columns of 3 dots.  Either way, the answer is 6 dots.  Lots of exposure to subitising at this stage, lays the firm foundations for Mathematical understanding later on.  Further,  young children learn so much from "manipulatives", (objects that can be handled and moved). 

Again take the number 6.  If you give a child 6 objects and 2 containers, they learn that 6 can be made from 5+1, 4+2, 3+3, 6+0, 1+5, 2+4 and 0+6.  

Below there will be a link to the Pirate Addition, Subtraction and Subitising Songs, which are designed to help reinforce the facts that the children are learning.

There will also be a link to Nrich a Mathematical Organisation which aims to develop children's Mathematical Knowledge, Understanding and Reasoning.  The link is specifically to this week's problem solving activity, called "Share Bears".  There is also a YouTube link to the Care Bear called "Share Bear".  The video demonstrates the process of reasoning, talking through thoughts and working together.

There is also further information relating to Maths at HCPS on the Maths Zone Page on the School Website and on the Home Learning Page - Maths at Home.