Practical maths!

Since the start of this half term, the year 6 children have been tackling maths problems using practical resources. We firmly believe this helps reinforce the mathematical understanding the children have been exposed to in Key Stage 1.

For example, when looking at short division, the children have used place value counters to represent the problem. This has helped the children visualise the problem, and understand why they are using the written methods that they have been taught. For example, when attempting 144 divided by 6, the children saw that the 6 (actually 600) can not be shared into the 100, and so needed to be exchanged for ten 10s, and transferred into the tens column. The children could then physically exchange this using the counters, and continue to do so for the rest of the calculation.

We have also been looking at fractions! The children have had to find unit and non-unit fractions of different amounts, using a bar model and counters. This way, if they needed to find 2/5 of 20 for example, they could share the 20 counters out into five different groups, and then find the value of two parts.

We have also been investigating equivalent fractions. The children were initially asked to find an equivalent fraction to 1/3 for example, and they would then use the tiles to prove that 2/6 are equivalent. After a day exploring equivalents with the tiles, the children were able to approach simplifying and expanding fractions with more confidence.

Please ask your child to explain these practical methods, and if possible, show you how they now calculate fractions of a number! Well done year 6!