‘Doing maths’ always needs a purpose

What is the most effective way of making use of children’s desire to ask “Why?”

Although for many of us it may be occasionally tempting to dismiss a child’s desire to know why at every turn, exploiting and answering the “Why?” question can of course also be a very powerful tool when it comes to teaching and learning maths.

Indeed, the understanding of what one is doing with numbers can be as important as getting the answers right, because that understanding becomes the foundation of future learning within this most logical of all subjects.

The Sum Fun Maths Assessment series of books meets this challenge head on by giving children a series of puzzle worksheets.  Each activity teaches a particular skill.

As a bonus from a teaching point of view, the sheets can be self-marked.  Once completed, the children use the answers they get to the maths questions, to find the answer to a riddle or a joke question.  So, they know if the answers are right or not and can revisit questions without drawing attention to their mistakes, thus boosting confidence.

In this way, the process of answering the questions in the worksheet has a purpose for the child beyond the learning of the maths, and this in turn enhances their desire to work through the questions.

And given that the book is linked to the national curriculum, one knows that the process is following the guidelines to teach the skills needed whilst giving a considerable amount of enjoyment to the class and teacher.

There is more information about Sum Fun Maths Assessment and full details of the contents to be found on our website.  It comes in three volumes, with each volume covering two years of the KS1/KS2 maths curriculum.

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