All posts by tutor11

Teachers — Your Nescafe Maths Opportunity!

Sometimes an opportunity to teach Maths in a REALISTIC way presents itself in the least-expected places.

Take NESCAFE, for example! (Yes, please!!)

The makers of this wonderful beverage recently launched (in July, 2015) a “new and improved” Café Menu range of Nescafe. The range contained no fewer than 14 types of coffee in sachets — including hazelnut latte, white chocolate mocca, strong cappuccino and many others.

BUT . . .

Heaps of disgruntled Nescafe-lovers aren’t at all happy with the new product. They claim that the recipe of their “good old Nescafe” that they have loved for years has been changed — for the worse! And they have expressed their fury on social media — Facebook and the like.

How does this relate to Maths?

Well, it’s pretty easy to build up an interesting Maths problem from this. For example, if 2,400 people tried the new Nescafe sachets, and 60% of them weren’t happy with the new product line, how many people WERE happy with it?

Easy!

And interesting!

Any year 5 student should be able to work that out without even blinking. “SHOULD” is the key word, though!

The moral: Let’s make Maths interesting and relevant!

Please!

Any suggestions about topical matters that lend themselves to Maths problems for primary students will be greatly appreciated!

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Can YOU do this Naplan Maths Problem?

Well, teachers, parents, educators . . . can YOU solve this one?

It caused a stir in the newspapers this week. And it’s a NAPLAN maths problem, so it MUST be easy!

MUSTN’T IT?

Here goes . . .

A mop-and-bucket set costs $1.10. The mop costs $1 more than the bucket. How much does this bucket cost?

a) 5 cents

b) 10 cents

c) $1

There! Simple, isn’t it?

Or is it?

According to the newspaper article, just around a quarter of the 12,000 people who tried to solve this problem got the correct answer.

That means that around 75% got it wrong! And, just a reminder, this question was on the NAPLAN test for primary-aged students.

And, as the article says, “The same question was put to a bunch of Harvard, MIT, and Princeton students and more than 50% got it wrong.”

Well, what’s YOUR answer.

So, if we’ve REALLY puzzled you, and you want THE correct answer (don’t be fooled, now, will you??), then you can email us at info@EdShop.net.au and we’ll send you a reply and an explanation.

We are specialists in worded maths problems for middle- and upper-primary school students, and this question even made US think a little more than usual!

But, you think you’re right, don’t you?

Well, don’t you?

Our advice . . . DON’T BE SO SURE!!

The Education Shop — Specialising in Fresh, Topical AUSSIE Maths Worded Problem Worksheets. Visit us at http://www.EdShop.net.au to check out our valuable maths stuff for students, teachers, schools and parents!

Teachers — Maths Standards . . . Do they add up?

03-successThe Aussie media has given massive coverage to Maths in Schools in recent days. It really brings the importance of maths at home, in school, and in life, to the priority it deserves, doesn’t it!

A large number of our students at primary and secondary level have “tuned out” of maths. They’ve given up on it. It’s too hard, many say. Or irrelevant to daily life, they say. Or, technology makes mathematical knowledge unnecessary, they opine.

What a tragedy. AN ABSOLUTE TRAGEDY!

The time has come to help our students — and their parents — develop not only a functional level of maths understanding, but — and here’s a touch of optimism! — even a level of fascination and interest in maths.

And why not?

We don’t all have to be “Einsteins” to actually enjoy numbers and the part they play in our lives.

Let’s encourage even our “slowest” students to get something positive, something FUN, from their maths lessons.

And, what do you know, we teachers may even add to our enjoyment as well.

A great start would be to visit http://www.EdShop.net.au for a few freebies that will get you on the path to more maths fun.

Go on, give it a go!

Any other suggestions for a more positive approach to maths in schools will be greatly welcomed!

Teaching Times Tables — Teachers and Torment!

2_backgroundremovalSo, it’s come to this, has it?

The media this week has been FULL of it! Discussion about teaching times tables, that is!

And it’s not all good news!

There are SOME teachers around, it seems, that think that life is easier if times tables AREN’T taught in any serious way in schools.

Then there are those of us that see automatic response of tables as an essential skill in adult life.

Which side are YOU on?

For the sake of the adults of tomorrow, my hope is that you are on the latter side, rather than the former! Let’s keep up with the chanting. PLEASE!

NO SHADES OF GREY HERE!!!

What’s YOUR view?

The “B” word in teaching primary Maths

So . . .

Alexander, the year 12 student from a Melbourne school, came 4th in the TOUGHEST maths exam in the world!

Congrats, Alexander! A FANTASTIC effort.

And what did he have to say about the way maths is taught in schools in Australia?

BORING! The “B” word!

” . . . boring, to be frank!” he said.

Wow! Let’s make a note of that comment, from the 18-year-old who came 4th in the world. Yes, the whole world.

Surely that tells we teachers — primary and secondary — something about the way in which we approach teaching this vital subject.

In an age in which stuff seems to happen at an ever-increasing rate of knots, we need to be not simply teaching the skills and process of maths.

We need to be nurturing POSITIVE ATTITUDES towards this curriculum area that occupies so much of our teaching time each week.Robin Pic

We need to ensure that each student sitting before us feels to some extent successful — even to the slightest extent — so that they will be ENCOURAGED to tackle a slightly-more-difficult maths problem next time.

We need to add a touch of FUN to our maths sessions.

It ain’t hard. But we MUST do it!

For the sake of the children entrusted to our teaching.

If you need a start, visit our website at http://www.EdShop.net.au to get a few freebies that will give you a feel for fun in maths.

Go on! Try it! Your class — and your teaching colleagues — will be incredibly grateful to you!

And can you share with us some other fun maths resources that you’ve found truly useful, and FUN!

Just mention them in the “Comments” panel at the bottom of this blog.

Let’s help each other here!

Teach Fractions This Way!

Sometimes, the teaching of fractions isn’t easy!

Some children just DON’T get it!

What many of them need is to learn virtually by rote learning. Yes, I hear what you say! Rote learning went out with the ark, you say! Well, maybe it shouldn’t have!

Because SOME children — and I mean just SOME — need heaps of revision in each level of fraction manipulation — addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions as operators.

And if they don’t get enough practice, then they don’t reach any sort of mastery of this important topic.

Enter our solution.

We are about to release our “Single Skill Fraction Worksheets” for students struggling with this topic at the upper primary level.

These sheets are EXACTLY what they say they are. For example, in addition of fractions, one of these worksheets contains EXACTLY 80 fraction problems, each of which is a subtraction of fractions with same denominators. The student doesn’t need to do all 80 of these fraction sums — only enough to feel confident in his/her understanding of the process. Then, and only then, should they go on to the next sheet, which will introduce them to addition of fractions with different (but quite simple!) denominators. And this worksheet is typical of the rest of the worksheets in the pack. Each worksheet contains just one particular skill being taught, 80 times over. Sufficient practice for almost any student!

A teaching process that follows that old guideline for teachers: “Move from the known to the unknown”!

Nothing new here, just a solid teaching process that leads to mastery of fractions.

Our Fraction Single-Skill Pack is going to be released in August.

But if you’d like a couple of samples RIGHT NOW, free of cost, simply email your request to info@EdShop.net.au and we’ll get them off to you straight away.

Why struggle with the teaching of fractions, when a great resource like this is will be readily available?