# Let’s Make Maths Positive Again!

Remember the old days?

We all knew our tables!

We all knew how to add, subtract, multiply and divide — in our heads! Mental arithmetic!

We all could quickly estimate measurements, weight, time.

WE ALL ENJOYED MATHS — well, sort of enjoyed it!

And the end of each month bought a series of tests, which we did in our “Test Book”, which Mum and Dad had to sign.

Remember?

Well, we’re bringing back a love of Maths. Yes, a real, genuine interest in this vital subject.

Want to see how?

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RESTORATION OF FUN, OF POSITIVE VIBES ABOUT MATHS.

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Over to YOU . . .

# Which is right? “BOMDAS” or “BODMAS”

Well, who would have thought?

There I was, asking a simple Maths question to challenge the Facebook masses.

And challenge the masses I did, judging from the kazillions of responses.

Here ’tis . . .

6÷2(1+2)=?????????

Is the answer 9, or is it 1?

There are strong feelings on both sides. Where do YOU stand on this important issue?

BUT, importantly, if there is some confusion in the teaching ranks (and others, too!) about such a seemingly straight-forward question as this, WHAT HOPE HAVE OUR STUDENTS OF GETTING IT RIGHT?

Now, I’m prepared to enter a discussion in favour of either answer. But the truth is, I’m quite certain that I KNOW the correct answer, whereas many others are — well — just a little less certain.

My main point, however, is that a curriculum that creates uncertainty about such a fundamental thing as BOMDAS or BODMAS (or BEDMAS, as some would have it!) is a curriculum that needs to be fixed. And NOT by the very maths geniuses that created the uncertainty. Rather, by those of us who want our kids to enjoy maths, to be fascinated by maths, to LOVE solving that equation, to actually ENJOY vulgar fractions.

Oh, by the way . . . what IS your answer to the question?????

# Teaching Times Tables — Teachers and Torment!

So, 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!

# Maths Teaching Props for the Holidays

Never let it be said that maths teaching ends when school holidays begin!

Let’s say, for example, you and the kids are off to see “Inside Out” at the movies. A chat on the way into the theatre about how much it’ll cost at \$11 per ticket (or whatever the price is!) will reveal much about your child’s “automatic response” skills. And when you get them to add the cost of popcorn and an ice-cream for each person, their mental arithmetic skills will reveal themselves. You may just be AMAZED! (one way or the other!)

So . . .

Make good use of the holidays to try to reach some sort of conclusion about the state of your child(ren)’s maths skill level.

You can check out things like weight (how many grams in a 1 kg bag of sugar), time (how long would it take to ride the escalator from bottom to top? Guess, then measure), how long is a Matilda’s scarf that you can see in the window of the department store (Guess, then measure).

You get the idea.

Maths is everywhere. So is the ability to LEARN about maths and its importance to each of us. AND TO ACTUALLY USE IT!!

Go on! Give it a go!

# No, Sir! It’s NOT the Teacher’s Fault!

Who to blame?

Declining standards in primary school achievement levels Maths, in English, in Spelling, in Grammar, in Punctuation, in . . .  well, you name it!

The research is in.

And, it seems, Australian students are struggling to achieve what students in other countries are achieving.

Why?

Well, maybe . . . just MAYBE . . . the “Educational Authorities” are asking far too much of teachers, while simultaneously ignoring the need of teachers for structured, sensible, PRACTICAL curricula that can actually BE implemented in classrooms around this wonderful nation.

Some of us are providing worthwhile materials that HELP students to develop the skills needed in these areas.

Others just TALK about it. And talk is cheap.

We need curriculum support materials that genuinely help teachers to help their students, without demanding time-consuming preparation.

We need Educational Leadership to actually DELIVER THE GOODS. Not theorise about it, leaving teachers to “close the gaps.”

Our Worksheets are a great example of stuff that actually WORKS in the classroom.

To the benefit of all — students, teachers and schools. Thousands are now using them. To great effect.

Give them a go!