# 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!

# Teachers — Frustrated by Vulgar Fractions?

Well, we’re just putting the finishing touches to what may well be the world’s MOST BORING book of all time!

It’s about — yes, you guessed it! — Vulgar Fractions.

Now, after years of teaching this boring — but vital — topic to students in middle-primary, upper-primary, and even lower-secondary levels, I know how frustratingly-difficult this topic can be.

So, I’m doing something about it.

As you probably know, some students grasp the addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of vulgar fractions, along with the necessary understanding of equivalent fractions and fractions as operators, really easily.

But many, many other students struggle with this entire topic.

And that’s for one very simple reason.

Practice. Or lack there-of.

Well, within around 3 weeks we’ll have put together arguably the most valuable book of practice exercises in Vulgar Fractions ever produced.

Students won’t have to solve EVERY problem. No, just enough to ensure that they have grown in their understanding and skill level, skill-by-skill, stage-by-stage.

You’ll have to wait for it. But if you’re interested, please leave a comment and contact details below. We guarantee to contact you on completion of this boring, but incredibly valuable, teaching resource.

# What teachers want . . . fun, up-to-date maths questions

Teachers everywhere are faced with a conundrum.

They’re expected to teach maths in our ever-changing world, using materials that were published on Noah’s Ark (well, you know what I mean, don’t you!)

Never has our world been changing at such a rate.

Yet here teachers are, in the classroom, being expected to use teaching materials that are in many cases antiquated.

But — AHH! — at last! An up-to-date maths product that’s FUN TO USE!

Here’s what teachers want, and what teachers need.

Up-to-date worded maths problems that are Aussie, fun to use, and teach students how to interpret the printed word into a maths operation and solve it, all the time having an enjoyable time doing so.

Not possible, you say? Well, let me correct you!

Thousands of students around Australia are enjoying these worksheets.

So are their teachers!

Emailed directly to teachers each weekend, ready for use in their classroom the following week.

What could be easier?

The 3 levels, catering for mid-primary, upper-primary and gifted/extension have something for everyone.

Ah! At last, technology can truly “deliver the Maths goods!” EVERY WEEKEND!

Term 3 beckons in Australian schools. What could be easier than giving these a go! Freebies at the website!

# When Maths Skills and Reading Skills Collide

What a shame!

Too many of our students are perfectly capable of “doing” maths.

But they can’t!

Why?

Because they can’t read the worded problems.

It’s a READING skill they lack, not a maths skill!

So, what are we teachers meant to do about THAT?

Practise. Practise. Practise!

Develop a “maths reading vocab” that will stand them in good stead.

AND, have them solving maths problems THAT CHILDREN HAVE A NATURAL INTEREST IN!

AND, have them solving maths problems at a level appropriate to their reading and maths skill levels.

EVERYONE likes to succeed!

So, let’s give our students the very tools that will help them succeed RIGHT NOW, as well as build a solid foundation for the future.

Such materials DO exist!

Take THIS WEEK’S Worksheets, for example! They include problems on the Winter Solstice in Australia (June 21st), runner Ron Clarke’s record-breaking run, the new children’s holiday movie “Inside out,” and loads more.

Some of them are RIGHT HERE — all you need to do is ASK!

Enjoy!

# Why Primary Teachers Deserve — a Fair Break!

Once upon a time there was a curriculum — Maths, English, etc. — in primary schools that clearly set out a standard towards which all students should strive.

Sure, some students would well and truly exceed that standard, while others would struggle, but, under the teacher’s guidance, do the very best they could with what they had!

But, today, what do we have?

Some pretty books, some whiz-bang technology, some amazingly-equipped buildings, and heaps of kids who don’t know their tables!

Oh, yes, and we have homework sheets galore that seem to challenge parents and students alike.

Maybe the old ways weren’t so bad!

Maybe a solid curriculum that DEMANDS students and teachers to stretch, to challenge themselves without having to design and redesign their particular school’s approach to the learning essentials, would be a GREAT THING for all.

But, maybe that’s just Pollyanna stuff!

We’ve done our bit, with our interest-packed homework and worded problem sheets.

But teachers and schools need to be given permission, and a concrete curriculum, that actually makes teaching more manageable for all.

Better outcomes would be the ASSURED result!

And isn’t that what we ALL want?

# Technology in the classroom: Does it REALLY help, or hinder?

We’re in a bind in education.

We seem to have classrooms increasingly being filled with technological wonders.

And that’s good!

But we also seem to have classrooms in which the students are megabytes ahead of the teachers who are trying to teach them in the area of technology.

Not good enough!

Teachers need the training, the professional development, that will AT THE VERY LEAST give them a fighting chance of understanding what their students are doing on their laptops and tablets (the electronic ones, I mean!).

The old saying that a tradesman is only as good as his tools is only partly true when translated to the classroom situation. We seem to have developed a scenario in which the tools are pretty-well available, but the expertise to manage them and use them to maximum effect in a positive way has eluded us.

Perhaps it’s time for industry to step in and become an active partner in our education system by offering to train our valuable classroom teachers in the technology of today.

After all, it’s the students of TODAY that will be the business professionals of TOMORROW.

# Teachers: Johnny Depp’s Doggies make ideal maths teaching stuff

Sometimes the TV news brings great teaching opportunities.

Like Johnny Depp’s lack of obedience to Australia’s quarantine laws.

So, what have WE done?

We’ve created a maths worksheet that includes a problem or two about Johnny’s doggies. Yes, maths questions about something really topical, really funny, and really appealing to the very students you teach.

And that’s only ONE topic covered. There are heaps more!

Like the national Girl Guides’ Biscuit day fundraiser. And the Hamish Blake bikeride through some of Italy’s mountains, and Roger Federer being beaten by Aussie tennis star Nick Kyrgios.

Why NOT let kids see how maths works in everyday life?

# Teachers should use Law Week for their Maths Teaching! And new-born Princess Charlotte, and Prince Harry, and . . .

Every day, every week, every month provides primary teachers with opportunities to use the news of the day to teach.

Well — not to put too fine a point on it — LOTS OF STUFF!

Who says teachers have to categorise all leaning into “timetable-sized chunks” for easy digestion.

Who says indeed?

Like, LAW WEEK this week offers so many opportunities to teach aspects of English (how the law SHOULD BE WRITTEN), reading comprehension (the Old Melbourne Gaol, and the hangings there!), the Ghosts of parliament house, and in Maths, the way lawyers charge, the entertainment this week through mock trials, how juries work (12 Angry Men, etc.) and so on.

But, what a GREAT way to teach maths in a REAL way!

And that’s just in LAW WEEK.

What about Mothers’ Day, or Royal Baby Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Windsor, or 2-year-old George Windsor, or Prince harry and his adoring minions, or the Federal Budget, or the Soccer v AFL debate, or discount shopping, or … or …

Our Maths Worksheets do this. But why don’t YOU do it as well, at your school?

Just a thought!

# Primary Teachers, Maths and the Royal Baby

A new Royal Baby. What a GREAT maths opportunity.

To teach age (hours, minutes and seconds), weight (kilograms and grams, converted from pounds and ounces), hours in labour, how much older is “baby George”, and so on.

THAT’S what maths is about! Real life issues.

Like the NSW floods, sad as they are. Or the earthquakes in Nepal.

Maths is everywhere. It’s just that the school children of today aren’t relating it to their world.

What a pity!

What an opportunity lost!

Let’s fix it! NOW!

# Primary Teachers — WHY TEACH MATHS as though it’s yesteryear?

Why do we teach maths these days as though nothing has changed in the past 50 years? It’s almost embarrassing!

BECAUSE . . . SO MUCH HAS CHANGED!

Whereas in the past, our teaching resources were the product of time-consuming publishing regimes and deadlines, the technology of today has changed all that!

Maths lessons today can be centred around the REAL WORLD — the world in which students and teachers alike are living in each day.

And WHY NOT!

So that’s why anyone worth their salt is looking around for teaching resources that actually RELATE to today’s world.

Such things DO exist!

Just look for them.

And if you need help finding such valuable teaching stuff, just leave a comment at the foot of this blog.

We can help!