# 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.”

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!

# 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?

# 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!

# NAPLAN — and why parents should LOVE it!

Yes, the controversy rages on!

But, the TRUE (but often-hidden) values of NAPLAN are often ignored.

Value 1: NAPLAN gives at least SOME structure to a curriculum that, at the very least, leaves much to be desired. It actually suggests standards at which students at Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 should, or could, or maybe are within arms reach of, attaining in the areas of Maths, English, spelling, grammar and written expression. Yes, admittedly it’s only a “suggestion”, a “hint” if you like. But at least it’s SOMETHING!

Value 2: NAPLAN gives a simple, straight-forward, one-page report. Big on graphics, small on text. Not that 15-page mumbo-jumbo, copy and pasted school report that numbs the imagination and provides little in the way of factual reporting on student progress. Now, no-one should be mislead into believing everything showing on the NAPLAN student report sheet. But, by golly, it’s a good start for parents to check it out, and then ask some truly meaningful questions of teachers and school.

Value 3: School comparisons. Some of us are not too sure of the value of the ranking of schools in accordance with NAPLAN results. So many variables, so many value-related implications!

So, there it is. A defence, sort of, of the TRUE VALUE of NAPLAN testing, from one who sits on the edge of the world of schools and observes parents, teachers and students as they prepare for the 2015 week of NAPLAN.

Have a good one!

# 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 — 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!

# Who said we can’t make Maths Teaching Aussie, Interesting and FUN?

With all this stuff happening around Australia and the world — the International Cricket, the NSW Elections, the sacking of the Top Gear host, the death of Malcolm Fraser, the cyclones, the winning of over \$1 million on the TV quiz — and heaps more, the opportunities for INTERESTING, RELEVANT, REAL maths problems have never been better.

Not to mention the latest iwatch thingo, and the promise of new iphones coming out in the next few months.

In this technological age, school children across Australia are tuned in to technology, sport and entertainment like never before.

And it’s the wise teacher, the clever teacher, the perceptive teacher that literally GRABS that natural interest and builds upon it.

No, maths doesn’t need to be boring and predictable.

Maths can be — in fact NEEDS TO BE — interest-filled, topical, relevant.

Oh, yes, and fun!

So why not — I say WHY NOT — combine reading comprehension skills, maths skills, current affairs and pop idols with our maths teaching to create a MEANINGFUL maths — not an irrelevant one.

Just a thought!

# Who Teaches Maths Best — Schools or McDonalds?

Sometimes the so-called “experts” get in the way.
And that’s ESPECIALLY true in education.
Spelling standards? Out the window!
Grammar? What’s that?
Tables mastery? Oh, so boring!
Automatic response? Why? We have calculators and iPads to do that!

Well, some of us think that this is a tragedy! A REAL tragedy.

We’re TRYING to do something about it through our website.

But, really and truly, it’s up to “the experts” to reverse the trends, to remedy their ways, to reform the curriculum so that it actually addresses some of the weaknesses that are so GLARINGLY OBVIOUS to anyone who cares to check.

SO . . . Good on McDonalds for training the teenagers working for them. For enforcing standards of work and efficiency and honesty and reliability and . . . I could go on!

May our schools take on some of the McDonalds attitudes and values. Not a popular thought, but a GREAT one!

Thanks, McDonalds!