It's all done in the mind

PRACTISING MENTAL MATHS. Photocopiable activities for six and seven-year-olds. By Ros Leather. For eight, nine, 10 and 11-year-olds. By Jon Kurta. Scholastic. Pounds 7.99 each.

This series supplements Scholastic's excellent series Developing Mental Maths (reviewed in TES Primary Magazine, January 23). Each book provides 26 photocopiable activity sheets to supplement activities in the former series, although they could be slotted into any other maths scheme or used on their own. The sheets are conveniently grouped under four headings: counting and ordering; addition and subtraction; multiplication and division; and multistep and mixed operations.

Unlike some of the dreary mental maths books currently being churned out by publishers, these are lively books that will help children become confident with numbers and enable them to develop a range of mental calculation strategies to draw on.

Notes are provided for each activity highlighting prerequisite knowledge,offering suggestions for teacher input, stating the key calculating strategy involved, and suggesting ways in which the activity sheet could be modified (by changing the range of numbers involved, for example). Each activity also cross-refers to particular practical activities in the Developing Mental Maths series.

Paul Harrison is co-author of 'Nelson Maths' and 'Maths 2000'

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