Calculated to make life easier

17th September 2004 at 01:00
Veronica Poku rounds up some of the latest primary resources

Step-by-step Subtraction and Addition By Sarah Fielder PCET calculations wallcharts pound;12.91 inc VAT per pack Tel: 020 8566 5120 Email:

The Trouble with Maths: A Practical Guide to Helping Learners with Numeracy Difficulties By Steve Chinn RoutledgeFalmer pound;25

Tough Topics Fractions Ages 7 - 9 Understanding Number Ages 9 - 11 Decimals Ages 9 - 11 By Peter Patilla Heinemann pound;25.50 each

The Step-by-Step calculations wallcharts go some way to taking the strain out of producing such a practical resource yourself.

These multi-coloured, durable wallcharts would be a useful aide-memoire when trying to consolidate addition and subtraction in the upper and lower key stage 2 classroom.

The format and large print may also prove beneficial to the more visual learners in the class. As the name suggests, the wallcharts lay out step-by-step strategies endorsed by the National Numeracy Strategy.

The three 35 x 100cm charts in the subtraction pack show different methods of subtraction: using an empty number line; vertical subtraction and decomposition.

The addition pack includes methods on using an empty number line as well as vertical addition and carrying across the column.

The teacher's guide contains A4 photocopiable versions of the charts which could be used in lessons alongside the main wallcharts.

The guide also gives information on how the steps can be used by teachers and classroom assistants, and takes into consideration that parents will try to help their children at home with their maths and may not be conversant with the numeracy strategy. Allowing for this, the guide gives questions that parents could ask. Multiplication and division wallcharts are also available.

The Trouble with Maths is a guide and reference manual for anyone trying to fathom why some children have difficulty with maths. Steve Chinn, who founded a school for dyslexics, uses his considerable experience to gather tried-and-tested methods to help solve some of the problems a teacher may come across.

Chinn makes valuable references to the different learning styles as well as the different demands made of pupils by particular topics. There is also an interesting section on dyscalculia that all teachers will find useful.

Tough Topics is a set of activity books that are designed to clarify some of the more mystifying topics in maths such as fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio. The emphasis is on mathematical discussion. A lot of the work is practical so there is the minimum of marking required.

Photocopiable sheets are included and would prove a worthwhile resource if inspiration fails to strike when planning lessons.


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