# Maths - Sharpen up number skills

30th September 2011 at 01:00

What is it?

"Applying Number and Problem Solving" is a collection of Teachers TV videos for key stage 2 (P4-7) pupils. Together, they form a useful set of lesson starters to help test your pupils' problem-solving skills. All the videos use everyday situations to get your class thinking about number and simple algebra.

Getting started

There are three sets of programmes for problem solving. The first "Lesson Starters" episode presents eight dramatised maths problems for use on the interactive whiteboard, each contextualising a different primary maths conundrum. Can you break the cat burglar's code? Which puppy weighs the most? Who's scored the highest in the dance competition? Topics include decimals, ratio and proportion, percentages and area. Following every drama sequence, a screen highlights the maths involved. The most suitable year-group, in terms of difficulty, is suggested at the beginning of each problem. The second set of videos gets pupils to use their number skills in order to solve a problem with a football team, while the third looks at bargains and asks children "Is it a good deal or a con?"

Taking it further

There are also two programmes on algebra. The first looks at Algebra in Action, where bartering is used as a way in to simple algebra for this age group. The second looks at What's the Pattern?, asking pupils to spot the pattern as more and more chairs and tables are added for a party.

Where to find it

www.tes.co.uknumber-starters.

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