KS2 Maths Troubleshooting:
In Key Stage Two, the foundations for those basic number skills are laid, ready to be built upon. Here are some numeracy issues that Maths teachers commonly find hold some students back, so do ensure your child is up to speed.
- Know your Times Tables
This is the number one problem that students of all ages face; even adult learners. Knowing your times tables is a skill for life. Your child will be unable to progress to division, multiplication, percentages or algebra in Year 7 without this. Teachers will expect that your child knows their times tables and when moving on to mental maths, your child should recognise instantly that, say, 5x6= 30. Get them using some fun KS2 resources and revision aids such as the games on Bitesize or test them at home.
- Practise Written Problems
It never fails to amaze teachers that whilst a child can understand that 100x3=300, they are baffled by problems like, "There are 305 students in Year 4. Martin has a hundred marbles and asks, "If I had three times as many, would that be enough for one each?". Children are almost overloaded by the question, and often will respond to a worded answer with a number and vice versa, therefore not getting the mark for maths they can do. Practise real-life role play at home, as well as encouraging children to underline key words like 'how many?' in their homeworks.
- Write Neatly
Scruffy, illegible numbers are the cause of misreading by both teachers and children themselves. Children - particularly those with special educational needs or messy writers - sometimes struggle to read their written work back to themselves, losing their place. Practise at home and emphasise the importance of writing clearly.
- Always Show Your Working
Children are naturally conscientious, wanting to do the right thing and will often carefully rub out any working out, losing method marks. Explain that you get marks for showing how you did the sum. This habit will set them up for GCSE and SATs exams where calculation marks are awarded. It also helps their teacher to see where they are going wrong with their sums.
- Understand Place Value
As children consolidate their existing skills, knowledge of place value will prove invaluable, particularly when dealing with decimals and shape, space and measure. Give kids examples of larger numbers and ask them to point out the thousands, hundreds, tens and units.