Thursday, 1 February 2018

STRAIGHT LINES TO CURVED


This activity was one of my favourites in primary school.  Pictures created using lines were really popular at the time; they could be drawn, sewn using card and thread or created with nails and thin wire. 
As a tutor, I have used the activity to support my students with learning the multiplication tables.  The activity is good practice for drawing lines with a ruler and develops the fine motor skills.  

Use the templates and images below to create your own curved stitching patterns. You can adapt them so that the student draws a line from dot 1 to dot 1 or use a multiplication table, e.g. 1 to 4, 2 to 8, etc.

Straight Lines to Curved Lines 1

 






Straight Lines to Curves Lines 2





Straight Lines to
Curved Lines 3

This pattern has been created by drawing a line to every fifth dot.  When I was at school we would continue to count  -  15, 16, 17, 28, 19, 20 ... (sometimes writing the numbers by the dot) so that we were drawing lines to the next multiple of 5.   


 

 Use the template to experiment with other numbers.  What patterns can you create? 



Wednesday, 3 January 2018

A WORLD OF SCIENCE







Science is part of our everyday lives; it exists all around us. 

Scientific skills that enable us to enquire and question, to predict, test fairly, to observe, classify and conclude can be developed by sharing activities such as cooking and gardening with your child.  Your local library as well as the Internet and a variety of device Apps are excellent resources of fun scientific activities.  Another way to develop your child's scientific skills is to create a science box filled with magnets, torches, mirrors, plastic containers, a range of materials and paper and construction bricks, etc.  This will help your child to learn through direct experience and play.


The following are just a few science activities that you can complete with your child.  Encourage your child to ask questions, to make hypothesis and predictions and observations. Results can be recorded using words, graphs, pictures or photos.


Grow seeds in a jar using either compost or kitchen towel.  This can be extended by planting the same type of seed in the same type of container and material but placing the seeds in different location, e.g. a jar in sunlight, a jar in the dark. By only changing one variable your child is beginning to learn how to test their hypothesis/question fairly. 




Place white flowers or celery in jars of water with different food colouring and observe. 



Use torches to test which materials are transparent, translucent or opaque.  Place blue, red and green tissue paper over the lens of three torches and shine them onto the same spot, experimenting with light and colour.



Experiment with air resistance by building parachutes with different size materials and paper, using the same object i.e. a small toy.

 

Fill four identical containers with the same amount of the following fluids: orange juice, vinegar, water and coke.  Place eggs shells in each container and observe which dissolves the quickest.

Grow crystals by dissolving salt into a beaker of water and suspend a thread in the solution.

Encourage your child to ask questions by asking questions yourself. 

"The important thing is to never stop questioning."
Albert Einstein.




Monday, 27 November 2017

PRIME AND SQUARE NUMBER TREE

I have created this activity to support a student with recognising and understanding square and prime numbers; it encourages the student to reflect on their learning and to explain their reasoning with me.  It has proven to be popular with other students too.  The colouring is beneficial to the development of fine motor skills.  The student can also cut out the completed tree which in turn can be used as part of a display.  I have also included a tree template so that you can design your own tree puzzle (I also have a long ea and short ea tree).  My students also like to use the tree template to design their own puzzles too.  

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

TELL ME A STORY


TELL ME A STORY


Reading is an essential part of our learning.  The English curriculum requires that students are able to retrieve information, summarise, deduct, predict and make inferences from texts, justifying their opinions.  

You can support your child in developing these skills by discussing with them the stories they read.  A useful strategy for doing this is the Five Finger Retell which reminds us of the five key points to discuss when retelling a story.

CHARACTER: stories revolve about the character.  Encourage your child to discuss the character in detail by focusing on SAD (SPEECH. ACTION. DESCRIPTION). What does the character say? Can your child describe the character’s appearance? What are their actions?  When discussing their opinion of the character, you may find it useful to refer to PEE.  This strategy encourages your child to give their point of view((P) explain and justify their opinion (E) and give examples from the story to support this(E).  Your child may enjoy drawing the character from the story and annotate their drawing with adjectives, phrases and quotes from the text.


SETTING: where and when is the story set.  With your child discuss how the author uses the senses to engage and involve the reader.  If you were in that setting what would you see and hear, or even feel and smell?  Consider if overall the setting is a place where you would want to be; a place where you would feel safe or possibly a place that makes you feel uneasy.


PROBLEM: what happens in the story that requires the character to overcome a difficulty or difficulties?  Discuss with your child how the author uses words and sentence structure to create the 
atmosphere.  Can you find examples where punctuation, short sentences and onomatopoeia have been used?

EVENTS: ask your child to discuss what happens in the story encouraging them to think about the beginning, middle and ending of the story.

SOLUTION: how does the character solve the problem?  Were they surprised by how the problem was resolved? 


Reading is an essential skill; it is a source of information and opens our minds to new experiences. 

Monday, 2 October 2017

A STRATEGY FOR LEARNING THE SEVEN TIMES TABLES


Learning the 7 times tables



I have used this strategy with students who are finding the seven times tables difficult to learn and remember.  (Colour coding is also very useful).

1.     Write the numbers 0 – 9 like this:

0
7
4
1

8
5
2

9
6
3



These are the unit/ones numbers for the multiples of 7. 



2.     Now begin to put in the tens numbers to complete the table like this:





0
0 x 7 =
7
1 x 7
14
2 x 7
21
3 x 7

28
4 x 7
35
5 x 7
42
6 x 7

49
7 x 7
56
8 x 7
63
9 x 7



3.     Notice how the pattern continues:



0
0 x 7
70
10 x 7
7
1 x 7
77
11 x 7
14
2 x 7
84
12 x 7
21
3 x 7
91
13 x 7

28
4 x 7
98
14 x 7
35
5 x 7
105
15 x 7
42
6 x 7
112
16 x 7

49
7 x 7
119
17 x 7
56
8 x 7
126
18 x 7
63
9 x 7
133
19 x 7


Friday, 1 September 2017

I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS! Homework support


I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS!


When faced with learning something new the majority of us feel uncomfortable as we are out of our comfort zone.  These feelings may cause some of us to be fidgety and unfocused. Consequently, some children find when completing homework that they cannot recall what to do and this in turn can lead to feelings of frustration and anxiety. 

You can support your child by remaining calm; reassuring them that finding something difficult is OK and that they should not worry about making a mistake; everybody makes mistakes.  Introduce them to the acronym FAIL - First Attempt in Learning.

Share with them the times when you have felt overwhelmed by something new, so that they know that you empathise with them and that such feelings are normal.  Many schools use the 'THINK, PAIR, SHARE,' strategy which encourages students to think about a task, discuss it with a partner and to share their thoughts.  The following questions are useful in discussing the process of tackling new learning.

WHAT DO YOU NOTICE? 

Does the task remind you of anything you have learnt before?  With this question there can be no wrong answer.  It promotes closer study and discussion about the learning which in turn can help to decode the task.


CAN I LOOK AT ONE SMALL PART FIRST TO START? 

Read the task together and if necessary support your child in breaking the task into smaller parts.  This can help to dismiss the feelings of being overwhelmed.  Highlighting, underlining, circling significant words or phrases as well as jotting down thoughts and ideas can be useful strategies. 

ARE THERE EXAMPLES?

 Often examples are included with the task, if not, the Internet can be a good resource of examples including video clips.


Should the home learning prove tricky and your child is becoming anxious, stop; reassure them and let them know that you will communicate with their teacher. If you are concerned about your child becoming anxious about their learning you should contact their teacher. There are also many strategies to support children overcome feeling anxious, e.g.  taking deep breaths, sorry boxes and toys, etc which can be researched online. 

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

SIX TIMES TABLE STRATEGY

SIX TIMES TABLE STRATEGY 

I have used this strategy to support students in learning and recalling the 6 times tables.


If you multiply 6 by and even number.  It will end with the same number.

2 x 6 = 12

4 x 6 = 24

6 x 6 = 36

8 x 6 = 48

The number in the tens place is half of the number in the ones place.


Introduce students to multiplying even two digit numbers by 6

10 x 6 = 60

The zero goes to the ones place.
When an even  two digit number is multiplied by 6 whole number is divided by 2 and the tens number added.
10 is halved = 5
1 is added to make
The 6 goes in the tens place

12 x 6 = 7
2 goes to the ones place
half of 12 = 6
6 + the 1 (tens number) =

More confident students will enjoy testing this theory out; finding examples that it can be extended to larger numbers, see the examples below.  Encourage them to explain how the rule works, using their examples and strategies such as colour coding.

48 x 6 = 288
8 goes in the ones place
half of 48 = 24
24 + 4(tens) = 28 


312 x 6 = 1872
2 goes in the ones place
half of 312 = 156
Add the Hundreds and tens number to this so 156 + 31 = 187


4826 x 6 =28956
6 goes in the ones place
half of 4826 = 2413
Add the thousand, hundreds, and tens numbers to this so 2413 + 482 = 2895