Tuesday, 5 March 2013

I Love Maths

Dear Parents/Caregivers

The subject that I liked best at school was Maths. I know! It is still the subject I like best. My daughter is currently doing NCEA Level 2 and I feel quite excited about trigonometry again. I firmly believe that Maths is not a hard subject that only a few people can do, in fact I believe that everyone should be able to enjoy success in Maths.

Many of you have children have who are going well with their Maths learning. I know that from our National Standards data which shows that 82% of students at or above the standard. Children who find Maths easy need to be extended and challenged. Children at Papakowhai School are grouped according to what they have already achieved in Maths.

If your child seems to need extension beyond what has been planned for their group talk to your child’s teacher or to our DP Shane Robinson about moving them up a level in Mathletics, challenge them with problems to solve around the dinner table or while you are out driving in the car or look at our cool new Maths blog and look at the year levels above the year your child is currently in. Keep communication about Maths open with your child’s teacher. Remember all our teachers have email addresses: firstname@papakowhai.school.nz .

Some of you will have children that find Maths more challenging. It is really important that you talk positively about Maths with your child. Comments like, “Don’t worry I was never any good at Maths”, may spring from good intentions, but research shows that comments like this from mums to their daughters are especially unhelpful. Focus on what your child can do and build on their strengths rather than their weaknesses.

At home focus on building up your child’s Maths knowledge. To find out what that should look like go to our new Maths blog and look at the year level your child is currently in or the one below to look for any gaps in their knowledge. Using Mathletics as a tool to work on basic facts may also prove useful for 5- 10 minutes per day. Keep Maths sessions at home brief and fun, if your child becomes frustrated or upset take a break. On the Maths blog there are lots of fun and simple ideas that you can do with your child to build up their confidence in Maths. Keep talking to your child’s teacher. You are your child’s best advocate and if you feel they are not making expected progress then raise this issue early with your child’s teacher.

I am always pleased to discuss Maths with people. If you would like to discuss your child’s Maths learning with me or our DP Shane Robinson please email us or make a time to visit. Shane has also prepared Reading and Writing blogs if these are areas of focus for your child. You can access all blogs from the school website.

Kind regards
Mark Smith

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