# Primary maths

February 24, 2018

After a short break, the Department against Education launched a new attack on children. This time the attack takes the form of a new compulsory national test for children in Year 4, the times tables test. The obsession with memorising times tables has always puzzled me. Weekly times tables speed tests, the practice of chanting […]

Tags: Primary maths, times tables

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January 21, 2018

Here is a 7-year-old doing her homework on iPad. She logs into Mathletics that invites her to do 33 + 1 laid out as for column addition. The girl taps the index on 3 to enter 34, but the clever Mathletics demands to enter the answer “properly” – right to left, unit digit first!

Tags: Mathletics, Primary maths

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November 24, 2017

N is in Year 5. “What are you doing at school now?” “Umm, we are still converting fractions to decimals and back” “Show me an example” “Well, it’s something like \( \mathrm{\frac{1}{2}=0.5}\), \( \mathrm{\frac{1}{4}=0.25}\), \( \mathrm{ \frac{7}{10}=0.7}\) ” “I see. Can you write \( \mathrm{\frac{1}{8 }}\) and \( \mathrm{\frac{3}{40 }}\) as decimals?” He can. Without much effort. “The interesting […]

Tags: Primary maths

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September 18, 2017

My son sat the Key Stage 2 tests this year. It was the second run of the tests based on the new primary curriculum. In mathematics, two “reasoning“ papers and an “arithmetic” paper replaced two written general mathematics papers (one allowed use of a calculator, the other did not) and a mental mathematics test. The […]

Tags: calculators, Primary maths

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