King William Street CE Primary School

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Panda and Polar Bear Mathematics Workshops


We  invited parents and carers from Panda and Polar Bear classes to a series of parent and child workshops. During these workshops, Mrs Kearns and Miss Marsden  guided  each child and their parent you through the steps and strategies they will use during their mathematics lessons. Each week, there was a focus on one mental calculation method.


The first workshop focused on Place Value. The children and their parents, learnt about the value of each digit in a 3 and 4 digit number.


The children commented: 'The maths workshop helped me to do more of place value. I got to learn with my parents which was exciting because I got to teach them what we were doing in maths. I enjoyed showing my parents how place value works.'

The second workshop focused on mental addition strategies.

Using place value counters, everyone learnt how to add 3-digit and 4-digit numbers together.

They also learnt the following stem sentences to help them:

To add 99, add 100, then subtract 100.

When a place value column has 10 or more , we need to exchange in the next larger column.

The third workshop focused on mental subtraction calculation strategies.

As in the previous workshop, stem sentences were introduced:

I only have __ ones so I need to exchange 1 ten for 10 ones so I now have __ tens and __ones. 


The second stem sentence was introduced: 

I only have __ tens so I need to exchange 1 hundred for 10 tens so I now have __ hundred and __tens. 

These helped the children and their parents to exchange using the correct vocabulary.

A parent commented: 'I have to admit, I wasn't sure what to expect from the workshop. Maths has always been my weakness and I dread it when my children ask me for help!  It's not that I can't 'do' Maths (well, this level anyway!). It's that things are taught very differently than in my day.  It's hard to explain things when you don’t know how it’s already being taught.

 During the workshop we were given an overview of what tools are used to help the children understand the value of numbers and the methods that have been taught to help them to solve problems. This will really help with future homework!

 It was such a lovely opportunity to spend time with my son and see him in 'work mode', eager to show off his learning. And the coffee and biscuits went down a treat!  I'm looking forward to the next session.'