How Children Reading Helps with Math

Why is reading important?
Reading is not just important for subject English, it crosses over the entire school curriculum. Children  who enter secondary school with a below level reading age, find it difficult to access the school curriculum and this includes the math curriculum. In order to access and understand the curriculum children do need to be able to understand the vocabulary needed and have a good level of vocabulary.  Those  children who read well from an early age tend to do well across the entire curriculum. Whilst those who are below their age level for reading, struggle to engage with the curriculum

How to make your child love reading
When should a child start to read?
In my opinion all children should be introduced to books as soon as they can sit up and hold a book\” They obviously will not be reading at one years old, but you can read to them and point to the words. By doing this your child will begin to read from a young age. Some children can read a few words from the age of four, some can by the age of three. The key is not to be restrictive. Read to them and enjoy stories together. Point to words as you read and you will be surprised at how quickly they will begin to read.

How children reading and maths are interlinked
Reading and maths are interlinked, just like the rest of the curriculum. As I stated above, those children who can read well tend to do well in all aspects of the secondary school curriculum. Maths requires students to understand the question and interpret information. If  they cannot read well, how can they do this. Research has found that a good maths students will also be a good reader. 

Don\’t make reading a test
Teaching your child to read does not just start with you teaching them. It starts with them gaining a love of looking, feeling and listening to books. Many parents make reading a quiz , a test of the child\’s ability. I don\’t think even an adult would like to be tested each time they read a book. Reading then becomes a source of anxiety for children. Reading should be a joint effort and fun. Something we do together. Reading should be enjoyable and something that children enjoy and want to do. 

Reading activities

In a world that is slowly but surely turning away from books and getting glued to monitors or television screens, the importance of developing a passion for reading cannot be overlooked. Reading is a habit and should be established when a child is relatively young. What can you do to foster
this habit?

Find a reading class: 
There are many well structured after school reading classes that aim to  draw the children to books. They help children with diction, idioms and  phrases. For young children, these classes can be fun with animated  characters and pictures. Illustrated picture books, rhymes, silly songs  and pretend stories all attract young children. Use creativity to capture the child\’s vivid imagination. Contact your local library.

Pique your child\’s interest in reading 

If your child has a favourite character, pick a series of books that features this character. For my son, it was Spider-man. Thanks to friendly neighbourhood spidey, my son latched on to comics fairly early in his childhood. Now, as a teenager he still reads comics! 

Build a home-library reading corner
A skill like reading cannot be learnt in isolation. Do not leave all the hard work to the school. Pick up books that you think your  child might like. The Internet is also a rich resource of reading games
that will attract little children to the fine art of reading.

To conclude:
Develop and guide your child\’s reading, so that they can access all areas of the curriculum in secondary school.  The relationship between successful exams and literacy is very closely related, so please make sure your child is given the gift of strong reading skills


SEN Should not Limit your Child\’s ability to Achieve their Full Potential in Primary School

Fifteen years ago I decided to join a tutoring agency as I was interested in primary education. I had no previous experience apart from working as an assistant at a primary school, teaching my own children and limited knowledge of special educational needs ( SEN).

Learning Primary School Sen
When I started. A look back! 

 I researched tutoring agencies, joined one and within a week I was contacted by a keen parent!  I was so keen that I immediately purchased some primary school text books and a range of different teaching aids.

This parent wanted  one hour per week for their child who I shall call student B. I was thrilled to get my first appointment and I started researching lesson plans, course material and worksheets online.

I started teaching student B in September. However, after about 3 months, I realised that progress was slow. I would teach a topic and have to reteach the exact subject week after week – as their retention of the information was extremely low.  However, I persevered  and would challenge myself to get better and more creative ways to teach,  and I also adapted my lessons to suit Student B\’s personal needs.

We eventually started to make good progress and their mother and father were extremely pleased. A year later this child had to sit primary school exams. Again, I found it difficult to get student B to remember key facts and Student B struggled with the basic elements of maths and English, but I persevered and researched better and more productive ways to help.

Child B did the best they could and achieved a full pass for science and just under a grade for maths and English. Of course,  I was disappointed that they did not get the pass for all three subjects but was happy that they achieved almost average mark for maths and English. This was something we could work on.

When I attended the lessons after her results her mother was beaning about what child B had achieved. I was a little taken back as I felt her mother might be disappointed that student B did not achieve the pass grades which would deem her an average student. Student B\’S mother informed me that they was thrilled with the success. It transpires the primary school had stated, for student B\’s entire primary school years, that been able to give them a grade as Student B\’s work did not even fulfil the minimum criteria. This means that the primary school were never able to give her a grade for individual tests.

Student B\’s mother did not expect her to even get a grade and would only ever had imaged that she would get a full pass for science and near passes for maths and English.

For me this was a lesson learnt. When I started teaching I was inexperienced so did not even consider asking about SEN. My concern was to deal with any issues and find a solution to them.  I never even considered this to be an issue. My issue were how was I to get student B to a standard that would be achievable and show that she had been learning and progressing . I did not make excuses for their  lack of understanding but endeavoured to find a solution to the problem.

Had student B\’s mother had told me about their special educational needs would I might have restricted the curriculum? Would I have given student B the rich,vibrant education that we both enjoyed and learnt from or would I have stated, \’poor student B they cannot do that\’? I do not know, but what I do know is that we must not limit our children\’s progress. There will be topics within a subject they enjoy. To say my child is not good at maths is ridiculous. Maths is so vast it covers number, geometrically to algebra. Is this parent telling me that their child cannot even learn what different shapes are called?

Because of this experience, I never ever limit children. I teach a rich and vibrant curriculum and give all children a chance to shine in what they are good at. Yes, there will be topics which they find difficult but we can overcome that by teaching in bite size chunks or to a level appropriate for them.  Challenge and support  children and you will see a vast improvement in their education attainment and their self confidence.

My final words are:

1: Give every child the opportunity to study the vast range  topics
2: Do not use the label of SEN to stop a child from  achieving
3: Listen to the child and find out what they enjoy
4: The entire UK population has special needs! Okay, that\’s a bit of a hyperbole – but you know what I mean!  Some are more severe than other and I understand that some are so profound that they are limited in their educational achievement. However,  children should not be limited in their educational achievements. Give them the tools and patience to learn to the highest level attainable for them.


Why Students Forget and How to Prevent it from Happening

Why Students Forget and How to Prevent it from Happening

Research in this area has pointed to several techniques that can help students remember information. Spacing out the study of a topic and self-testing and other exercises that retrieve information, often in small chunks, are the most effective. 

Why do children  forget what they have learnt?

1: If we do not learn a topic well enough and it does not get stored in our long term memory then we will forget what we have learned.

2: Sometimes when we learn a new topic it interferes with an old topic and we merge or cannot separate the two. This leads to misconception or misunderstanding. For example, students learn the rule for adding fractions with different denominators and then they try and use the same rule when they want to multiply a fraction. These two fractions have different rules and should be consolidated and remembered in order to answer a question.

3: We often forget topics when we do not use them. It is very important to use what we learn regularly to keep it in our long term memory. It happens to all of us. For example, if the student understands a topic very well, but fails to use it for months, then they are unlikely to remember it or be able to retrieve the information quickly.

4: Also, the students has to want to remember  it. They must not feel that they cannot remember it.
Even if they have a poor memory then they should make an effort to try and help themselves by using some of the  methods below:

  • Practice testing – Self-testing or taking practice tests covering material that has been covered.
  • Distributed practice – Implementing a schedule of practice on certain topics that spreads out study activities over time.
  • Elaborative interrogation – Asking students to provide an explanation for why a fact or concept is true.
  • Self-explanation – Explaining how new information is related to known information, or explaining steps taken during problem solving.
  • Summarization – Writing summaries of presented information.
  • Highlighting/underlining – Marking potentially important portions of materials while reading.
  • Keyword mnemonic – Using keywords and mental imagery to associate verbal materials.
  • Imagery for text – Attempting to form mental images of text materials while reading or listening.
  • Rereading – Restudying text material again after an initial reading.

How to pass GCSE maths foundation 2020 Make Maths Fun

Time to Pass your GCSE Maths or SATs
An overwhelming majority of pupils do not reach their full potential in maths and that is not because they are not ‘good’ at it. Most of the time, they repeatedly fail either because they have special educational needs, bored with the maths at school,  cannot understand the maths concepts and or have a  teacher/ tutor that does not make it interesting.
I passed! 

The challenge for tutors is how to offer the assistance required to build their confidence and enjoyment of maths. Maths is fun!   Children should start learning the basic concept when they are young. Do not leave it until there GCSE exams.  However, even if your child is not predicted a pass orthey state they hate maths, there is still hope.  They can still get that much-anticipated C (under new guidelines – a 4) and pass their GCSE Maths exams.

What I do…
I have been teaching math GCSE and primary maths  online via my interactive academy (also face-to-face lessons) for many years.  I have a Higher Teaching Qualification in maths and many years’ experience teaching maths / numeracy  to children that find maths a challenge.  I help prepare them mentally and emotionally for their exams! It does not matter if your child understands maths or even likes mathematics at all. In the end, they will surely love the utterly heart-filling sensation of being an achiever in maths!
You can find testimonials from parents and students here!
I find profound gratification in introducing a child that doesn’t like mathematics to the beautiful world of maths. Truth be told, I am not too fond of same-old, same-old teaching methods that bore the pants off students!  Instead, don’t be surprised if you hear enthusiastic discussions and laughter during my lessons – both for primary maths and secondary school maths.  My lessons theatrical and interactive; this helps children start to enjoy the learning process. And, trust me, it works!  My pass rate is normally 90%, with most the students getting a 4 or above (the old C level) and obtaining a good result in their SATs test.  
It is essential for a child to be able to trust you, your knowledge, and your pure intention to help them achieve in maths. Plus, teaching has to be fun, too! For that reason, my lessons are much more than a strict student-teacher session; they are creative, effective, and enjoyable, all at the same time.
I recall a teenager that had failed his GCSE three times before he came to me. After teaching him for 2 months, he passed with 175/200!  
How I do it…
I use several different teaching methods, depending on the child’s idiosyncrasy and particular requirements or needs. For instance, we may: watch a video which I discuss with them; play an educational board game with other students; play games online against each other; I teach from the whiteboard and they teach me and their friends what they learn from the whiteboard!  It is critical for me to have students teach their peers on the wipe board as I have seen exceptional learning results from following this technique.
Also, expect your child to have homework on the given topic to ensure they can do what needs to be done. To make sure they can do what is required, I build a subject gradually:
1.                  First, I teach a small part.
2.                  Then, I teach another part when I know for sure that the child has a full understanding of what has been previously taught.
3.                  I then teach the entire topic from start to end.
4.                  I give a test to check how well the child has comprehended the specific subject.
5.                  I re-teach the same topic 6 weeks later (but change it up and teach it quicker). A test may also be handed out at this point to help build on prior knowledge.
Working Hand in Hand with Parents
For all this to work, I really need parents/ carersto be on board. You and I together can makegreat strides and get the results we all want. This is teamwork, so I always appreciate supportive parents. If you believe in your child’s abilities and skills, your son or daughter will know, and will give their best to this joint effort. I have seen this happen repeatedly excel.


Snakes and Ladderss Times Tables Game Free To Play Online no adverts

FREE TO PLAY ONLINE  with Snakes and Ladders – a fun way to learn the multiplication tables.
Play Snakes and Ladders multiplication Game Online Now!
FREE TO PLAY ONLINE This multiplication snakes and ladders game has been designed to be played online. It is an additional resource that goes with my snakes and ladders times tables multiplication  paper versions. Children can play this snakes and ladders multiplication game on their own or against the computer.  It can be daunting learning the times tables and so this gives a fun and enjoyable way to learn as you go along. It means that you are able to play games and have fun at the same time.
Learning the times table by playing a game is an excellent way to train your memory. It all about mastering them without having to rely  solely counting in multiples.

How to Read a Book a Day | Jordan Harry | TEDxBathUniversity


Take The Test! Can you work out how much change you should get from your shopping? Phenomenal weakness in adult financial skills!

 Take the test . Can you work out how much change you should get from your shopping?  Phenomenal weakness in adult Financial  skills


The study, from Cambridge University and University College London, phenomenal weaknesses in adults\’ financial skills across 31 countries. It found that a quarter of adults find simple financial graphs, addition and subtractions a challenge.
How do you fare with a sample of some of the questions.
Examples of the sorts of questions asked

1. If you bought four packs of tea: chamomile (£4.60), green (£4.15), black (£3.35) and lemon (£1.80) with a £20 note, how much change would you get?
2. If a litre of cola costs £3.15, how much will you pay for a third of a litre?
3. If a football club offers the same discount for all season tickets – Main Stand – $50 for single entry, £300 for a season; Stand 2 – £35 for single entry, £210 for a season; Stand 3 – £25 for single entry, £150 for a season – what would the price be for a Stand 4 season ticket, where a single entry costs £21?
The answers are £6.10, £1.05 and £126 respectively.

Read the full article here

A few tips to help with calculations

1: Find Pairs of Numbers that Add to 10
2: Fives Times: If you have a multiplication of five, then an easy way to find the answer is to half the multiplied number and times by ten.
For example: 28 * 5 = (28 / 2) * 10 = 140
3: To find 10 percent just divide by 10. To find 20 percent just double 10 percent.
10 percent of 100 is £10. 20 percent is £20 pounds. 


4: 11 times a  number. 11 x 16  is –  Separate out the 1 and 6 ( from the number 16) Then add the one and six together and put it in the middle   1 7 6. The answer to 11 times 16 is 176!  Try it for 14 times 11 and check your answer on a calculator.  



What is the new DfE times tables test / year 4 times table test DfE?

When will year 4 times table test DfE be introduced? Schools will administer the new times tables test to year 4 pupils from 2019-20.  When will the trials start for the new year 4 times tables test?

The government is to start trailing the times tables test in selected schools from March 2018.

How will the new Maths year 4 times table test DfE be conducted?
The new DfE times table test will be conducted as an on-screen test.  It will be sat by students aged 8 and 9 in Year 4. It is intended to ensure that primary school children know their times tables up to 12 by heart by the time they get to secondary school.

Is the new Maths year 4 times table test by the DfE a good thing? I think the answer to that is two-fold.

Some children do leave primary school with an insecure knowledge of the multiplications tables. This is not true of all children however, particularly those in more affluent areas of the UK. However, most schools have measures to ensure students that require extra help with times tables are given it. I cannot see why children need to be tested on their times tables/multiplication tables.

Free - Play Times Tables Snakes and Ladders Online

Some would say, there is no need for the test, as teachers already know which children are struggling with learning the multiplication tables. Thus, if they know – it can be fixed, right? Well, it seems it is not fixed for all. Perhaps testing times tables from year 4 will concentrate the minds of senior leaders to ensure that teachers are now given the resources to help those students that are struggling with learning the multiplication tables. There are students that leave primary school with an inadequate knowledge of their times tables. This can be rectified to some extent.

 Here is an example of how testing changed the perception of a subject:
For example, the government had a compulsory science test for all year 6 students as science was at the top of a good schools\’ agenda ensuring all students were well engaged in science and it was taught across the curriculum. However, now science is no longer tested, most schools do not allocate a high number of teaching hours to science. 
My point is that if times tables are given this platform whereby they are seen as a necessity, then perhaps more resources and time will be allocated to those children that need that extra help with times tables.  In contrast to the UK, they do not test in Finland – where they are outstanding!
Teaching in Finland:
They have no tests in Finnish schools and their students outperform UK students. However, Finland treat their teachers with respect and they are highly regarded – comparable to doctors or lawyers!  There is a different ethos – from the ground upwards. UK teachers have very limited control and so it is impossible to compare them equally to Finland. However, Finnishteachers are free to set their own curriculum, compared to schools in the UK and US which must adhere to the national curriculum.

This time tables measure is just another measure due to the entire system not working as a unit. It is a good idea but only because the UK system is not as effective across all schools. There are outstanding/ good schools that produce well rounded and equipped students, and then there are other schools that do not.  If we could only get the framework right then there would be no reason to test children, as they would be informally assessed and measures would be in place to help all students achieve – education is for all, not the few.

How can I help my child with the new year 4 times table test by the DfE?
Learning should be about fun, games, joy and laughter.  I think of the Finnish education system and see how it thrives but their mantra is not to put pressure on students.

The times tables do not just have to be taught just by reciting it all day long. There are paper based games, dice games, computer games, times table song, worksheets and drill sheets, hands-on activities to help with the new year 4 times table test.

         Make sure your child has a times table poster on their wall

         You can also get times table placemats

         Play games with them where you both are engaged – not just you testing them. Select a times table game that suits your child’s personality. This could be a times table computer-based game, internet game, paper game, pen and pencil times table game or a board game.

         Get outside – if the weather is fine. Take some chalk and write on the pavement/ sidewalk. Let them play hopscotch and count in multiplies of fives.

         Help your child to learn the multiples of tables first. Once they know the multiples well then go to learn the facts this will help with the new year 4 times table test.

         Make learning the times tables fun and take it in small steps. Start counting in multiples as soon as they can talk. Play games, sing times table songsand enjoy learning together. 

         Count everything! Count toys, pasta, balls and more in multiples of 2, 3, 4 and so on. This will all help your child learn the multiplication tables. Count cars, buses and people – in twos and threes as you walk down the street. Count the plants and trees in multiples!

Don’t put stress on your child. Have fun learning and take your time!

How to Find Time to Exercise with A Busy Schedule Doesn\’t Have to Be Hard. Read These 6 Tips

Finding the time to do exercise can be daunting and quite frustrating. You feel exhausted, but you know you should be physically more active. Your brain is overwhelmed with all the tasks you have to do, but you know at the back of your mind that exercise is the key to a better you. Here are a few tips to help you find time in your busy schedule to exercise.

Have Fun: Selecting activities, you enjoy will help you stick with your program. Walking, running, ice skating, roller blading, surfing, dance classes or martial arts. I could go on. The key is to find something you like and stick with it.

Need a fitness organiser. Here is a good one here:
Printable Fitness Organiser, Gym Diary, Weekly Exercise Planner, Printable Habit Tracker, Workout Tracker,

Work around the kids:
If you have younger kids and find it difficult to schedule in exercise into your busy schedule, do a workout video in the living room while they play in their bedrooms. Or take them to the park or your garden.

Get the Kids Involved:
Take the little ones out in a stroller. Push that stroller round the park! Jog with them. Interact with your child/red. Walk them around the park. You can even stop here and there to do strength exercises.

Don’t just watch TV:
Get up and dust or sweep whilst watching. Read how many calories you can burn doing household chores here. You can see just as well if you are standing and doing something! Use the commercial breaks to do some stretches or lunges, jumps, hops and skip!

Be A Morning Person:
I find that if you schedule exercise for the mornings, you are more likely to do it. By finding the time to exercise with a busy schedule in the morning, you continue to burn calories after the workout is done. By keeping your metabolism at a high level, you will burn calories throughout the day, this has got to be a good thing!

Find Time During the Weekend:
If your week days are really busy. Use the weekends to fit in the majority of your exercises. Remember throughout the week you will be doing small task that will help you be active. Try to fit in just one or two during the week and the rest at the weekend. This will take the pressure off you, but make sure you schedule them in and stick to them.

How to Find Time to Exercise with A Busy Schedule Doesn\’t Have to Be Hard. Read These 6 Tips


The Secrets of Parents Drinking Beetroot Juice First Thing In The Morning Look Amazing!

The  Secrets of Parents Drinking Beetroot Juice First Thing In The Morning Look Amazing!

As a parent we don\’t always remember about our health, but it is vital , no matter how old your children are, that you have health tips for good health, for yourself and them! Let\’s look at the benefits of beetroot juice and see if we can use that to stay fit and healthy.

Yes, it has a green part!
Beetroot has extremely good nutritional value; the green part of beetroot is high in, iron and calcium. It is a good source of vitamin A and C.  You can eat the green part – it is a bit like spinach! Beetroots are a good  source of manganese, potassium fibre and a very good source of folic acid.
A study conducted in the UK, showed that drinking beetroot juice could increase stamina by sixteen percent. This is because of its nitrate content which increases the oxygen uptake by the body. They also found that because of this the nitrate content, it could also help in the proper functioning of the brain and deter the onset of dementia. Further to this it has been noted that when nitrate is converted to nitrite it helps the brain to function better.  

Beetroot fibre has been shown to increase the number of white blood cells, which are responsible for detecting and eliminating abnormal cells. Red beetroots is one of the most potent antioxidant vegetables and has rich sources of glutamine, an amino acid, essential to the proper functioning of your intestinal tract.

Benefits of drinking beetroot juice first thing in the morning are:

1: Beetroot increases vitality:  The nitrates in the juice are said to help the body to deplete less of its oxygen reserves, meaning those exercising feel less tired. This can also be good for those setting out and about their daily lives!


2: Beetroot is good for digestion: Beetroot has high levels of betaine. Betaine is thought to be beneficial for good digestive health. Betaine has been reported to help improve digestion by increasing stomach acid levels, which could help prevent food intolerances, control yeast and bacterial growth as well as decrease bloating.


3: Beetroot is good for skin: The benefits of beetroot juice for skin work from within and on the surface too. Drinking a glass of juice purifies blood and eliminates toxins, leaving you with healthy and glowing skin. Who does not want to glow?


4: Help your liver out in the morning. Beetroot can detoxify your liver.

Beetroots contain betaine. This increases the functionality of the liver. The liver can be an overworked organ in the body. A build-up of toxins in the liver can lead to liver disease. Beetroot juice can help as it has a ready supply of B vitamins, calcium, iron and betaine. Which all act as an antioxidant.