Week 1: 2016


Basic operations – Using the four digits 2, 0, 1 and 6 and the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) can you make equations that equal all the numbers from zero to 20?

Multiplication –

  • Which multiplication tables do you know best?
  • What do all the multiples of 2 and 4 and 8 have in common?
  • How do you know if a number is divisible by 5 or 10?
  • Write down all the multiples of 3 in order and see if you can determine something that they all have in common (clue – add the digits together).

Week 2: Factors, Multiples, Squares and Primes


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This week we will review the definitions of the following terms:

  • Integers: Positive and negative whole numbers (not decimals or fractions)
  • Factors: Numbers that can be divided into a larger number with no remainder.
  • Multiples: The resulting number of multiplying two smaller numbers.
  • Square numbers: When result when you multiply a number by itself (eg. 3 x 3 = 9)
  • Prime numbers: Numerals with only two factors – one and themselves.


Please write ten examples of each of the terms listed above. Use the following numbers to create a ‘factor tree”: 24; 120; 128; 130; 240; 360; 480.

We will practise our multiplication tables and learn more about prime numbers using the game “Multo”.

Equivalent fractions with a Fraction Wall

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This week we will continue making our fraction wall and learning how to calculate equivalent fractions. Using your fraction wall, find equivalent fractions for the following: 1/2 (one half); 1/3 (one third); 1/4 (one quarter) 2/3 (two thirds) and 3/4 (three quarters). What are some other equivalent fractions that are “off the scale” – using fifteenths, sixteenths, twentieths or hundredths?

To add or subtract fractions we need to make sure they have the same denominator (bottom number). We can convert fractions so that they have the same denominator by multiplying both the numerator and the denominator by the same number. This interactive from NLVM helps to compare fractions and create fractions with the same denominator.

Here are some links to sites for learning more about fractions:

Japanese Multiplication on YouTube


Screenshot from YouTube

On Friday, Michelle and Abby and I were very lucky to be able to attend a Country Education Project seminar “21st Century Learners in Rural Communities” with Stephen Heppell. Stephen Heppell is a leading educator and global consultant, ‘architect’ of 21st century learning spaces and engaging and distinguished guest speaker  from UK. I wrote another post about the seminar at Technoscience.

One of the exciting examples of learning strategies using web2.0 tools was this YouTube video of Japanese multiplication. Many in the audience were left pondering “How does it work?” and spent time scratching intersecting lines on their serviettes! Your learning task today is to practise five long multiplication problems using this method and then try to explain to your partner how it works. Go to the video and leave a comment about whether you think it is a good method for long multiplication.

Your homework tonight is to ask an adult if they know any maths tips and tricks to make mental arithmetic easier. One tip I learnt from a market vendor was that 88% of 25 is the same as 25% of 88, which is an easier task to calculate. It works for all percentages – Why is this so?

How do you keep your times tables in your brain?


Image adapted from wikimedia commons via Creative Commons

Do you have trouble remembering your times tables? It is very difficult to succeed in maths when you are unable to recall basic number facts,  so it is important to find ways to learn your multiplication tables. As well as regular repetition – both written and verbal – look for patterns. “Tips, Tools and Technology for Educators” has an excellent article with “Five Games for Learning Times Tables.”

 These videos, from Right Brain Maths, show you some ways that will help you to remember three’s, sixes, seven’s and nine’s. There are lots of iPod apps that will help you to practise your tables with fun games.

Times Tables (Multiplication Tables)

Ultimate Times Tables

Math Facts

Math Drill Lite


Times Tables XL

TimesTables Free

If you have an iPod, you may like to download two or three of these applications and let me know which you like best. Which one works best for you and why? How did the game or activity help you to remember your multiplication tables? Would you recommend this application for other students who need to remember their times tables? Leave me a comment below.