We are constantly working on maths in our house. My daughter is not what most would say “natural at Maths” but she is a hard worker and likes to understand concepts. I have found with Maths often it is just finding the right way of explaining a concept to her and sometimes we will try a number of different ways until she finds one way that just makes sense for her. Once she understands something she will then want to practice it over and over again to make sure she “gets it”. She has realised that the more she practices sums the easier they get so every day (most days) she actually asks me for maths practice pages.
This past week we have been looking at division again. Division has been one of the more challenging maths concepts for her. We have looked at division a number of times in the past but she has never been totally happy with the idea. But because of her recent determination to practice more maths we both decided to give it another go. We started off going right back to basics again – with sharing objects. She is fine with this concept when we are dealing with smaller numbers but finds it hard to apply it to larger numbers. But I still wanted to reinforce the idea of sharing the number into equal groups. (In the past we have tried using number lines and showing division as repeated subtraction but she really did NOT like that and got herself very mixed up and that was possibly the beginning of her negative feelings about doing division.)
She has always prefered thinking of division as the inverse of her times tables so this time around we have stuck with that. She started off with dividing numbers by 3 and 4 and quickly jumped onto confidently dividing them by 6 and 8.
And yes we do need to practice them but when she finally looked at me and said “Okay I get it, can we add a page of division sums to my maths practice pages ?” Wow. Happy mom!! With maths we often introduce a concept, work on it a bit and if I can see she is battling we sometimes leave it for a few weeks/ even a month or so and then we come back and retry it later. It seems like this really worked with division. We have tried it a numbered of times, we have made great learning aids together, built little booklets together but she has always been unsure about it. Leaving it, and coming back to it later definitely was the right decision.
She has been making her own maths worksheets lately so I have actually suggested that on Monday she makes a few division practice pages for herself. She likes that idea. In fact she has informed me that once her pack of worksheets are complete she will share them on mommy’s blog.
But in the mean-time I have been creating a division mini-pack myself. So in case any of you would like to use a few pages here it is. It only includes division by 2, 5, 10, 3, 4, 8 at the moment.