My daughter has been working through two maths workbooks which are helping to build her “maths confidence” so I thought I write a post about them.  I purchased both maths books a few weeks ago hoping that would be good practice books for her and they have been just what she needed. Both books are written for Key Stage 2 ages (in the UK that is school years 3 – 6 ) they are the  Written Calculation Addition (series of 6): Key Stage 2, ages 7-11 (Answer book also available)  and Written Calculation Subtraction (Series of 6): Key Stage 2, ages 7-11 (Answer book also available).

The two books are written in the same format (both workbooks are 47 pages long).  The first double page starts with basic column addition / or subtraction where there is no carrying or exchanging and then each double page after that builds on bit by bit until the kids are adding and subtracting with decimal points.

Each double page starts with a brief explanation of how the kids should work through the sums.  I think this is one of the reasons why my daughter is enjoying these books.  She reads the explanation herself and then works through the pages, totally independently.  The explanations are set out in 3 or 4 steps and the terminology used is always easy to understand.

Then immediately after the explanations there are some straight forward examples which the kids work through.

Onto the second part of the double page and there are more examples and then some problem solving / story sum applications. I personally really like the inclusion of the story sums as it allows the kids to see a practical application of what they have just practiced and it is an excellent way of ensuring they understand what they are doing.

Both books gradually build on the previous pages. The addition book starts with 2 digit-addition no carrying then 3-digit addition no carrying and then slowly introduces carrying numbers by breaking it down into 3-digit carrying 1 ten, 3-digit carrying 1 hundred, 3-digit carrying once and 3 digit addition of 3 numbers carrying once and then it goes onto 4-digit addition again working up slowly. So it really is built up gradually and gives the kids lots of practice.  I personally think these books are great for ensuring the kids master the column method of addition and subtraction.

The books also contains three “check-up tests” – which is really just revision pages and then a “final test”.  We treat these test pages as just normal practice pages.

My daughter is going through the addition book very quickly as she has already done most of it before.  But it is great practice for her and she is doing it totally independently.  The subtraction book is taking more time because she is just not as confident with her subtraction as she is with addition  But in both cases I think each of these books have been worth the £3.50 I paid for them.

The Written calculation range also includes two multiplication books and two division books.  Once we have finished our subtraction book and worked through some fraction addition activities we will probably order the multiplication and division books and test those out.

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