I have shared before how much I like the Times Table test workbooks – I like the way each page is set out and how they give a wide range of questions, some are just numeracy questions and some word problems. I really wanted to find something like that but one that covered the whole range of Maths skills (not just times tables) and I think I have found it – the Mental Arithmetic Workbooks from Schofield and Sims. (I only have the Versions 4 to 6 because I wanted to use them with my son but there are others in the set).
Straight away a few basics – they use the word Test – every page is considered a separate test but please don’t be put off by that. If you are wanting good practice questions this is it, just ignore the word test, even cross it out if you want to. Also these books do not include the answers, if you want the answers you can buy them separately but I actually like the fact that I need to sit and check the answers myself so we have never used an answer book. Also you don’t have to stick to the suggested year, use the year as a guide but go based on your kids ability if they need to step back and work through a younger version first, just go for it, it will help.
Each books consist of the same format. 12 Tests then a revision test, another 12 tests followed by revision test and then finally a last set of 12 tests followed by the last revision test. I suppose the logic is it can fit in with the school calendar and you could use it as your kid progress through their school year. Our plan is to use it as a revision book. A way for my son to practice what he has learnt and to highlight any areas we may need to go over again. (I am a huge fan of Maths Practice / Maths revision activities).
Each Test is 1 page long and is split into 3 sections.
Section A is just numeracy questions so equations and the kids need to write the answer.
Section B is slightly longer questions using some number vocabulary.
Section C is one and two step word problems (I really love section C because it gives lots of examples of how Maths can be applied).
To give you a better idea there are examples from the three books that we have – Mental Arithmetic Book 4: Year 5, Ages 9-10
from Mental Arithmetic Book 5: KS2 Maths, Year 6, Ages 10-11
and Mental Arithmetic Book 6: Years 6-7, Ages 11-12
I found our Times Table test Book incredibly useful in fact I would go as far as saying it was the best Times Table book that I bought and by far the most useful. So I have no doubt that these Arithmetic Books are going to be just as good and just as useful.
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