So why use a number line?
Number lines probably weren’t around when most teachers and parents went to school. Amongst some parents, they can be quite unpopular, often because they feel that it’s better to push on to more formal methods such as using columns. Children, however, benefit massively from the visual reinforcement that number lines offer. Number lines support children’s understanding of the maths behind calculations better than other methods, including column addition and subtraction so need to be used first. They help to show the relative value of each digit. That’s why they’re so important in our calculation methods. If you needed to add 142 + 52 mentally, you might add 50 to get 192, then 2. You’re unlikely to see the digits in columns in your head. It is essential that children understand what is happening if they were adding 70 to 142 i.e. that 7 tens add 4 tens requires the child to understand that this results in one hundred and one ten (110) and different columns are required.
The ability to calculate without a formal written method is essential in everyday life and supports understanding of what happens during a written method. We dedicate one day a week in order to develop children’s’ mental maths strategies and recall of essential facts such as doubles, halves and times tables.
These are an essential part of maths and it is impossible to perform multiplication and division calculations without having rapid recall of times tables.
We reward children with badges as they learn each times table.
The progression of skills is as follows:
Year 1 – Count on and back in 2s, 5s and 10s
Year 2 – Know by heart the 2, 5 and 10 times table and the related division facts.
Year 3 - Know by heart the 3, 4 and 8 times table and the related division facts.
Year 4 - Know by heart the 6, 7 and 9, 11 and 12 times table and the related division facts.
Year 5 and 6 – Consolidate and practice fluency
Maths at Cringle Brook
Mathematics is important in everyday life. It is integral to all aspects of life and with this is mind, we endeavour to ensure that children develop a healthy and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them. It is essential that children develop a ‘can do’ attitude to maths, as any negativity will affect their ability to learn.
Our mathematics policy for teaching mathematics can be found here.
We have a clear written calculations policy that we use throughout the school. The number line is widely used and column methods are not used until year 5.
A copy of the written calculations policy can be found here. The stage number directly relates to the year group i.e. year 4 use stage 4 methods.
How can you help at home?
There are lots of ways to help your child practice maths at home beyond helping with homework. Here are some suggestions:
Allow children to help with shopping at an age appropriate level i.e. handing over money, collecting change, deciding if items in a shop are good offers or not etc.
For younger children - lots of counting and courting songs i.e. five little ducks, ten green bottles. Don’t forget to count backwards!
Practice times tables together, make a game out of it as much as possible, children learn more and faster if it’s fun!
Involve children in cooking. Weights and times are an essential part of everyday maths.
Involve them in simple DIY tasks where measuring is a part of the job.
Play estimation games i.e. how long do you think it will take us to get there? How much do you think this weighs?
Find shapes in the environment.
There are also games available on the web.
The videos below show the addition, subtraction, multiplication and division methods for each year group across the trust.
Addition and subtraction
Starting in year 1, children are expected to calculate in all of the four operations using a variety of methods and classroom equipment such as cubes, counter, numicon and number lines. The number line method provides children with a visual image of numbers getting bigger for addition or smaller for subtraction. This method is then continued into year 2 where children calculate with increasingly larger numbers and more efficient methods for example in year 1 they will only add or subtract in steps of 1, in year 2 they can add 40 as 4 steps of 10 and by the end of year 2 they can add 40 in one jump.
By year 3, they are ready to add and subtract using column methods. We introduce this by using an expanded method which shows the individual steps and makes the carrying or exchanging clear.
By Years 4, 5 and 6, the children use the column method you may be more familiar with.
Multiplication and division
In year 1, children only use classroom equipment to multiply and divide (share).
In year 2 and 3, children use a number line as they do for addition and subtraction.
In year 4, we introduce the grid method in order to break multiplication down into smaller steps when dealing with larger numbers. For division we use the ‘chunking’ method which involves repeatedly taking away large ‘chunks’ of the number they are dividing by.
By years 5 and 6, the children use the more formal long multiplication and division methods.
Year 1 Addition
Year 1 divison
Year 2 division
Year 3 subtraction
Year 4 & 5 addition
Year 5 division
Year 6 multiplication
Year 6 Fractions - Addition
Year 6 Fractions - Division
Year 1 subtraction
Year 1 multiplication
Year 2 subtraction
Year 2 multiplication
Year 3 division and multiplication
Year 4 multiplication
Year 4 & 5 subtraction
Year 6 addition
Year 3 addition
Year 4 division
Year 5 multiplication
Year 6 subtraction
Year 6 division
Year 6 Fractions - Subtraction
Year 6 Fractions
Year 6 Fractions - Multiplication
Year 6 Fractions