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Resources to Support with Maths Difficulties

Having a really good understanding of basic number facts is key to becoming a confident mathematician. Without this knowledge, children often struggle with their next steps in maths.


Here are just a few ideas:


- Make a poster about all the things a number (1-9) can mean. e.g. 3 candles on a cake, I came 3rd in the race, 3 o'clock) and talk about what the number means in each context.


- Write 0 on a piece of paper. What does this mean? Use other words like 'none' or 'nothing' to explain what 0 means. Play games where you pretend to eat all the play food or hide objects, and use this language in your play. 


- Make number cards 1-10 and challenge your child in fun and engaging ways to find the correct number of objects to match each number; build towers using the correct number of bricks or take the correct number of steps/jumps/hops.


- Help your child to learn the relationship between numbers. Spend time learning the 'number bonds to 10' (1+9/9+1, 2+8/8+2, 3+7/7+3, 4+6/6+4, 5+5). Try writing the individual digits on pieces of paper, turn them upside down and try to match the cards that make 10. Who will get the most pairs? Alternatively hide the cards around the house or garden and challenge your child to find all the pairs to make 10. 

This can also be done with number bonds to 20 (11+9, 12+8...) or 100 (10+90, 20+80...), using the same knowledge about the relationships between numbers.


- Spend time exploring what 'add' and 'take away' really mean using real objects. Show how you 'add more' flour when baking, or 'take away' some when the scales showed you poured out too much. 


- Help your child to recognise or predict how many objects they can see. Look at the spots on dice and try to make similar patterns with coins or beads. Challenge each other to guess how many objects you have laid out without counting - check by counting carefully. 


- Spend time playing board games and making jigsaw puzzles - these fun games are invaluable in helping children to understand how maths works in a practical context.