# Rounding to a significant figure

When I teach rounding to a significant figure, I ask the class to discuss in pairs or small groups a definition for the word significant.  It is a word that all the students have heard before but not all are able to define. After 2 or 3 minutes of conversation I ask the students to […]

# Converting Between Fractions, Decimals and Percentages

Fractions, decimals and percentages are ways of showing a proportion of something.  Any fraction can be written as a decimal, and any decimal can be written as a percentage.  In this blog I discuss how to use the place value table and equivalent fractions to illustrate how fractions, decimals and percentages are connected. The importance […]

# How to Simplify Surds

When learning how to simplify surds students need to understand the difference between a rational and irrational number. Rational numbers include integers and terminating and repeating decimals. They can be written as a fraction with both the numerator and denominator as integers. An irrational number is a number which, in its decimal form does not […]

# Sharing an Amount to a Given Ratio

There are three common methods for sharing an amount to a given ratio.  Depending on the age group and ability range I am teaching I would choose one approach over the other two. The three methods are: Using fractions Unitary method Using a table In this blog I will demonstrate each of the three methods […]

# Teaching Reciprocals of Numbers and Terms

To introduce teaching reciprocals of numbers and terms I begin the lesson explaining that everything has an opposite.  The opposite of shutting a door is to open it.  The opposite of saying hello is to say goodbye.  Numbers have opposites too we call them reciprocals. Teaching Reciprocals of Numbers and Terms To start the lesson […]

# Add and Subtract with Numbers in Standard Form

To add and subtract with numbers in standard form students apply a range of skills and knowledge of different topics.  They need to be equally confident converting large numbers to standard form as they are with writing small numbers from standard to ordinary form.  Column subtraction and addition may seem basic skills, but they become […]

# How to calculate speed using ratio notation

Whenever I teach how to calculate speed as a measure of distance and time I either use the formula or the triangle method.  In my experience most students are know about the triangle method from their science lessons.  For this reason I would have expected speed to appear either within the algebra or shape and measures strands of […]

# Dividing with mixed numbers

Dividing with mixed numbers and top-heavy fractions is one of those lessons where students have to combine a lot of topics they have learned in previous lessons.  Equivalent fractions, mixed numbers, reciprocals and multiplying with fractions are all involved when dividing with mixed numbers. Division with fractions using the visual method The start of the […]

# How to Visualise Dividing with Fractions

Students first learn how to divide with fractions in year 8.  In the past I’ve struggled with teaching how to visualise dividing with fractions in a way that students gain a conceptual understanding, especially when the written method is a relatively simple procedure. Dividing with integers is much easier to understand on a conceptual level, […]

# 5 ways how to connect factor pairs to other areas of maths

How to connect factor pairs to other areas of maths Knowing how to find the factors of a number enables students to connect with topics such as prime, square and perfect numbers.  You can also link factors to area, perimeter and algebra.  I am sure there are many more.  The highest common factor for a […]