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Properties of number is a key topic for Foundation GCSE maths students as it lays the groundwork for fractions, standard form, ratio and percentages. Throughout this topic students learn the importance of place value and the order of operations.

Properties of number takes place in Term 1 of Year 9 and is followed by fractions and mixed numbers.

- read, write and interpret mathematical statements involving addition (+), subtraction (–) and equals (=) signs
- represent and use number bonds and related subtraction facts within 20
- add and subtract one-digit and two-digit numbers to 20, including zero
- solve one-step problems that involve addition and subtraction, using concrete objects and pictorial representations, and missing number problems such as 7 = – 9.

- Understand and use place value
- Order positive integers
- Apply the four operations, including formal written methods, to integers
- Recognise and use relationships between operations
- Use the concepts and vocabulary of prime numbers, factors (divisors) and multiples

- Students need to be very secure in their knowledge of applying the place value table to identify the value of any digit.
- Understanding the additive and multiplicative number properties are vital building blocks for the remainder of this course. For example, 2 x 3 = 3 x 2 and 2 + 3 = 3 + 2.
- When calculating factors of integers it is beneficial to use factor pairs rather individual values.
- Use the place value table to demonstrate column addition and subtraction.

- Students often define a prime number as ‘divides by 1 and itself’. This leads to the incorrect assumption of 1 to be prime number.
- When subtracting, students may find knowing when to ‘borrow’ confusing and instead incorrectly subtracting the smaller digit from the larger one. E.g., 43 – 25 = 22
- Aligning the correct value digits for column addition and subtraction can prove troublesome. Encourage use of the place value table.

January 29, 2019

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 […]

January 13, 2019

When calculating instantaneous rates of change students need to visualise the properties of the gradient for a straight line graph. I use the starter activity to see if they can match four graphs with their corresponding equations. The only clue is the direction and steepness of the red lines in relation to the blue line […]

January 4, 2019

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. You can […]