A Parents’ / Carers’ Guide to Home Learning

Readers, this is a slightly different blog aimed at parents and carers – please, if you can, share the blogpost with parents/carers via your chosen communication channels.

As a parent and as a teacher with 2 primary aged children, I can fully understand the daunting task of having to home school children for a period of time. With schools in the UK closing for most children, I have put together a guide on how to establish Home Learning and the best ways to use LGfL Content to support this.

But first, let me introduce to who I am: my name is Bradley, a father of 2 children both in Primary school, I was a primary school teacher specialising in Computing and Early Years for over 12 years before working with LGfL as learning resource consultant.

LGfL is an education Charity that focus on supporting technology use within schools, we provide broadband to many schools in London and nationwide, with this service we also provide schools access to a range of award-winning online learning resources. It may be that your child recognises the online tools and learning resources because many are already used in their school but for others, they may be unfamiliar. 

Normally to access our content you would need a username (USO) and password provided to you via your student’s school due to school closures, we have oped up many of our resources so that you can access them without needing to use a username/password and we have groups our best resources for use for home learning which you can find via this link:  hlresources.lgfl.net

You will note the home learning can also be organised in Key Stages. This will help you to find resources suitable for the age of your child. 

Now, what can you do at home? Here are some key tips to help with home learning.

Establish routines:

We are all in the same situation here. Everyone’s anxious. No one was planning on this, you need to come up with a structure to your day because children thrive on structure and routine, this will be the things that children will miss the most, set a timetable up, you may find this pack from our resource Widgit useful.

Simply-drawn, colourful symbols to illustrate concepts in a clear and concise way. (for more details on this resource please follow the link) the pack contains a Visual Timetable, as well as a behaviour chart or if you want a head start you may want to use a timetable which I have created for my children, here it is in a Word doc and also the same timetable with Widgit symbols.

You can also find useful printables activities with the activities section of Widgit.

You are not a teacher and your home isn’t a school:

Learning at home is not replicating school at home. It’s not necessary to do six hours of learning like in school with lessons being one-on-one and being more intense, activities will be over much quicker. I know a lot of parents are going to focus on not just supplementing the schoolwork but teaching life skills, like here’s how you clean a toilet, here’s how you make your lunch, with one on one teaching you don’t need to do as much.

One of the things I am encouraging in my home is the idea of cooking and helping with planning meals we are going to eat, LGfL has a great resource to help with this called Cookit.

The aim of Cookit! is to improve pupils’ skill, understanding and enjoyment of food and healthy eating. The site supports the teaching of a range of basic skills and processes. It encourages and inspire learners to explore cooking and supports ways for students to create and share their own recipes.

The new 3 “Rs” Repetition, Revision and Retrieval:

Don’t jump into a new area of learning, remember much of what children do in school is based on going back over what they have already learnt. Children are comforted by familiar activities and will want to continue them. Many young children may start the day with a morning routine be it morning excise, songs, etc ask them what they do and see if you continue this at home.

For EYFS/KS1 students you may want to keep a simple phonic scheme going, revisioning sounds that they have already learnt, Busythings have a bank of digital resources to support phonics and also have printables activities you can use.

You may want to also practise general number skills by counting objects and adding and subtraction, again Busy things has some great resources to help with this.

For KS2 it’s important to make sure each day your child reads, it doesn’t matter what (magazine, comics, picture books, chapter books) you may want to ask them to explore the story with you (be gentle you don’t have to test them) or maybe ask them to write a reading journal or write a book review. 

Daily practising of timetables and also spelling common keywords are vital. The just2easy platform has excellent revision tools that use exciting games to help aid the revision of spelling and time tables

Tt blast encourages pupils to learn maths while they do what comes naturally; play and compete against each other. As they progress through the levels, the questions automatically adjust to the pupils’ ability so that they never find them too easy or too difficult. Spellblast does the same but with Spelling.

Users can choose to practice or take part in a live game. If no other live players are waiting for a game, robots take over, so it always appears that there are multiple players. The scoreboard shows your place in the class, school and world.

You children may not do things to the way you did when you were at school:

It may be the first time your child shares with you the methods/tools that they use at school, for this may be the first time you have heard about an Apostrophe Contracted or finite Verbs or how about explaining Commutative Law don’t worry we’ve got you!

Grammer explained offers 80 short and clear videos, made to explain every grammar point listed in the Primary National Curriculum. Ideal for teachers, parents and pupils.

We also have Maths at home which is designed to provide support for parents that wish to help their child with their mathematical development at home. A video has been made for every single National Curriculum descriptor for the whole of Key Stage 1 and 2, as well as an overview video for Early Years. This provides coverage for the entire Mathematics Primary curriculum. Each video is a snapshot of how many schools may teach the particular strand, and also provides examples of how parents could support their child at home. Where appropriate, video content is reinforced with a selection of downloadable resources.

You can’t pour from an empty cup:

Make sure you are looking after yourself both in body and mind, you can keep healthy by making sure you join in with Jo Wicks in his morning PE lessons which are an excellent start to your morning, makes sure during the day you can take a moment to breathe and relax, your child may already take a moment to do this at school with a mindfulness exercise perhaps with meditation or yoga (these links to YouTubes videos are not endorsed by LGfL but are recommended by my children) or we also recommend these apps or books for EYFS/KS1 and KS2 which is part of our larger wellbeing resource Wellbeing connected. 

Create a Project:

You may want to explore our range of resources that would support a larger topic-based project, for example, looking at Roman history, a great way of starting of these type of projects is asking your child to come up 5/6 questions they want to find out the answers to, once you have these questions plan how you are going to answer them, it might be a poster, a presentation or a 3D model.

The following resources offer engaging expert video, Augmented and Virtual Reality experiences (additional apple-based hardware and software required) to may inspire a project:

Don’t bottle up worries:

It is easy for children to get worried about issues that are in the news, especially where they can see that parents/carers and teachers are worried. They may find this Coronavirus video series from CBBC Newsround reassuring: they explain what is happening in a child-friendly way. Keep your children up to date with the latest news as well as lots on the environment, entertainment, gaming and tonnes of tips and advice on keeping busy and happy at home.

Create role-play spaces:

Roleplay helps children naturally develop and use their cognitive abilities and skills. Through using their imagination regularly, they develop creativity and learn to think for themselves. In a society where we are so keen on school results, it’s even more important to create a space where children are free to express themselves.

Creating spaces like this at home may seem impossible but with some simple house objects and a few toys, you can create a world of fantasy. We have come up with ideas you can use for small world/roleplays ideas you can use within the topic of Dinosaurs in our resource Dinosaurs and fossils (you can easily adapt these ideas for other topics)

You will even find playdough recipes and how to make your very own fossil!

Be Safe:

DIgisafe (our online safety team ) are here to help, they have created a #DigiSafeDaily worksheet for every day this week and is ready for your child here print the pdf and find the answers for each sheet on the following day’s sheet.

To help ease the burden, if you are on Twitter or Facebook do look at #RemoteLearning #edtech #HomelearningUK people are being encouraged to share resources and make learning accessible by adopting this hashtag.

Remember if you need any support for our learning content you can contact the Inspire team by emailing contentsupport@lgfl.net  or contact the LGfL Switchboard: 020 82 555 555.

Maths Week England (11th to 16th November 2019)

Maths Week England will take place during the week of the 11th to 16th November 2019. According to the Maths Week England website, the 3rd April 2019 was its “official birth date”, and Twitter was the birthplace!

The week is being privately funded this year and the organisers envisage that it will start off quite small. They are hoping “with enough help and support to grow [the event] annually until every child has a chance to engage with the beauty and magic of mathematics“. {Please note that should you subscribe to the site – we believe you may get marketing emails from the sponsors!}

If you are planning on taking part in the week, LGfL have a range of resources that can support you, for use in assemblies, in class and also for engaging with parents.

Our ever popular Busy Things; has a host of maths quizzes, games and their latest addition, the Maths Resource Maker means you can make your own customised worksheets (including tens frames, counting and sequencing worksheets and even maths displays).

J2eToolsuite has a range of maths tools that can be used in class.  Why not get your students to use TtBlast Live? If you are a two or bigger form entry school perhaps the classes in Key Stage 2 could compete against each other? You could also see which pupil manages to win the most often and is the ultimate winner; perhaps all the class/year group winners could then go on to compete in a whole school assembly to see who the ultimate TtBlast Champion is.

You could also get your Year 2 and Year 6 children to practice in the SATsblast (mental arithmetic) and establish which maths topics they find most tricky. In J2Vote, they could conduct a school survey and then present the data in J2Data or you could use the J2Database to look at the examples (e.g the Titanic passenger list or a dinosaur database which have been made by users). 

For teachers Multe Maths has both starter and main activities for Years 3 to 6 that can be used on an interactive whiteboard as well as lesson plans and activities that can be used in the classroom and are supported by the Toolbox.  Or why not get the class rapping with Maths Raps from Beam? The pupils  could then go on to create their own number or maths raps using tunes from Audio Network (which is soon to be updated) as a backing track. 

Maths at Home is a fantastic resource to share with parents the resource is designed to provide support for busy parents that wish to help their child with their mathematical development at home.  A video has been made for every single NC descriptor for the whole of KS1 and 2 as well as an overview video for Early Years. Each video is a snapshot of how many schools may teach the particular strand, and also provides examples of how parents could support their child at home.  Where appropriate, video content is reinforced with a selection of downloadable resources.

Maths at Home videos are designed to feel like they are taking place on a table at home, encouraging communication, conversation and lots of fun while working on them.  The video resources are designed to bring Maths to life, highlighting learning opportunities within cookery, play, decorating and gardening. Most importantly, they are designed to ignite conversations between children and parents, and to make Maths a positive and enjoyable experience outside of school. It would be a great resource to highlight to parents on the day perhaps by inviting parents in for a special number assembly.

Maths in the Real World does exactly what its title suggests; it puts maths in to real world problems and contexts. The detailed differentiation and detailed lesson plans and resources  ensure there is something for all ability levels. Some of the real world topics covered in the resource include: Search and Rescue (with the HM Coastguard), Nutrition, Sporting Decisions and Round the World.

Other free resources that you could access in order to further promote maths in your schools:

MathsBots.com from Jonathan Hall@StudyMaths are tools for maths teachers including ‘GCSE Resources’ and ‘Manipulatives’ (pictorial images to support the Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract CPA approach to the teaching of maths).

Mathlearningcenter.org (note the American spelling!) based on the visual models featured in Bridges in Mathematics.

I See Maths by Gareth Metcalfe has a great range of free and subscription resources. If you want to look for the free resources click on the “Free Resources” tab; the Early Years drop-down has a large bank of visual games.

There is also the EdShed; within this is the Mathematics Shed curated and organised by Graham Andre . It is a collection of videos and resources to help you teach maths in an engaging way, there are a huge number of ‘sheds’ including the warm up shed, addition shed and a maths topic shed to name a few.

Remember you can view case studies from schools about how they have used LGfL resources as part of the daily diet they offer their pupils. The case studies can be found on LGfL TV; included within the collection is “Maths Bootcamp” and the winners of the award for “The Use of J2e Toolsuite” explaining how they make the best use of this award winning tool.

Please let us know if you use any of our resources to support your Maths Week England or indeed have suggestions for how LGfL could further support you in school by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook. 

 

National Numeracy day 15th May 2019

Wednesday May 15th is National Numeracy Day – the day aims to celebrate numbers and the role they play in everyday life. National Numeracy Day is all about recognising the importance of numbers and helping people sharpen their skills and build their confidence. They have a range of activities and challenges here, that can be used in class or sent home to encourage the conversation around numbers and the importance of them.

LGfL have a range of resources that can complement National Numeracy Day within school, for use in assemblies, in class and for engaging with parents on National Numeracy Day.

Maths at Home is a fantastic resource to share with parents the resource is designed to provide support for busy parents that wish to help their child with their mathematical development at home.  A video has been made for every single NC descriptor for the whole of KS1 and 2 as well as an overview video for Early Years. Each video is a snapshot of how many schools may teach the particular strand, and also provides examples of how parents could support their child at home.  Where appropriate, video content is reinforced with a selection of downloadable resources.

Maths at home videos are designed to feel like they are taking place on a table at home, encouraging communication, conversation and lots of fun while working on them.  The video resources are designed to bring Maths to life, highlighting learning opportunities within cookery, play, decorating and gardening.  Most importantly, they are designed to ignite conversations between children and parents, and to make Maths a positive and enjoyable experience outside of school. It would be a great resource to highlight to parents on the day perhaps by inviting parents in for a special number assembly.

BusyThings have a wealth of resources to support Number both at school and at home, from flashcards, to games, printables and interactive worksheets there are over 200 activities that can be used for extend numeracy skills from EYFS to KS2.

j2e Tool suite has a range of maths tools that can be used in class.  Why not get your students to use Tt Blast to see who can complete the most games and earn the most points on that day? Or use j2Vote to find out what their favourite number is? j2data and j2measure can also be used during the day to look at measuring distances from school e.g. how many places are with 5cm or 10 cm on a map from school?

For teachers Mult e Maths has both starter and main activities for Years 3 to 6 that can be used on the interactive whiteboard as well as lesson plans and activities that can be used in the classroom.  Or why not get the class rapping with Maths Raps from Beam, the children could even create their own number raps using Audio Network as a backing track and then uploading the raps into Video Central HD to share with the wider community.

Maths in the real world –  this resources does exactly what its title suggests it put maths into real world problems. The activities are ideal for use either before or after the move from Primary to Secondary, and detailed differentiation ensures there is something for all ability levels. Some of the real-world topics covered in the resource include: Nutrition, Arena and Events and Round the world – perfect to use on National Numeracy day for the children to apply their mathematical knowledge to real life problems. Each topic contains detailed lesson plans and resources, there is also a curriculum mapping tool so that teachers are able to see where the resource relates to both the KS2 and KS3 curriculum.

There is also the Mathematics Shed curated and organised by Graham Andre .The Shed is a collection of videos and resources to help you teach maths in an engaging way, there are a huge number of ‘sheds’ including the warm up shed, addition shed and a maths topic shed to name a few.

CREST Awards aren’t just about Science & Engineering, there are numerous projects you can use to excite your students about maths!

Along with the Star, Superstar, Discovery, Bronze, Silver & Gold projects in the CREST Resources Library, CREST have many accredited resources from their partners. Take a look, download everything you need and start your projects…

IET: IET Faraday Challenge Resources
Maths in Motion: Maths in Motion Challenge for Schools
MP Futures: Pyramids
CITB: Building Bridges Challenge
Canal & River Trust: STEM Programme
Engineering in Motion: F1 in Schools: Development Class – nationalF1 in Schools: Professional Class
EDT: Go4SET

If you do use any LGfL content in your school to inspire your students do let us know by posting them on LGfL’s twitter or Facebook

Number Day 1st February 2019

Join thousands of schools for a mega maths-inspired fundraising day and raise money for the NSPCC, on 1st February. With new creative activities this year, it’s maths but not as you know it! Whether you dedicate a day or an hour to being a maths maverick, the NSPCC have a range of activities for schools, new for 2019.  Schools can register for a pack including:

  • digital resources you can use in class
  • fundraising tips and ideas to help pupils and teachers raise money
  • maths activities for children of all ages
  • printed posters to promote your event
  • access to teacher resources to keep children safe from harm, supporting your school’s safeguarding.

LGfL have a range of resources that can complement your teaching of Number Day or why not use some of them to turn it into a Number week.

j2e Tool suite – has a range of maths tools that can be used in class.

Why not get your students to use the maths games in j2blast, you could use Tt Blast to see who can complete the most games and earn the most points on that day, or if they are in Year 2 or Year 6 you could get them to use Sats blast to see who can get the best score within the time limit.

 j2vote can be used to see what is the favourite number within the school or you can use j2measure to look at measuring distances from school e.g. how many places are within 5cm or 10 cm on a map from school? 

Using the animate tool in JIT, children could make an animation of their favourite numbers or facts about numbers narrating their animations and then turning them in a GIF

BusyThings have a huge range of maths games and quizzes that can be used from EYFS to KS2, we have featured just three below that are available. But why not use the curriculum browser or the search tool to find games related to Number to use with your class.

Why not Test KS2 knowledge with NEW quizzes – 60+ available!

Have fun testing children’s knowledge with Busy Things’ NEW quizzes – perfect as a front of class resource or for children to independently try to beat their previous scores! Teachers – you can assign quizzes too, giving great visibility of how children are progressing.

Miner Birds – Addition and Subtraction The popular Miner Birds suite has been expanded to include NEW Miner Birds – Addition and Subtraction with a wide variety of calculations customisable for children between the ages of 5 and 11. As with all the Miner Birds games, the aim is to be the first to collect twenty worms by correctly answering maths questions – so not only will children have fun practising their maths skills, they must also employ strategy and logical thinking to succeed!

Splash Dash

Help children to improve their addition and subtraction skills with NEW Splash Dash; starting with simple number sentences and progressing right up to 5 column addition and subtraction, the game can be played with children between the ages of 5 and 11.

Maths at home Support for busy parents – is great to site share with parents on this day to show them different ways that they can support their children at home, as well as how a lot of mathematical concepts are taught in school.  The site includes short videos no longer than 3 minutes as well as activity sheets that can be used at home and covers Years 1-6

Looking to link maths to real world problems then our Maths in the real world is perfect for this especially for UKS2 or LKS3, with curriculum mapping documents available for KS2 and KS3. Lesson plans and resources are also included.

The real-world topics covered in the resource are:

  • Algorithms
  • Arena and Events
  • Nutrition
  • Round the World
  • Speed Camera Investigation
  • Sporting Decisions

Maths Raps – why not use the day to do a spot of rapping in class, these raps from BEAM have a range of raps related to Number that can be used, or why not get the children to create their own maths raps, use Audio Network as a backing track and upload your raps into Video Central HD to share with the wider community.

BBC Bitesize have a wide selection of videos for both KS1 and KS2 to use on Number day including learner guides and activities.

NRICH also have a range of games and activities for EYFS to Secondary that would be great to use on Number Day or to set as challenges for at home or through the school

 

Whatever you are doing to celebrate Number day 2018 – why not share them on our twitter feed or our Facebook page #NumberDay

National Numeracy Day – May 16th 2018

Wednesday May 16th is National Numeracy Day – this is the UK’s first ever National Numeracy Day, the day will be an annual celebration of the importance of numbers in everyday life and will bring together individuals, employers, educators and influencers to improve numeracy.

The day aims to celebrate numbers and the role they play in everyday life. National Numeracy Day is all about recognising the importance of numbers and helping people sharpen their skills and build their confidence. They have a range of activities here, that can be used in class or sent home to encourage the conversation around numbers and the importance of them.

LGfL have a range of resources that can complement National Numeracy Day

  • Why not use the day to blast off with our brand new Space Adventures – Mission to the Moon resource this unique and engaging cross curricular resource is based around an original story commissioned by LGfL by the award-winning author Cath Howe. It features dramatic video content and a virtual reality experience linked to the narrative. Maths topics include: rounding to 100, co-ordinates, angles and sequences all within a cross curricular resource.

  • j2e Tool suite has a range of maths tools that can be used in class.  Why not get your students to use Tt Blast to see who can complete the most games and earn the most points on that day? Or use j2Vote to find out what their favourite number is? j2data and j2measure can also be used during the day to look at measuring distances from school e.g. how many places are with 5cm or 10 cm on a map from school?

 

  • Busy Things – have a range of maths games and quizzes that can be used across the school from EYFS to KS2
  • Maths at home Support for busy parents – is great to share with parents on this day to show them different ways that they can support their children at home.  The site includes short videos as well as activity sheets that can be used at home.
  • Mult e Maths – have both starters and main activities for Years 3 to 6 that can be used on the interactive whiteboard, as well as lesson plans and activities that can be used in the classroom.
  • Maths Raps – why not use the day to do a spot of rapping in class, these raps from BEAM have a range of raps related to Number that can be used, or why not get the children to create their own maths raps, use Audio Network as a backing track and upload your raps into Video Central HD to share with the wider community.

  • Maths Search and Rescue – can be used on the day to give a real live context to maths. Search & Rescue is extensively mapped to the National Curriculum and includes detailed lesson plans and resources to enable pupils to apply their skills in context, solving problems for themselves. Featuring comprehensive and differentiated support materials, topics covered include Bearings,Pythagoras and Trigonometry, Algebra, Vectors and Speed, Distance and Time.
  • Maths in the real world – This is a transition resource for Key Stage 2-3. The activities are ideal for use either before or after the move from Primary to Secondary, and detailed differentiation ensures there is something for all ability levels. Some of the real-world topics covered in the resource include: Nutrition, Arena and Events and Round the world – perfect to use on National Numeracy day for the children to apply their mathematical knowledge to real life problems. Each topic contains detailed lesson plans and resources, there is also a curriculum mapping tool so that teachers are able to see where the resource relates to both the KS2 and KS3 curriculum.
  • Viral Contagion Looks at the real world maths that could occur as a result of an outbreak of a biological virus in an urban area. Dramatized news reports describe the impact of the virus outbreak across South London, challenging students to consider the maths behind such scenarios. This resource offers a collection of 4 discrete, differentiated lessons that provide an engaging and challenging focus for Key Stage 3 and 4 maths students.

There is also the Mathematics Shed curated and organised by Graham Andre one of our Keynote speakers at this years annual conference.  The Shed is a collection of videos and resources to help you teach maths in an engaging way, there are a huge number of ‘sheds’ including the warm up shed, addition shed and a maths topic shed to name a few.

If you do use any LGfL content in your school to inspire your students do let us know by posting them on LGfL’s twitter or Facebook pages.

 

 

Supporting Pi Day

What is a maths teacher’s favourite dessert? Pi of course! And what better day to have a large slice of Pi then on Pi day!

Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.

Each year on 3/14, teachers in classrooms across the world take a break from the normal routine to plan a special celebration in honour of pi, or the number 3.14. March 14 also happens to be the birth day of Albert Einstein which makes the day an extra special one for planning maths challenges and math fun!

Pi Day activities are meant to enrich and deepen students’ understanding of pi and mathematic concepts with real life mathematical hands on experiences.

Pi Day gives ample opportunity for creative math fun and offers students to study real world maths problems. This amazing activity, for example, allows your students to play pi as a musical sequence! (You will need flash installed) Simply pick ten notes, which are then assigned to integers, and then listen to what pi sounds like! Try  Cutting Pi, a hands-on activity in which students measure cylindrical objects in the classroom with string, cut their measured string into three equal pieces, and then figure out how to measure the leftover piece. They’ll see for themselves how pi comes up every time! Learn how to make a circle from three points on a plane and have fun manipulating nested circles with this interactive tool that shows students that circles are awesome.

LGfL have a range of resources that can support teaching real world maths skills.

Maths doesn’t get more real than an HM Coastguard search and rescue mission. Search and Rescue with HM Coastguard features exclusive footage of real life rescues at sea, lifeboat and helicopters searches and rescue coordination at the National Maritime Operations Centre, pupils can see mathematical problem solving in action.

For more real-world examples of mathematics Maths in the Real World offers activities based in the real world, the real-world topics covered in the resource are:

  • Algorithms
  • Arena and events
  • Nutrition
  • Round the World
  • Speed Camera Investigations
  • Sporting decisions

 

To plan an exciting maths event for Pi day why not use the Viral Contagion resource to inspire you to create a large-scale maths event or use the resource to recreate the event yourself. Viral Contagion explores the real-world maths that would occur as result of biological virus outbreak in an urban area.

Maths at home also offers a range of videos exploring the mathematical concepts involved with Pi, the resource is designed for busy parents but can also be used by teachers to explore and explain mathematical concepts from Early Years to Key Stage 1 and 2.

Maths raps offers an unforgettable rap about circles, Maths raps is a series of rap videos from BEAM on Numbers and Calculations, shape and space and solving problems covering the KS2 Numeracy as the raps says “Yeah, you’ve got it, don’t forget it, rap with confidence!”

 For Younger Students you can Introduce ideas such as size, shape, circumference and diameter, and fractions by making pizzas, Busy Things has a Pizza recipe to follow as well as an online pizza making activity or explore fractions by playing against the computer or against friends to correct by answering fraction-based questions.

Whatever you have planned for Pi Day please share via our  twitter or Facebook pages and remember the #piday hashtag