Maths, Marmite & Mastery!


Maths can be like marmite but unlike marmite, whatever your opinion, we need it. In homes across the country we can hear the cry of adults looking at Maths homework saying, “We didn’t do it like that when I was at school”.

At St Giles School we believe that the role of our teachers is to help our children unlock their potential, we have high expectations of them and our children achieve the highest standards possible. We base this upon a solid foundation started in the Early Years Foundation Stage with well-structured teaching and learning which engages, innovates and enthuses the pupils throughout their school life.

So, ‘What Are we Learning Today in Year 5?’

At the beginning of the week the children progressed from 1 digit multiplication to 2 digit multiplication looking at both the grid method and long method. Worked is laid out in with one digit per square and plenty of space for working out. This gives the children an organised and systematic way of working, enabling them to work accurately and self-correct their work when checking it.

Here is a maths lesson taught to Year 5 this week.

WALT: Read, write and compare decimals to three decimal places, understanding that the third decimal place represents thousandths

Can I:

Say what each digit is worth in a 3-place decimal?

Put 3-place decimal numbers in order?

Explain why one 3-place decimal is larger/smaller than another?

A place-value grid was drawn on the whiteboard

The children were told that the place-value grid shows 10s, 1s, tenths, hundredths and thousandths. It shows 3-place decimals. The children discussed how they already know about tenths and hundredths (0·1s and 0·01s) but today they will start to think about thousandths! – it is a tiny part! The fact was clarified that all decimals are parts of one whole.

0·893 was written on a grid. Year 5 were asked to say how many 1s are in the number, then how many tenths, how many hundredths and finally how many thousandths.

14·627 was then written on the grid. Again discuss how many 10s, 1s, tenths, hundredths and thousandths are in that number.

A child was asked to say a number with three decimal places for the class to write on their grids. Then the child asked the class how many 10s, 1s, tenths, hundredths and thousandths there are.

The class to wrote their own numbers with some 1s and three decimal places, e.g. 6·034 and shared their numbers with a partner, first reading them and then saying how many 1s, tenths, hundredths and thousandths there are.

Two children came to stand in front of the class and show their numbers, e.g. 3·218 and 4·339. They used large < > crocodile signs (Crocodile - less than and Crocodile - more than. The crocodile always eats the larger number). The class were asked which sign goes between the two numbers to make an inequality sentence. A child came and held the sign to make the sentence: 1.438 > 1.256. The children discussed the fact they did not need to look at the tenths, hundredths or thousandths if the 1s were different. Three is less than four so we know the crocodile will have its mouth open towards the four!

The fact was discussed that comparing 3-place decimals is like comparing any other number: we compare the tenths because they are biggest. If the tenths are the same, we compare the hundredths and finally the thousandths.

The children wrote an inequality sentence on whiteboards with the numbers 5·449 and 5·443.

They compared each other’s whiteboards and discussed how these numbers are very similar, both have five 1s, four tenths, four hundredths, BUT the thousandths are different so the crocodile has its mouth open towards the nine thousandths as this is greater than three thousandths.

The children then put what they had been learning into practice.

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