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Year 2 Maths - what's the best way to support?

(3 Posts)
Dancergirl Sun 02-Mar-14 17:48:38

I have 3 dds, youngest is in Year 2. They are all stronger in English than Maths, although slightly less marked with the younger two.

I think the mistake I made with the older two was not making sure their Maths was understood and consolidated early enough so by the time 11+ prep came round, they were still trying to understand basic concepts.

I believe schools spend more time on English, reading etc and sometimes Maths gets a bit left behind. I really want to make sure dd3 has a good understanding of the basics before starting KS2. What's the best way to do this? She's does sometimes like doing workbooks, although she usually complains they're either too hard or too easy!

Wizard19 Sun 02-Mar-14 22:15:19

Not a teacher. Perhaps talk to teacher to find out what areas that need more work/practice.

Find out what is expected to be covered by end y2, and take that as a starting point.

I have DD in yr2 too, not bought any workbooks, but made up practice questions to check knowledge.

Little and often seems to be working.

Ferguson Sun 02-Mar-14 22:15:23

I think virtually EVERYONE - adults, as well as children - is stronger in English than Maths! Which is strange in a way, as there are rigid, unchanging rules in Maths, whereas English has very few fixed rules, but plenty of 'exceptions'.

I was a primary TA for twenty years, and this is my standard 'info' I give out regarding Numeracy:


Practical things are best for grasping number concepts - bricks, Lego, beads, counters, money, shapes, weights, measuring, cooking.

Do adding, taking away, multiplication (repeated addition), division (sharing), using REAL OBJECTS as just 'numbers' can be too abstract for some children.

Number Bonds of Ten forms the basis of much maths work, so try to learn them. Using Lego or something similar, use a LOT of bricks (of just TWO colours, if you have enough) lay them out so the pattern can be seen of one colour INCREASING while the other colour DECREASES. Lay them down, or build up like steps.


ten of one colour none of other
nine of one colour one of other
eight of one colour two of other
seven of one colour three of other

etc, etc

then of course, the sides are equal at 5 and 5; after which the colours 'swap over' as to increasing/decreasing.

To learn TABLES, do them in groups that have a relationship, thus:

x2, x4, x8

x3, x6, x12

5 and 10 are easy

7 and 9 are rather harder.

Starting with TWO times TABLE, I always say: "Imagine the class is lining up in pairs; each child will have a partner, if there is an EVEN number in the class. If one child is left without a partner, then the number is ODD, because an odd one is left out."

Use Lego bricks again, lay them out in a column of 2 wide to learn 2x table. Go half way down the column, and move half the bricks up, so that now the column is 4 bricks wide. That gives the start of 4x table.

Then do similar things with 3x and 6x.

With 5x, try and count in 'fives', and notice the relationship with 'ten' - they will alternate, ending in 5 then 10.

It is important to try and UNDERSTAND the relationships between numbers, and not just learn them 'by rote'.

I am sorry it seems complicated trying to explain these concepts, but using Lego or counters should make understanding easier.

An inexpensive solar powered calculator (no battery to run out!) can help learn tables by 'repeated addition'. So: enter 2+2 and press = to give 4. KEEP PRESSING = and it should add on 2 each time, giving 2 times table.

There are good web sites, which can be fun to use :


PS: make 'number cards' with a large numeral on one side, equal number of dots/pics on the other. Give him the random numerals: can he place the correct number of bricks/beads on it? Make a 'washing line' and using the same number cards in random order, give him clothes pegs to peg up the numbers in the correct order. (Change 'gender' as appropriate; this was written for someone else originally)

Year 2 will probably be starting 'data handling'. You can tackle that by counting and 'tallying' things that interest you: traffic (cars, trucks, bikes etc); animals, pets, plants, birds seen on a walk; types of shop in a street, colours of front doors. Then draw bar charts or pictorial representations.

If you have specific concerns, come back sometime if you wish.

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