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Early Maths Materials

Children need practice and reinforcement of maths learnt in school. Practice sheets are available to download and print. Printed sheets require children to hand-write numbers and symbols which is important for literacy skills. Each sheet includes counting, simple sums and problems, clock reading and use of maths terms and vocabulary.

It is useful to have Base Ten Home Pack counters. These are manufactured by Kembo-Cuisenaire, in Sydney. They are available from book suppliers and these are cheaper than the sets used in classrooms. You can also use a box of buttons as counters. Boxes or jars of assorted buttons are available from major retailers of fabrics and craft supplies.

Alternatively, using some basic equipment such as a blade knife, cardboard and glue, make your own set. Cut out a 10cm x 10cm square, mark it or paste a piece of 1cm graph paper onto it. This is the 100 piece, often called ‘a flat’. Mark and cut ‘longs’ of 10cm x 1cm lengths and single 1cm x 1cm squares which are called ‘shorts’. Harden them up on the sides with glue and you have counters. I have done this myself and it is a practical solution.

In early primary school the child needs to know the layout of a clock, the hour and minute hands and read the hour, the half-hour and the word ‘o’clock’. ‘A quarter past’ and ‘quarter to’ are introduced later.

There is a strong connection between early literacy and early mathematics. Children need to be able to read instructions in their maths sheets; work in logical ways through set tasks and become accustomed to the format of maths and its vocabulary.