Maths is a compulsory curriculum subject at
all key stages and yet many pupils struggle with maths, particularly when
calculations are presented as written problems.
The author has set out to provide a
structured approach to help such pupils by checking the understanding of the
underlying concept and then tackling the actual word problem. He is well
aware of the importance of early success so that confidence is high for
future learning and the book starts with some easier examples in the four
rules of number. The book is divided into seven sections on decimals,
percentages, fractions, money, measurement, averages and mean, median, mode
The final resource section contains a
number of useful templates so that teachers can make additional sheets for
those pupils who require more examples at a particular level in any one
The author has set out pages clearly to
provide easy access, provided a step by step approach to support
understanding and offered several activities in each section. I really like
the way the book is set out; the clear print, the use of boxes, lots of
space around the boxes and visual prompts to aid understanding and access.
It is age appropriate and attractive and accessible to the target audience.
This book would be very useful with pupils
who are learning these areas of maths for the first time at Key Stage 2 and
also for those pupils in Key Stage 3, who are struggling with word problems
and with understanding the underlying concepts in these areas of maths.
by Jill McMinn, Advisory
Teacher, Speech, Language and Communication Needs, in Afasic News
Special Needs Information Press (SNIP)
Many children may be able to cope in maths
providing the questions are set out for them in a familiar fashion, but
struggle when faced with contextual questions. Maths vocabulary can be
viewed as a second language and fluency is a vital requirement to attempt
word questions. This books sets out to help pupils address the problems
associated with both understanding concept and tackling word problems.
Getting to Grips with Word Problems follows
the step by step approach of the successful Word Problems: The Language of
Mathematics (Ewing & Ward, 2001). This book starts with general maths
involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Pupils are
given a problem and are invited to decide what they have to find, which sign
to use, their estimated answer, before calculating the outcome. This is an
easy section which not only trains the pupil to think carefully about the
way in which the problem can be attacked but will also promote success and
confidence before moving on to more challenging chapters.
The following chapters have a similar format.
They begin with a 'Getting to Grips with' section which helps to explain the
concepts involved in a structured and cumulative manner, as well as giving
some practice. The later 'Solve it' pages provide the contextual questions
for pupils to work through as previously explained. These later chapters
deal with such concepts as decimals, percentages, fractions, money, averages
and measurements - topics which pupils of all abilities may struggle with
from time to time.
The book is set with pages which are not at
all busy or cluttered. Illustrations are clear and practical, particularly
those associated with number lines, fractions and decimals. This is a very
useful book to help pupils who are either dealing with these concepts for
the first time or are experiencing problems in these areas. It would be
ideal to support KS2 or KS3 pupils.
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