Reviews

 Target Maths

This is a practical system designed to challenge children's ability to calculate target totals by choosing the appropriate number operations and applying them to the given numbers correctly.

There are five sets of target cards, which are aimed at Years 4-7, and each set offers more challenge than the last, either by increasing the given numbers to find the target total, or by including halves, quarters and even question marks to liven up the calculations! Each set of cards contains lists of answers and further suggestions of games for teachers to try with their children.

Individual cards from each set display a target number up to and including 20, and either three or four other numbers to use in the calculation. Each number can only be used once. A typical example from Set 1 would be:

Target number 3, other numbers 9, 4, 2. The suggested answer is 9 - (4 + 2) = 3.

As a teacher of challenging SEN children with emotional/behavioural difficulties in a KS2 setting, I introduced Set 1 to the group to observe what they would do. By working together, some of the children were able to apply the correct operations to the given numbers and reach the targets successfully. Others found it more difficult. Undaunted, we worked together as a group to choose the appropriate operations and the children began to work things out independently.

Target Maths is an extremely useful tool in the teaching of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. It fulfils several needs at very different levels by providing small-step progress for the less able, by boosting the self-esteem of children who have emotional/behavioural difficulties, and by challenging the more able children, while at the same time encouraging improved group relationships and, very importantly, making learning fun! I thoroughly recommend Target Maths and look forward to using it with other groups of children.

Reviewed in Special magazine, Summer 2004

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The aim of Target Maths is to make a specific number using any of four operations and all numbers written on the card. Each number can be used only once. There is at least one solution for every card and these are provided on a teacher's sheet.
Each set comprises 120 double-sided cards and represents good value for money. The rules are simple and children will enjoy using them as they are challenging without being impossible. The sets can be used flexibly to meet all ability levels and are ideal for improving mental maths skills. Children can work independently, in pairs or in groups. The cards work best when played competitively as a whole class.
Target Maths is a real thinking activity that is stimulating, highly addictive and a handy resource as part of a maths toolkit.

Reviewed in the TES, September 2003

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All ability levels are catered for and the sets offer excellent value for money. Children can work independently, in pairs, or in groups. The cards are best used when played competitively as a whole class.

 

The Maths Co-ordinator's File by pfp publishing, 2004

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Target Maths is a learning resource that aims to encourage pupils to use the four rules of number to solve a puzzle. It consists of a set of cards which have three or four numbers printed on a target. These numbers have to be combined to make the target numbers in the middle of the card. There are five sets of 120 double sided cards. Set 1 only uses three numbers and is aimed at Y4/5. Set 2 is suitable for Y5/6 and uses four single digit numbers. Set 3 uses both single and double digit numbers and Set 4 introduces fractions. Sets 3 and 4 are intended for Y6/7. Set 5 offers a slightly different approach in that a '?' is used to replace a number. This set is aimed at all age groups and has been particularly popular with children with SEN who can select the operations they are comfortable with in order to solve the puzzle.

This activity based approach will appeal to many pupils who can use the cards individually, in pairs or even in groups to obtain additional practice in gaining fluency in basic number skills.

Reviewed in SNIP, August 2003

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A teacher's comments

"I have found that one of the real values in having the solutions sheets is that I can select out cards for certain individuals. For example, I have found them particularly useful when working on a one-to-one or small group session with children who are struggling. I prepare the lesson by selecting only those cards that use addition and subtraction, then those with simple multiplication, then division. Interestingly, Set 5 (which uses a '?') is very popular with children with SEN simply because they can choose which operation they wish to use and 'force' the number to fit ... it gives them confidence because they can succeed at it."

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