Times Table Rock Stars

This week we have given each child in year 2 a username and login for the Times Table Rock Stars website and app. Learning times tables is crucial to build up fluency in calculations and by the end of year 2 children are expected to know their 2, 5, 10, and preferably 3 and 4 times tables, This website allows your child to practise their times tables in a fun way each day. They earn coins when they play and can use these to customize their rockstar character. 

I've been playing too -  I have got significantly quicker over the week! 

Please encourage your child to practise a few times a week - 10 minutes at a time is sufficient. You'll soon see a difference.

Maths Learning - What we have been covering in class.

Week beginning January 21st

This week we have been learning about symmetry in 2d shapes. We have learned that squares and rectangles have more than 2 lines of symmetry, whilst some triangles are non-symmetrical. We have been looking at how to group shapes and how to spot similarities and differences in terms of a shape's various properties.

We have also been practising drawing shapes neatly with a ruler onto grid or dotty paper.

We have learned that a pentagon is a 5 sided 2D shape and a hexagon is a 6 sided 2D shape.

Week beginning January 11th

We finished our topic on money by learning how to add different amounts of money together and how to calculate change. We practised lots of two step word problems and we have been focusing on how important it is to read both parts of a question.

We then moved on to our new topic - 2D shapes. We started by reminding ourselves of the names for a square, rectangle and triangle before goiing on to start learning about how to describe shapes according to their properties. We learned that in maths the corners of a 2D shape are called vertices. We were a bit surprised to learn that all squares are a special sort of rectangle.

We learned that a polygon is the name given to any 2d shape that only has straight sides.

Week beginning January 5th

We have been learning how different coins can be exchanged to make the same total. We have had lots of hands on experience with coins of each denomination. 

End of term 2

I didn't manage to keep the page up to date - but we learned all about measuring in centimetres and metres.

Then we moved on to momey. We learned the different coins and notes in use in Britain and we learned to count the total amount represented by different notes and coins.

Week beginning  November 12th

 We have done further work consolidating the difference between grouping and sharing. This week we have been dividing by 10. We have learned that dividing is related to multiplying and that we can make families of division and multiplication facts. We have applied our knowledge to word problems and we have discovered that it is very important to read whether we are making a particular number of groups or whether we are making groups of a particular size. If we use drawings to help us calculate and we get this part wrong, we will end up with the wrong answer.

Week beginning November 5th

 Division. We have learned the difference between dividing as grouping: making groups of a particular size and dividing as sharing: sharing the total into a given number of groups. We have concentrated on dividing by 2 and 5.


Week beginning October 29th

Multiplication. We have learned that we can use a multiplication equation whenever equal sized groups are involved. The two key pieces of information we need are the number of groups and the number of items in each group. We have learned the difference between the addition and multiplication symbols. We are concentrating on using the 2, 5 and 10 times tables. We have learned what an array is.


Week beginning October 15th

We have continued to embed the skills of subtraction. When using the column method to put the greatest number at the top and then start by calculating the ones. If your child needs to use their fingers, it is easiest to put the smaller of the two numbers in their head and then count up to the larger number using their fingers.

We also considered methods used to add three numbers. We talked about looking to see if either of the pairs of numbers are familiar number bonds to 10. For example: 4 + 5 + 6. The numbers 6 and 4 are number bonds that make ten. It is then easy to do 10 + 5 to get to the total. Alternatively, your child could partition one of the numbers in order to use its smaller parts to 'make' 10. For example: 7 + 4 + 2. If we partition 4 into 3 and 1, we can then make one ten out of 7 and 3. We then need to add the remaining 1 and 2 to make a total of 13.

For the last couple of days we have started to look at multiplying and dividing. We have talked about multiplication as repeated addition and as ' groups' of a number. By looking at arrays we have seen that multiplication can be done in either order. 3 x 6 is the same as 6 x 3. By clicking here, you can see examples of a couple of simple multiplication questions. 

Week beginning 8th October

Can your child show you the column method to subtract two two digit numbers?

Do they remember that they need to put the largest number at the top?

Do they know how to exchange a ten from the tens column to the ones column if needed?

Can your child show you how they can segment a number in different ways to make subtraction more straightforward to do mentally?

Can your child count on accurately on their fingers? (This method will allow them to find the answer to any column subtraction question.)

Is your child able to subtract single digit numbers mentally? This is an important skill for being able to both add and subtract mentally, especially if they are adding three numbers or if the calculation involves crossing ten.


Week beginning 1st October

Can your child show you a written method for adding two two digit numbers?

Does your child remember that the largest possible digit in any column of a column addition is nine?

Do they know that they must start with the ones and then move onto the tens? (Little ones first!)

Can they explain that if the ones add to more than ten, they must swap ten ones for a ten and then this ten belongs in the tens column?

We use the expanded method of recording.  

  2 4

+3 7

  1 1 (This is 4 + 7. The sum of the ones column)

  5 0  (This is 2 tens + 3 tens. The sum of the tens column)

    6 1  (This is 11 + 50. It is the answer to the question.

 Week beginning 24th September

Can your child count forwards and backwards in multiples of ten from any two digit number number? eg 24 + 20 = ?, 62 - 40 = ?

Can your child see how 3 + 2 is similar to 30 + 20?

Ask your child to show you the different ways that they can add two numbers together.


A key skill in year two is being able to add any two single digit numbers quickly without the use of equipment. (Counting on fingers is allowed!)

Does your child know the order that we say numbers in? Can they count on using their fingers? Remind them to put the largest number in their heads to start with. Can your child 'see' how many fingers they have put up? They need to be able to do this to count on because they are saying the total out loud and need to know when to stop putting up fingers.

Below are a set of mixed single digit addition questions. You could set a timer to see how fast your child can answer them or set a timer maybe for four minutes and see how many they can answer. Keep practising - they will get faster.

 single digit addition september 2018.docxDownload
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Maths Challenges

There is no real secret to learning the facts needed for the maths challenge.  It is really a case of rote learning. However, the children's arithmetic will benefit hugely as they get more confident with key addition and times tables facts.

One trick is to teach them that each number fact comes in a set of three numbers. If they learn the sets that go together, the answer to questions will be the number that is missing from the trio.

For the 2x table, 2,3 and 6 go together because 2 x 3 = 6.

But if they know that 2, 3 and 6 go together, they can answer 2 x 3 = ?, 3 x 2 = ? , as well as 2 x ? = 6 and ? x 3 =6. The same applies to the division  questions: 6 divided by 3  = ?, 6 divided by 2 = ?  etc. 

In the number bonds challenges the same applies. For example: If you know that 1, 19 and 20 go together, you can answer 1 + 19 = ? ,  19 + 1 = ? , 1 +? =20,  19 +?  =20,  20 -? =1,  20 - 1 = ? , 20 - 19 = 1 and 20 - 1 = 19.  The answer is simply the number from the set that is not in the question.

Half term week - .

I have suggested that everyone tries to learn 5 sets of number facts for whichever maths challenge level they are on. 

For example:  1 + 19 =20, 2 + 18 =20, 3 + 18 =20, 4 + 16 + 20 and 5 +16 =20.

or 1 x 2 = 2, 2 x 2 = 4, 3 x 2 = 6, 4 x 2 = 8 and 5 x 2 = 10.

By learning the sets of numbers that go together they can answer quite a range of questions.