Numeracy in schools is taught very differently to how it was taught when I went to school. The focus is now on understanding the number system and the value of each digit. The column method of addition (the quick, carrying numbers way) is not taught in many schools now until year 4 or 5. Bear in mind, the ability of the child does impact on the methods taught and the pace at which they are taught them. Not all schools follow the exact same format.
So what do children learn at school and how?
In Foundation 2 / Year 1 children begin by learning to count to 10 / 20. Once they are secure with this they will begin to find 1 more and 1 less. This then leads onto many practical ways of adding and subtracting numbers to 10 / 20.
As children progress they will begin to partition numbers i.e. splitting digits up into what their value is, 12 = 10 +2. Children are encouraged to partition numbers to 20 and then recombine. They can also be asked to find the missing value e.g. 15 = 10 + _. Children will also be given the opportunity to group numbers and partition practically in a variety of ways e.g they may be given 15 cubes and asked to make a group of 10 and a group of 5.
Children can then partition and find the value of numbers up to 20 / 30, depending on the childs ability and understanding. Alongside this, they will also be learning to add and subtract single digit numbers and/or double and single digit numbers e.g 8+2 =, 14 + 3 =, 10 - 3 =, 19 - 5 =. This will be done practically and by writing number sentences.
It is very important to teach children their number bonds to 10 and then to 20. Knowing the number bonds to 10 will help children add and subtract numbers mentally quickly.
What are number bonds?
Number bonds to 10 are the numbers that when added together make 10.
Here are the number bonds to 10:
1 + 9 = 10
2 + 8 = 10
3 + 7 = 10
4 + 6 = 10
5 + 5 = 10
6 + 4 = 10
7 + 3 = 10
8 + 2 = 10
9 + 1 = 10
0 + 10 = 10
Children are taught these practically, through the use of flashcards and by asking them orally. As they develop confidence, numbers are missed out for the children to fill in e.g 2 + _ = 10.
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