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Broadbent Maths - creative primary maths

A watery context for teaching measures and money

Tuesday, 7 October 2014
A theme to base your maths teaching around can have a specific focus, such as ‘Puddles’ or a broad, sweeping context like ‘Water’. However, getting information or data linked to the context can sometimes be a little tricky to find.

With any context you need to be creative and think laterally, match it well to your objectives and base it around problems for the children to solve. 
With that in mind I rather like Drip, drip, drip: a water themed financial education resource for primary teachers’ from Wessex Water and Personal Finance Education Group (pfeg). The title may be a bit of a mouthful but it is a useful resource that makes the maths real and meaningful. It aims to help make primary children aware of the true value of water.
There are eight activities, focussing on aspects such as our water use, the value of tap water compared to bottle water, where our water comes from, leaks in the home and the cost of heating water.

The design of each teaching activity is brilliant – really appealing, and it also includes some great photos and a useful resource sheet – although this is likely to be difficult for many children to read. The activities are very well thought through. Ignore the age expectations as many of them would be suitable for the full primary age range, they just need adapting. They make a great link to science and involve real problem solving using money and measures. 
Drip drip drip
This resource is a good example of using a context to allow children to explore, investigate, discuss and solve problems. If your focus for a unit is problem-solving using money or measures, then ‘The cost of water’ is not a bad context to choose.
You need to log in to pfeg, a financial education charity, to download the resource it, but it is free:

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