Tuesday 26 May 2015

Galore Park-Junior Maths

This is the first of the series about curriculum one year on.

Galore Park produce books mainly for the UK market and primarily aim at private schools although many home educators use their products. 

We used Galore Park maths books for some years with Middle Son. I have been impressed by
  • the clear layout
  • explanations
  • amount of practice for each topic.
Last September, Younger Daughter started Galore Park Junior maths book 1. So how has this worked?

  • clear layout
  • Helpful explanations although I add to these and probably would do this whichever book we use
  • logical progression through topic
  • Reusable books
  • Spiral approach so that if a topic is not understood one year it is repeated the next.
  • There is more writing for the child than in a workbook style book. This can be an issue at this stage and can affect output. I have written out some of the problems myself to help with this.
  • So far, it doesn't look as though we will get to the end of the book by the end of the year. Yes, I could have divided the book up and pushed on regardless but decided that, at this stage, it is more important to go for understanding. Interestingly, the topics seem to be front loaded with the four operations then sequences and fractions. After this come three chapters about measurement and another about time before going onto angles and data handling. 
  • It is necessary to add some extra practice, for example, around tables. One of the main reasons that we won't complete the book, this year, is the amount of time that we have spent on learning tables. 
Will we use Junior Maths Book 2 next year?
This is a question that I have been battling with and have not quite decided. The choice is between Galore Park Junior Maths book 2 and CIMT. The main advantage of CIMT is that it uses a workbook format which includes less writing. It also seems to have more review. Galore Park is more of a known quantity and I have the next book ready and waiting.

I suspect that whatever we use there will be games and other activities added in. Regular games and other activities, this year, have included

  • Sum Swamp-really a bit easy but often requested for fun.
  • The BrainBox tables game.
  • Trilemma
  • Tell the time Lotto from Orchard Toys
  • Pizza Fraction game from Learning Resources
  • Number square colouring for tables
  • Timed tables using my phone timer
  • Skipping tables out
What are your favourite maths resources?

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  1. I use CIMT. It's brilliant. It is very thorough and lots of the learning at primary level is hands on. The real learning is in the lesson plans, which I have found to be so much more important than the workbooks.
    We supplement it with Ginn Extension Mathematics: Investigations, games and Puzzles series, and online games at Mangahigh.

    1. Thank you. I started using CIMT with my youngest son, aged 6, this year and I have been really impressed. I agree about the lesson plans although I wish that I could put them on my Kindle! I haven't looked at the Ginn Extension Mathematics but will take a look-I wonder if it might be well received in the holidays!