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:: Advocate for Children

I love my job! But I love my job because I believe I can and do make a difference to the mathematical lives of children. By working with schools and teachers – and sometimes children! – I can make a small difference to ensuring that as many children as possible learn to love mathematics and believe they are capable mathematicians.

I work at this value every day with my own daughter!

I am keen on developing creativity in the mathematics curriculum and strive to ensure that every day is a problem solving day. I believe that mathematics should be enjoyable and engaging for all children and they should learn to see it as an essential and integral part of every day lives.

While there are many ways to attempt this I will share one way that in Norfolk we have been trialling through the use of maths monkey!

Maths monkey was originally an idea borne out of a school in Norwich, but has taken the county by storm. Maths monkeys are now popping up everywhere, from the local supermarket, to a trip to the beach or even the Castle! The idea is that children are invited to take maths monkey home to do some maths (children are often told the story that maths monkey is at his happiest when doing mathematics!). While a few ideas are given initially, children – and their parents- are often more creative and daring!

Here are a few ideas that maths monkey has been involved in at my house!

  • Going on a number hunt
  • Counting objects/animals/stairs
  • Cooking
  • A visit to the shop to buy some sweets!
  • Sorting stickers into a repeating pattern
  • Making a necklace from learning links
  • Organising the linking elephants
  • Guessing the missing number on the fridge

Maths monkeys can be bought or made! Click here to download the pattern for making a monkey from a pair of long socks.

maths monkey maths monkey maths monkey

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Alison Borthwick Bespoke Mathematics Consultant