My New Book!

August is an exciting month for Karen Wilding Education as my first book is published! The wonderful people at Dorling Kindersley (Penguin Books/Random House Publishing) approached me last autumn to write a book, suitable for an international audience, aimed at parents and teachers of 4-7 year olds to support their children’s learning in all aspects of maths. And so began the mammoth task of condensing the entire curriculum into around 128 pages.      My aim was to create a book that felt different and addressed some of the aspects I felt were missing from similar resources. The first message I wanted to communicate was that children who know maths is all around them and see how maths skills give us control over our lives are far more likely to see the value in studying it! I began by looking at why we need maths and the many examples of mathematics in everyday life.     Next I wanted to...Read More >

‘Low Ability’ Tomatoes?

I have tried hard with my tomatoes this year but most haven’t done well at all. The ones outside in the hanging baskets have made some progress but the greenhouse lot have been a disaster. I just don’t understand it; I’ve put so much effort in and they still haven’t grown. I think I must have bought ‘low ability’ tomatoes. Or perhaps it was just a ‘bad year’? Maybe I did everything right and this was just something out of my control that ‘just happens’?  Chatting to my neighbour I heard (and saw) that his tomatoes (same variety) growing just metres away from mine were wonderful….. So I began to think about the conditions his tomatoes might have experienced compared to mine; could this have made a difference? A bit of research later I discovered that tomatoes need some fairly strict conditions to do well and most of all they need consistency. Hmmm, I had been a little ‘erratic’ in my watering, feeding and monitoring...Read More >

Planning using a ‘Maths Sandwich’?

Start the new term with a sandwich; a ‘Maths Sandwich’! The brain learns by forming connections. Successful learning in maths relies upon these connections.   How are you planning to connect what you’re about to teach with what children have learned before and will learn next?   In training I use an approach called ‘The Maths Sandwich’. Instead of going straight into the focused teaching, I aim to create a vital ‘Oh, I get what you mean….but I can’t do that yet’ moment. Adapting these ideas: I’ve worked with all of the ideas below at an age-appropriate level with EYFS to Year 6. The principals of good planning remain the same throughout, particularly in terms of engaging pupils and activating existing knowledge.   I begin my planning journey with the first slice of bread in the ‘Maths Sandwich’. This is the ‘hook‘ or context for the learning. A meaningful problem worthy of my children’s thought and ‘learning stamina’. For example, following all of the recent festivities,...Read More >