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Calculation Ideas Please


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My topic for next half term is journeys.

We will be talking about places, travelling and how to get there.


Our maths focus is calculation and I can't think of any interesting activities to link calculation and journeys together!!


Any ideas would be very welcome



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What about going on a bus journey - lots of adding and subtracting opportunities.

You could also introduce bus fares to involve money and times of buses.


One problem I've done is about a boat journey to get home from an island - there are 12 people to come home from an island. The boat can take 4 people at a time (including someone to 'drive' it) how can it be done? How many journeys need to be made? etc... Very good practical work!


You could also do problems like - It takes 5 minutes to cycle to the shop, it takes 5 minutes more to walk there, how long does it take to walk? or it take 2 minutes less to drive, how long does it take to walk there?


Another problem solving one - a garage has lots of motorbikes and cars needing new tyres but it only has 10 tyres. How many of each vehicle could get new tyres?


Not a calculation idea but the children could do pictures of a vehicle only using 2d shapes.


Hope that gives you a few ideas.

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I have been part of a pilot program in nottingham that focuses on children's maths understanding and calculation in particular. A lot of the problem solving stuff we did revolved around 1more/1less and 2more/2less. You could do teddies on a bus going on a journey, If there are 7 teddies on the bus and then one gets to its stop, one more/2 more get on etc how many now? Can be done quite eailsy visually and then taken into a practical activity.


But I have to say I agree that tenous links can be more harm than good. Im an nqt and im learning that this year after spending lits of planning time racking my brains trying to get all my areas to link to the theme of the week.



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While I do agree that tenuous links aren't great and the important part is the mathematical understanding that is being learned. However I have been involved in doing research into problem solving and how it develops mathematical understanding. It is an area I've been interested in for many years and my dissertation was linked to it also. Anyway I think that the crucial part of it is that giving maths a context helps develop children's understanding so wherever possible it should be presented within a context. If this links with the topic then it's even better.

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Thank you so much for these ideas. They are great!!


My head is very keen about activities linking to the topic, but I have argued that this is not always suitable.


Thanks again,


Sally :o

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