Maths News

Paul Tarabay, Mathematics Leader

Maths News

Paul Tarabay, Mathematics Leader

Building number sense with children during road trips can be a fun and engaging way to reinforce math skills without feeling like formal learning. Here are some activities to help develop number sense on the go:

**Addition/Subtraction**: Ask your child to add or subtract the numbers on number plates they see. For example, if the number plate is "4258," they can add 4 + 2 + 5 + 8 or subtract smaller digits from larger ones.**Place Value**: Use the digits to talk about place value. For example, in "4258," the 4 is in the thousands place, and the 2 is in the hundreds place.**Number Comparisons**: Compare the numbers on different plates and ask which is larger or smaller.

**Counting Cars**: Ask your child to count how many cars they see of a specific colour or model. You can set goals like counting up to 50 cars in a certain timeframe.**Skip Counting**: Practice skip counting (by 2s, 5s, and 10s) by counting objects you pass, like trees, telephone poles, or cows.

**Distance Maths**: As you pass signs indicating the distance to the next town, have your child subtract the distance from your current location.**Speed Limit Problems**: Talk about speed limits and how they change. You can create simple word problems, like "If the speed limit is 60 kmph, and we need to go 120 kilometres, how long will it take us?"

**Petrol Station Estimation**: Before stopping at a petrol station, ask your child to estimate how much petrol will cost based on the price per litre and how much you need.**Distance Estimation**: Ask your child to estimate how far you'll travel in the next 5 or 10 minutes based on your current speed.

**Car Colours or Types**: Encourage your child to look for patterns in the vehicles around you. They can identify a sequence (like red car, blue car, white car) and predict what colour will come next.**License Plate Patterns**: Find patterns in license plates, such as repeating digits and letters or ascending/descending numbers.

**I Spy (Maths Version)**: Play "I Spy" but include maths. For example, "I spy a number between 100 and 200" or "I spy a shape with four sides."**Maths Riddles**: Create fun math riddles or puzzles like “I am thinking of a number that is greater than 20 but less than 40. When I divide it by 5, the answer is 5. What’s my number?”

**Track the Trip**: Give your child a map or GPS and ask them to track how many miles you've travelled. They can compare it to the total distance and figure out how much farther you need to go.**Fuel Economy Maths**: For older children, talk about fuel efficiency. If your car gets 30 kilometres per litre, and you have 10 litres of petrol, how far can you go?

**Elapsed Time**: Ask your child to calculate how much time has passed or how much time is left until you reach your destination.**Snack Budgeting**: Give your child a budget for snacks at a rest stop and help them calculate the total cost of what they choose, making sure they stay within the budget.

**Shapes in Architecture**: Ask your child to spot different shapes in the structures or signs you pass (e.g., triangles in bridges, circles in signs).**Road Geometry**: Discuss angles, lines, and shapes in the road design, like curves and intersections.

These activities help children engage with numbers and mathematical concepts in a fun, real-world context, turning road trips into a learning adventure!