An Aveley Primary Blog

Sweets?! It’s not Halloween JUST yet Miss Stephenson! – Yes, but when we’re working hard (and they can help us in our learning) sweets can play an important role in our progress..

1S ended their first half term with the same fabulous enthusiasm that has underpinned all of the learning we have kept you updated on.. While you have accompanied us throughout our literacy and topic learning – all the way from the Kalahari to the North Pole – I’m sure many of you are keen to hear about what we’ve been getting up to in Maths..


Lots of you might be tempted to switch off or stop reading at the mention of the dreaded ‘m’ word.. But stop right there!! Here in 1S we have put any thoughts we used to have about maths (as ‘boring‘ or ‘difficult‘) to the side, and now love looking at numbers!..

Take a look at our ‘maths acrostic‘ (alongside our maths work below) and you’ll soon be persuaded that maths really is marvelous!..

m    MEAN? Sometimes feel like maths can be mean by tricking you with new concepts? Not quite – in 1S we see maths as MAGICAL!

aALONE? Think that maths involves tackling number problems all on your own? not in 1S! In our class we’ve been working ALTOGETHER to develop our number knowledge.

tTESTS? Think maths is full of testing and questions? Wrong again! In 1S we’ve been using our fantastic TEAMWORK to enjoy a range of different TASKS – even involving a bit of acting to help us!

LetterHHARD? Although at times we might think something is hard before we start, we have been using all sorts of pictures, objects, and songs to HELP us to embrace challenges.

s_is_for_snake_poster_460_0SERIOUS? Absolutely not.. Maths is great fun and can even be SILLY.. Even involving fun with SWEETS!!


Now that we’ve shown you what fun we think maths can be I’m sure you’re intrigued to see what we’ve been doing to have such fun with maths this week…

Well, having spent some time getting used to addition, we turned our attention to SUBTRACTION.

This began with us acting, singing and drawing speckled frogs jumping off a log.

We used the speckled frog song to begin our work on subtraction. As we sang this, we took frogs (or compare animals) from a line of 5 (their log) which we shared with our talk partners and made them ‘jump’ into class pond in the middle of our maths circle.

Confused? Take a look at us in action:

“5 little speckled frogs,

Sat on a great big log,

Eating the most delicious bugs (yum yum!)”

Here are the class frogs, about to lose 1. They are next to our ‘class pond’ into which every pair has put their first frog, while singing:

“1 jumped into the pool,

Where it was nice and cool,

Then there were 4 specked frogs”

And so we continued..


…Until we had no (0) frogs left!

This helped us to understand what happens when you subtract (or take away) ONE.

Take a look at the number sentences we wrote to record our activity:




Once we understood the concept of subtracting 1, we moved away from our speckled frogs and on to… jelly beans!!!

We told you maths was fun!

Here is how we used jelly beans to help us create (and work out the answers to) subtraction number sentences:

  • First we wrote the number sentence (e.g. 5 – 2 = )
  • Then we read our number sentence out loud (being careful to interpret the different symbols correctly!)
  • Then we counted out the number of jelly beans the number sentence told us to start with (the first number) and circled these once we had carefully laid them out.
  • After that we ate the number of jelly beans the number sentence told us to take away. Once we had subtracted these (yum yum!), we crossed out the circles that were left behind.

  • Finally, we counted how many were left and wrote this number (our answer) on the other side of the equals sign.

Once we had done this we could read aloud our complete number sentence, and (after a few questions from Miss Stephenson about our calculations!) we ate up the remaining jelly beans. 🙂

Take a look at us doing this sweet subtraction:



I bet you never thought maths could be SUCH fun?!

Have a go at creating your own subtraction number sentences as you tuck in to you Halloween sweeties next weekend! 

How many will you start with? 

How many are you going to eat (take away) at a time?

How many does that leave you with?

We are all familiar with ‘heads, shoulders, knees and toes’ – the fabulous body-parts song that gets us moving! So how on earth could this be related to our maths learning, I hear you say?! Read on, and we’ll tell you about how we’ve used one of our favourite songs to help us with our mental maths!..

At the moment, in 1S, we are looking at counting, number and place value. This means not only refreshing our counting skills of counting in 1s, but we are also working on counting in 2s (without whispering the odd numbers in between!).

To help us to do this, we thought about parts of our body that we have 2 of, such as hands, eyes and ears. How many different parts of your body can you think of that you have two in (that come in pairs)?

Having discussed this, we counted them – adding them together 2 at a time. Sound confusing? Take a look:

  • We started with our eyes – That’s 2 body parts.

  • Then we added our ears – adding 2 more makes 4 body parts.

  • Then came our shoulders – 6 body parts.

  • Adding 2 knees got us to 8.

  • And finally, we added our 2 feet: 10 body parts!

Now we can count in 2s!

Take a look at our working wall, which explains and helps us to remember what we are doing when we count in 2s using our body:


As well as working hard on our mental maths, we’ve been exploring maths through a variety of activities, including numicon, number sentence bingo, unifix and peg boards.

Here’s a taster of some of our work:


What a busy week of maths – who would have thought we’d be singing in maths and our bodies could be so helpful!?