Parents as Teachers

It takes a village to raise a child – African Proverb

John Hattie a leading New Zealand researcher has just released a book on Visible Learning – what actually works in schools to improve student learning. It involves over 50,000 studies involving millions of students. This book is a result of 15 years of research and presents some very interesting information. At the conclusion of the book it identifies 138 influences. High up on the list is ‘Parental Involvement’. He states that parents who have high aspirations for their children and get involved with their learning have a profound effect upon their child’s ability to do well at school.

Many parents begin with positive expectations for their children. A major concern, however, is the extent to which parents know how to “speak the language of schooling” and thus can advantage their children during school years; some do not know this language and this can be a major barrier to the home contributing to achievement and to the realization of parents expectations for their children. John Hattie ‘Visible Learning’.

What Hattie is saying is that some parents feel that they cannot participate because they think that they are unable to, that they do not have the knowledge. There are plenty of resources and ideas that will be shared in the following newsletters which can be used to support learning at home. You can participate, it is important that you do so.

The New Zealand maths site NZMaths is a great resource. Locate the ‘Families’ link and click on the ‘Activities to do at home’.
Many families do not have the internet so each week I will attach some ideas from this site and other internet pages.

Counting 1-10
The purpose of this activity is to help your child learn to read and write the numbers from one to ten.

  • Work with your child to cut out pictures from the newspaper and use them to make a counting book. Put one thing on page one, two things on page two and so on. Make all the things on each page the same, for example “2 cars, 3 people, 4 trees.”
  • As you look through the newspaper together encourage your child to find and read numbers.
  • “That’s right, that’s a number. What’s the name of that one? Can we find any more sevens?”
  • Write the number of items on each page into the book. Help your child to practice writing the number on the page as well. Write the number in lots of different colours for lots of practice.

Home School Maths Partnership



The purpose of this activity is to help your child learn to instantly recall doubles facts, for example 1 + 1, 2 + 2, and 3 + 3.

What you need:
A pack of cards with the joker and picture cards removed. Ace counts as 1.

What to do:
This game is played like snap with players calling out the relevant doubles fact after saying “snap”.

Deal all the cards amongst all players, face down.

Play as snap: players take turns to turn over one card at a time onto a pile in the middle of the playing area. When 2 cards in the pile match players race to bang their hands down on the pile and call out “snap”. The first player to say snap then calls out the relevant doubles fact. For example “3 and 3 is 6” or “9 and 9 is 18”.

If their answer is correct they can collect the pile and add it to the bottom of their own pile of cards.

Play continues until one player has all the cards. They are then the winner.

What to expect your child to do:
Be able to instantly recall their doubles facts without having to count or calculate. They may have to count at first, but encourage them to remember the facts as you play.


Doubles +1 / -1:
When doubles are known, play this game as “Doubles Plus or Minus One”. In this version players snap cards that are one number apart, for example 5 + 4 or 7 + 6. Before players collect their cards after a snap they need to call out related number fact, for example “5 and 4 is 9” or “7 and 6 is 13”. Children will be able to use their knowledge of doubles facts to help with these “doubles plus or minus one” facts.

Doubles +2 / -2:
Players snap cards that are 2 numbers apart and call out the related number fact. For example “5 and 3 is 8” or “7 and 5 is 12.”

Learning Websites

(You will need broadband for most sites)
This is a great site that runs alongside supporting the New Zealand Curriculum. When you go to the site explore the ‘families’ option. It tells you what the Numeracy project is about and how you can help at home. On the Homepage is also links to sites to practice addition and subtraction / multiplication and division.
A wonderful site with heaps of interactive games to support numeracy and literacy. This site is very useful for younger learners.
Rather large web address but has heaps of fun learning interactive games for literacy and numeracy.
Has a number of excellent maths games. Just need to keep an eye on some of the games as they are more about blowing things up than learning, fun though!
Another maths site that has quite a few different maths games based around supporting number knowledge.
A Maori dictionary that converts English To Maori. Easy to use with clear explanations.
This is the New Zealand Encyclopedia site, it is brilliant. As you can imagine it is a big site but quite easy to navigate around. Using the button ‘Get the Short Story’ provides easier reading for the children. There is access to videos and pictures to support the reading.
An online treasure trove of NZ art and music items, many of which reflect our Maori & Pakeha heritage.