Addition word problems in the 21st century – Charlotte Coade (Y5 teacher)

Recently in Year 5, we have been looking at ways to consolidate written methods for the four operations. At times, it can become a challenge to think of new and exciting ways to present opportunities for the children to apply and rehearse their skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Enter QR codes! For those of you who haven’t come across them, these are digital images which, when scanned with a Windows 8 devices, will display a piece of text, a link or an image.

After introducing the children to the concept they were sent around school to scan the QR codes and reveal differentiated word problems. My maths group answered questions linked to one/ two step word problems and used the methods taught previously in the week. They worked collaboratively as a group and communicated effectively, drawing on the advice of their peers. It offered a new dynamic to the lesson and provided a kinaesthetic approach to a skill which can become quite dry. Having the Windows 8 devices meant that children could easily move around the school and scan codes in various different locations.

As an extension, some of the children even created their own. This provided an opportunity for them to become creative and design a problem for a purpose. In the plenary, these were then shared with the rest of the class for them to solve, thus shifting the ownership on to the children to extend their own learning.

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