#### Turn your child into a maths magician?

Commutative- A Big Word Meaning 'Two For The Price Of One!'

There are so many huge words within the education system, that it is little wonder that a parent can feel confused and overwhelmed. So let's break it down! It's not supposed to be a secret!

**Commutative:**In mathematics an equation is commutative if changing the order of the numbers does not change the result.

For Example: 5x6=30 is commutative to 6x5=30

Even though we have changed the 5 and the 6 around, the answer is still the same! So it's

**commutative!**

What I love about this as a teacher/Mum is encouraging my children with it. To be commutative means that when your child learns 5x6=30, they also learn that 6x5=30!

**So two for the price of one!**

This can come in handy if your child freaks out if they are asked a 9 times question, and they don’t know it. If they are asked 9x2, they will just freeze and say blankly that they do not know.

But you can teach your children to swap it around to 2x9 (because they are commutative) and they will be surprised that they actually know the answer because they know their two timetables!

I remember my class of 12 year olds laughing and joking, when they finally realised that this meant they knew more timetables then they thought. They went crazy, testing each other on 8x and 9x tables! Before they made this connection they thought they didn't know any of these!

Your children will not figure this out on their own so it pays to point it out! It's exciting!

StayOnTrack recognises this and so has taken great care to make sure that commutative activities are included and highlighted in our level two and three worksheets.

This works for addition too- the answer remains the same even though you swap around the addends (The two numbers you add together).

For Example: 9+2=11 is commutative to 2+9=11.

It is really important for children to see the relationships between numbers, as this leads to a strong knowledge of number sense. Having good number sense involves an understanding of the many relationships that exist among numbers. Number Relationships is one of the key mathematical principles or “Big Ideas” in maths. This means that children are learning how numbers are interconnected and how numbers can be used in meaningful ways.

As a parent we can use the opportunities that arise every day, to point out the numbers relations that happen in daily life. We just need to look around, be number aware and don’t forget to share!

StayOnTrack Limited 2014