Turn your child into a maths magician?

Strategy: Splitting Numbers Into Parts
Sometimes working out a problem can be made easier by breaking it down. Smaller and simpler parts or partitioning make the whole problem manageable.
Part of the skill that children develop as their mathematical skills grow is the ability to not only count numbers, but to be able to ‘see’ and understand how they fit together.

Whole/part splitting or partitioning, is taught as a way to help your child understand how looking at parts can make a more difficult problem with large numbers understandable.

This strategy is part of the Numeracy Stage 5 level in New Zealand schools. This stage is expected to be mastered by the end of the New Zealand Curriculum Year 4 (aproximately 8-9 years old).This is also on level with expectations of the same age in countries like the U.S.A and the U.K.

StayOnTrack level 2 worksheets helps children practice this helpful strategy. However picking up these skills is more a result of practice, practice and more practice than being a certain level. Read more about numeracy stages in our Numeracy Stages Wisdoms-which help to break down what each stage is, what that means for parents and how a parent can help at home.
StayOnTrack's activities; PARTY ON , ROUND AND ROUND, PLACE VALUE and OPERATIONS exercises focus directly on helping to build up the skills required.

Regular practice with StayOnTracks worksheets will reinforce and build this strategy.

Using the language of maths such as 'part' and 'whole' helps to build up the picture of how numbers are made and their relationship to each other - for example that 23 is made up of a 20 and a 3 or another way of saying that 20 + 3 = 23.

Let's see how this works in an everyday math's exercise:
  • The question is 23 + 13 = 36
  • Partitioning down to wholes and parts would make it 20 + 3 + 10 + 3 = 36


  • So…
    23 + 13 = 36 or
    20 + 10 = 30
    3 + 3 = 6
    30 + 6 = 36


    From this you can see we have added the'tens' together (20 + 10)and then the 'ones' together (3+3), after that, we have added both these answers together. This helps break down a difficult problem into parts that a child can understand.

    After your child has mastered this strategy, the foundation is laid for working with fractions.

    StayOnTrack Limited 2014