Mathematics milestones 7-8
Numeracy skills become increasingly formal during this age bracket as children work to develop a number sense and confidence with using mental and written strategies to solve problems.
Children in this age bracket can progress in leaps or bounds, or develop skills at a steady pace. Please consider what you read below in the context of your own child’s unique development.
7-8 year old numeracy skills can include:
- Children can generally order, read and write numbers to 999 by the age of eight. They have begun using tallies to record totals but some children may still be using simple drawings to support their explanation of problem solving.
- Children understand the concept of numbers being on a number line and can use these as tools to support the development of mental counting strategies. Most 8 year olds can handle larger numbers on a number line and can determine that a number such as 3000 is closer on a number line to 5000 than 2000 is.
- 7-8 year olds can create and continue number patterns and relate these to addition and subtraction to 20. Patterns can be linked to strategies such as skip counting. Most children at this age can skip count to 100 and identify the pattern, skip counting by 2s, 4s and 5s.
- Some children at this age may still be learning to name a specified number in the hundreds for example “What number comes after 192?”.
- Children at this age are mostly able to understand that ten ones is the same as 1 ten.
- Mental strategies are improving and children can understand that 3+4 = 4+ 3. Children who are 8 are usually able to grasp that 3+4+5 is the same as 3+9.
- Children are now adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. They are still talking about multiplication and division using the language of groups, fair shares and are not yet expected to know their times tables. Multiplication is talked about as repeated addition. Children at this age are learning many strategies for counting and combining numbers for addition and subtraction. These strategies are linked to recognising relationships between numbers such as doubling.
- Children can understand the concept of ‘base 10’ and recognise that numbers have different values depending on the position in the number. A child will learn that the 4 in the number 14, 45 and 432 all represents a different value. Children at this age are using longs, flats and ones to show understanding in the classroom.
- At this age children are also working with fractions using the terms halves and quarters. This is linked to real life situations such as cutting a cake or pie into halves or quarters and finding the number of pieces. Children understand that a quarter is a half, halved again.
It is during this stage of development that formal written algorithms are introduced. This should only occur once children have a solid grasp on the basic concepts of place value and can mentally hold in their mind two digit numbers. If this is not the case then persevering with developing number sense through games and activities will be more beneficial than pushing your child to begin writing algorithms.
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