Tips for Parents


 1. Useful Math's Web Sites
 2. How to teach subtraction
 3. P.A.T. - Phonological Awareness Training
 4. Using Building Bridges of Understanding
 5. Internet Safety Training

1. Useful Math's Web Sites:

Junior Infants

Senior Infants

1st Class

2nd Class

3rd Class

4th Class

5th Class

6th Class

Other Useful Maths Sites:

2. How to teach Subtraction

Tables 4 - 2 = 2 Four take away two equals two

Subtracting single digit numbers without renaming Computation 1
 0 6
-  4

Tens & units columns at the top;
Begin with the units
Start at the top….
6 take away four is 2

Subtracting two or three digit numbers without renaming. Computation 2
  T U
  2 4
- 1 2
  1 2
Tens & units columns at the top. Begin with the units
Start at the top….
4 take away 2 is 2…•
Move on to the tens•
2 take away 1 is 1 etc.....

Subtracting two or three digit numbers with renaming. Computation 3
  T U
  4 4
- 1 6
  2 8
Tens & units columns at the top• Begin with the units•
Start at the top….
4 take away 6 - I cannot do! …Rename a ten (leaving 3) into units •
Cross out the four ,leaving three• 14 take away 6 is 8•
Move on to the tens• 3 take away 1 is 2

Subtracting three digit numbers with renaming (and with zero tens) Computation 4
  H T u
  5 0 4
- 2 1 6
  2 8 8

Hundreds, Tens & units columns at the top
Begin with the units
Start at the top….4 take away 6 - I cannot do! …Rename a ten - But there are no tens –Go to the Hundreds – Rename a 100 making ten tens in the tens column•
Start again
4 take away 6 - you cannot do! …Rename a ten - Cross out the ten , leaving nine.
Put the units with the units and the tens with the tens.
14 take away 6 is 8
9 take away 1 is 8
4 take away 2 is 2

3. P.A.T. Phonological Awareness Training

This programme is designed to help children to read and write phonically regular words. By this method children who have some knowledge of single sound/symbol associations of the alphabet, can learn to spell and read many words through using commonly occurring “rimes”. The programme takes ten minutes daily and is used in Ballybrown school from junior infants to third class.

This exercise should not be regarded as a spelling programme as the technique involved is specific to phonological awareness training. The daily practise of reading and writing these words is followed by a simple dictation exercise on Fridays

4. Building Bridges of Understanding

As a result of our recent School Self-Evaluation Process, one of the areas we have prioritised for development is Comprehension.

' Building Bridges of Understanding' is a whole school approach to the teaching of comprehension devised by Dr. Ann Courtney of the University of Hartford, Connecticut, Dr. Martin Gleeson, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick and nine schools in the Munster area.

We have decided to implement this programme on a whole school basis. ' Building Bridges of Understanding' is aimed at giving children the strategies they need to become good readers. Comprehension  strategies are sets of steps that good readers use to make sense of text. By learning about these strategies, children can become more active readers. Comprehension strategy instruction can help deepen their understanding of the text.

The comprehension strategies taught in ' Building Bridges of Understanding' are:

• Prediction

 • Visualizing

 • Making connections

• Questioning

• Clarifying

• De-clunking

 • Inferring

 • Determining Importance

 • Synthesis

When working on each of these strategies the children learn a sign or action (called a comprehension processing motion or ‘CPM’) to indicate when they want to use that strategy during class reading.

Good readers make good guesses or predictions about what might happen next in the story, using information they have gathered from the book cover, the blurb, the pictures etc.. Children make a ‘P’ sign to indicate when they want to make a prediction. Predictions can be made before, during or even after the story Predictions do not have to be right. As more of the story is heard, the predictions may change.

 Visualizing while reading is like making a movie in your head. It is your mental picture or image of what is happening in the story. Good readers  have a picture in their head. Other senses such as sounds, smells and feelings may also be used.

Making Connections:
 Good readers make connections between what they read in the story and things that have happened to them in their lives or to people they know. Connections may also be made to other books they have read, movies they have seen, or things that are happening or have happened in the world. Connections can be text-to-text, text-to-self or text-to-the-wider-world.

Children make a ‘W’ sign for ‘I wonder why . . .’ Good readers ask themselves questions before, during and after reading. These questions can be based on what they have read or seen in the book. They may  sometimes be based on what is not shown or said in the text. Some questions can be left unanswered by the author. Good readers will use their own interpretation of the story to come up with their own answers.

Children make a ‘C’ sign to indicate they need something clarified or explained. This could be a word, phrase or idea that is confusing and needs further explanation. Good readers always make sure that what they are reading makes sense to them.

Readers always come across a word that they do not understand. This is called a Clunk. They then need to ‘de-clunk’ it. The children learn techniques for decoding these words through the de-clunking strategy. It might involving breaking the words down into prefixes, suffixes etc.

Children make an ‘I’ symbol to show they want to infer.  Inferring is reading between the lines to determine what the author is hinting at, but not saying directly.

Determining Importance:
 While reading a text, good readers separate out the essential and non-essential information. They determine what is important in the text. The determining importance strategy helps children to identify, sort and order the key pieces of information in the text.


Synthesis is the skill of combining all the comprehension strategies and applying them before, during and after reading. It allows the reader to construct their own individual meaning from the text.


5. Internet Safety Training

What are children doing online today?
  1. Watching video clips
  2. Listening to music
  3. Social media
  4. Instant Messaging
  5. School Work
  6. Playing Games Online

Positive Parenting
  • Regularly do things online together
  • Ask your child to show you their favourite sites
  • Remember that the positive aspects of the internet outweigh the negative
  • Use Parental Tools e.g. Youtube SafeMode and Google Safemode (see notes below)
  • Agree rules for using internet at home
  • Keep the computer/device where you can see it
  • Check history files
  • Have a presence on Social Media accounts – parents should know who is in their child’s contact book.
  • Encourage your child to tell a parent if they stumble across something unsuitable online
  • See also

Social Media

Why is it so Popular?
  • Identity Formation
  • Hanging with Friends
  • Free
What are the Risks
  • Bullying
  • Inappropriate Content
  • Commercial Pressure

How do you respond to Cyberbullying? Tips to Keep Safe
  • Don’t Reply – keep a note of the date, time and content of message (keep message)
  • Block the number
  • Don’t get involved in sending, liking or forwarding nasty message
  • Tell someone you trust
  • If the problem persists inform the Gardai.

Turning on Safety Modes on your Laptop, PC, IPAD etc.


  1. Type in into web browser.
  2. Click on “Settings” in bottom right hand corner – the menu below show appear – click on “Search Settings”.
  3. The following screen will appear – tick the box “Turn on SafeSearch”. Once ticked scroll to the    bottom of the screen and “Save”.


  1. Type in into web browser.
  2. Scroll down to the very bottom of the screen and look for “Restricted Mode” (see screen shot)
  3. Click “On” and then “Save”.
The above steps must be repeated across all devices in your home e.g. laptop, IPAD, IPhone etc.. It is also necessary to repeat this step across all internet browsers i.e. Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome etc.

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