At Brabyns we believe that the ‘teaching’ of Maths is about enabling the children to fully understand fundamental concepts, so that they become proficient in applying their knowledge and understanding to unfamiliar contexts. To this end, in order to engage the children in their learning we often set out with one objective but tackle it from many angles, so as to discourage reliance on ‘how’ to do something, and provide opportunities to see and practise the concepts in very different ways. If they understand why they are doing something, they are far more likely to be successful and to retain and apply their new knowledge.
Focusing on encouraging mathematical dialogue is also proven to have better outcomes for children. In Year 5 we are exploring the exciting world of fractions at the moment. In a recent activity, children had discovered why we can find equivalent fractions by multiplying or dividing the numerators and denominators by the same number. They then completed a ‘carousel’ of activities in groups using a variety of media. This provided them with the opportunity to practise their mathematical explanations, whilst also (unwittingly) encouraging speed and accuracy. They worked with Chromebooks, post-its, playing cards and text books, and then reflected on their own success and progress against the learning objective.