At Brabyns we strive to provide children with as many opportunities as possible to discuss and disagree in Maths. Whether in pairs, small groups or as a whole class, children are encouraged to use full, concise sentences to explain their reasoning, using accurate mathematical language.
In Year 5 we have been reasoning about fractions and discussing questions that help us, as teachers, to assess their real conceptual understanding, and plan next steps accordingly.
We enjoyed using the ‘washing line’ and fractions cards to compare and order fractions, and children happily and politely disagreed with one another until they had secured their deep understanding.
Actively encouraging the children to disagree with one another, as long as they can give a coherent reason, engages them in their own learning, and develops in them the ability to ‘think in whole sentences’ in their head when undertaking independent written work.
As teachers it also provides us with the very best evidence of progress or misconceptions in understanding.
See some photos of our maths debate in action here.