We have chosen the White Rose as our programme of study for Mathematics as although we have low percentages of pupils with access to Pupil Premium grant we have a growing number of pupils with SEND as well as a large percentage of pupils with English as an additional language (EAL). Therefore we introduced the White Rose Programme as a way of supporting those pupils who have not had access to concrete and symbolic play as well as those who need an approach that supports them with the development of language and vocabulary. This planning framework also enables pupils to develop their practise, reasoning and problem solving skills.
In every Mathematics lesson we ensure our pupils experience/engage with the concrete, through to the pictorial, through to the symbolic approach to learning. Our schemes of work, the planning, and delivery are based on this approach. The maths activities in every class will offer an open endedness approach to questioning (what if?) which gives all pupils the opportunity to explore, ask questions, be creative, problem solve by applying their mathematics to a variety of everyday real life problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down information into a series of simpler steps and persevering in looking for clues and seeking solutions.
This approach will improve maths vocabulary and language. Pupils develop accuracy, specificity, problem solving skills and strategies which will lead to improved outcomes in both progress and attainment in mathematics. With lessons that allow all pupils to explore mathematics through the concrete, pictorial and abstract, pupils will become fluent in the fundamentals. With varied and frequent practice, pupils will develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. As pupil’s knowledge develops, they will also be able to reason mathematically. Pupils will develop a love for mathematics and skills for life as they acquire knowledge that will remain in their long term memory.
Maths is all around us!
Maths has been used to understand the world around us for thousands of years and that is no different today. We teach children that maths truly is everywhere! The children have gone on number hunts and found numbers on buses, clocks, and houses; they have gone on shape hunts and found shapes on cars, signs and buildings. In our school, mathematical development is nurtured through the use of their own environment because it teaches them that the mathematical concepts we learn about are interconnected to our real world experiences. We like to use everyday objects that children can relate to for topics such as measuring, weighing, and ordering. On a daily basis, we use our class calendar to teach time and we like to go into the garden as well and observe the trees and plants!
We want all of our children to become confident and competent problem solvers which is why children spend a day a week being exposed to various problem solving challenges. This provides the children opportunities to practise strategies such as trial and error, working systematically, conjecturing, visualizing and pattern spotting. Problem solving is best described by GenerationReady as "allowing students to develop understanding and explain the processes used to arrive at solutions, rather than remembering and applying a set of procedures."
Can you solve the problems below?
We use many different types of concrete resources to help us learn maths!
Key Stage 1 Maths!
The principal focus for mathematics teaching in Key Stage 1 is "to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value," as stated in the National Curriculum. We work really hard to provide the children with the solid foundation they need with numbers in order to conquer the more abstract maths that they will encounter in Key Stage 2. The children get lots of practise to solve problems with concrete materials to develop that deeper understanding needed for maths.
You don't need a ruler to measure!
In Reception, we learn about measuring using non-standard units which means the children learn how to use different objects to measure something. In this lesson, we traced around a child and used different objects in the classroom to measure the height of this child. The children excitedly raced around the room to find things like felt tips, train tracks, books and cubes to measure in. We laid the objects flat on the ground from the feet to the head and counted how many objects tall this child was. At the end of the lesson, the children noticed a pattern: "The bigger the stuff we use to measure, the number is smaller. But if you use something small like the cubes, it takes more."
We love Numicon!
Numicon are a staple in every classroom in our school. It is an amazing mathematical resource that helps children grasp mathematical concepts in a concrete way. The reason why love this resource so much is because "[t]he aim of Numicon is to make numbers real for children through them being able to see and touch them. It fits in with the Maths Mastery approach that’s used in many schools, providing a concrete object to represent each number. It also has a multi-sensory approach that’s known to help learning."