Maths on my mind

Why do we need Mathematics?

I believe this was a very important input for me as it confirmed some of the fears I have around teaching mathematics and has spun them in a positive light – that we have to teach maths with enthusiasm, skill and purpose so our children can build confidence. Some aspects I have taken from this input are:

  • Changing attitudes around mathematics
  • Explore why we need maths with children – challenge their assumptions
  • Using finger counting as a tool shouldn’t be demonised, let children explore and use processes which work for them
  • There isn’t always a ‘right’ way to do a problem
  • Innumeracy is just as detrimental as illiteracy
  • Gender issues – explore female mathematicians in the classroom and encouragement to girls
  • Create deeper learning and not just passive listeners
  • Encouraging children that it’s ok to make mistakes and it’s all about how to move forward
  • Get children to identify their own mistakes
  • Incorporate ‘doing’ maths such as show me boards
  • Supportive teachers with a deep, broad subject knowledge
  • “Explorers”
  • Encourage “talking” and “seeing” maths

Numeracy 8 organisers

  1. Number and number processes
  2. Money 
  3. Time 
  4. Measurement
  5. Data and analysis 
  6. Fractions, decimal fractions and percentages
  7. Rounding and estimation
  8. Ideas of chance and uncertainty

Using activities such as baking a cake to explore the different criteria.

Haylock, D. (2014) Mathematics explained for primary teachers. 5th edn. London: Sage Publications Chapters:

Primary Teachers’ Insecurity about Mathematics

Mathematics in the Primary Curriculum

Learning how to Learn Mathematics


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