After missing the last maths input, due to having my pre-placement visit early, I have managed to catch up with the thanks to Tara’s PowerPoint notes and friends taking notes for me. What I have taken from it, is that maths is one of the three areas in which is classed in the responsibility of all (the other two being health and well-being, and literacy).
There are 8 organisers for numeracy:
- Number and number processes
- Data and analysis
- Fractions, decimal fractions and percentages
- Rounding and estimation
- Ideas of chance and uncertainty.
What I have taken most from this input is that it is fundamental that we are all numerate as well as literate. Being numerate involves having the confidence and competence when using numbers which helps solve problems and analyse information such as time telling and using money and percentages. This helps make informed decisions based on the information gathered. Ensuring lessons and planning helps children have realistic expectations and a real-world idea on how numbers are used, as an example, home economics encourages children to bake and weigh out ingredients and have an end product at the end (such as a cake) which can make the lesson memorable, relatable to real life experiences and gives them a sense of achievement. This gives a realistic context for learning and it is key for teachers to give children this opportunity, to inspire and show them that numbers are all around them and not give them maths anxiety. Promoting lessons which go well, sharing with other practitioners is good practice and gives inspiration to other teachers, which in turn could help other children throughout the school. Children within a class all come with their own experiences and knowledge, so it is important to check in before a lesson to have an understanding of what children know without a topic of maths, taking on board what positive experiences they may have, or concerns which worry them and restrict them from progressing further. As a part of lesson planning, preparing for a maths lesson is important to ensure there is enough resources for a smooth running lesson, and to ensure children are engaged and learning in all aspects.
From a personal point of view, in primary school I loved maths (apart from problem solving, where the problem just seemed too hard). When I got to high school I felt it was too regimented, strict and if you had a question the teacher would act as if you should already know it and someone would snigger from behind. In primary school I remember learning chimney sums and being told I was great at it. I remember learning to tell the time and sticking my hand up in the air so proud with myself when the teacher asked what the time was on a huge clock prop. I later revisited my love for maths when I took a night class (to help me get into teaching) and the lecturer was nothing like a class teacher, who actually encouraged us to speak out and ask questions. No homework was given and no wondering how something was done if you fell behind. Liz’ method in teaching was if you felt like you went home not understanding, the next class you told her and she went over it until you got it, and there was always someone else in the class who felt the same. I felt confidence and the determination to pass my exam (which I did!), and without that love of maths in me, I don’t think I would have. Do I have the confidence to teach it? Not yet. Do I feel I will get the confidence to teach it? Absolutely.
Unfortunatly I was unable to access the “Mathematics explained for primary teachers” by Derek Haylock in the library or online. However I am looking to buy the hard copy as in investment for my future development and career.