Look out for the very first edition of the Scottish Mathematical Council Primary Journal, which is being delivered to all primary schools in Highland.
This Journal is a pilot project and the editorial team would be grateful if you could provide feedback. This can be done by emailing – firstname.lastname@example.org , or by tweeting @CarolLyon16 and/or @scottishmaths.
Also have a look at the latest SMC Journal which is now available online:
I found Carol Lyon’s article, “Back to the drawing board: bridging the gap between concrete and abstract” particularly interesting .
She discusses the importance of allowing children to explore a range of ways to represent problems, such as concrete materials, pictures and diagrams as well as words, numbers and symbols to allow them to build conceptual understanding rather than a surface understanding of a process. This relates closely to the teaching model we recommend in Highland where we promote thinking through use of visual materials for every new concept or strategy introduced. Have a look in the Highland Numeracy Progression for more information:
Written recording is also important – by allowing children to record their thinking in ways that are meaningful to them they can make sense of mathematical problems, and develop understanding of connections and relationships. Have a look at the Written Recording page of the Highland Numeracy Progression, as well as the examples throughout the document.
Think boards are also mentioned as a great way for children to record thinking – look at these previous posts for lots of examples:
Carol ends with the point that it is so important to encourage creativity, value a diverse way of approaching problems and to plan learning experiences linked to developmental stage and existing knowledge rather than relying solely on textbooks or one published resource; “After all, teaching mathematics is not simply about imparting knowledge; it is about nurturing the ability to think mathematically.”
I hope you find this article interesting. Please comment or email any other articles you found of interest – or of course any great practice you would like to share!