Do you know how your kids are being taught Maths? There is a growing number of primary schools who have switched to the Mastery Approach to maths teaching.
This method is focused on children being taught as a whole class with an interactive approach. It has been established as a much better way of getting top results in the Far East, with countries like Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong demonstrating high performance with this way of teaching.
Although some people see this as a return to ‘old-fashioned’ teaching, with the use of text books replacing the modern trend for worksheets and the whole class being taught together, rather than smaller work groups, the results speak for themselves.
The interesting thing is that the children enjoy this approach and it doesn’t separate the quick learners from those who progress at a slower rate. When a child picks up a new concept quickly, they’re encouraged to explore how that concept can be applied, rather than running ahead of their schoolmates to another concept.
The kids love it because they can get involved – they’re encouraged to use pictures and objects to represent the mathematical concept they’re learning. This helps them to ‘see’ how the numbers really work. For instance, it could be learning addition and subtraction with bowls of marbles. the contents of a bowl with 5 marbles and a bowl with 7 marbles are put into a third bowl to get the answer of 5+7.
Teaching maths for mastery combines the best of old and new methods, establishing the foundations of numeracy with the basics – like learning times tables. At the same it generates involvement for the children in the learning process and the greater level of engagement makes maths much more enjoyable.
When something becomes easy – most people find they like doing it. If children enjoy their learning it reduces the number who ‘can’t do maths’ or ‘hate maths’ and opens up the horizons for their future careers.
At the risk of blowing our own trumpet – that’s the process that the Exemplar Education maths modules use – helping children to understand a concept thoroughly until it’s ‘easy’ before moving on to the next one.
If your children aren’t at a school that uses the mastery approach, you might find that working with the Exemplar maths programme will help them take that essential step forward to finding maths easy.