Part of each step is ensuring the use of representation that children are able to understand. As a lot of Maths is abstract in nature, we try to break that barrier through the use of:
- Concrete manipulative that allow the children to physically play with the maths they are learning, which helps them to understand why abstract concept works.
- Pictorial representations allow the children to draw a representation to show the maths in a way they have visualised through the use of concrete manipulatives. Often when explore a problem-solving question, pictorial representation helps the children to understand that the question is asking
- The Abstract stage allow the children to represent their understanding and the maths through the use of symbols, numbers and mathematical notations. This is usually quicker to use but requires more conceptual understanding.
Maths Mastery at TLAP
Maths mastery is an approach where children aim at understanding the reason why maths works, so that they are not limited in how they might apply that knowledge. It is not about learning just procedural concepts and memorising, but the thinking behind that procedure. It is through this understanding that children are able to make the learning of maths their own. This ownership allows the children to use their maths skill in a wide breadth of contexts, across the curriculum and during freeflow. It is important to us at TLAP as we want all children to be able to achieve and feel like Maths is something everyone can do.
These concepts are built in small, logical steps to ensure all understanding is built on previous learning. Each step is explored using clear representation and structures, and given significant time and focus so that all children have a chance to embed the learning. It is this level of understanding that allows children to make their own conceptual leaps of understanding and better formulate their own responses to questions.
Within each lesson three aspects of the mastery are explored so that the children have chances to learn, use and apply their understanding of the step they are learning.
- Fluency is the children ability to use the core areas of maths they are currently using. These are they skills they use most often, and adds to their procedural knowledge of Maths.
- Reasoning gives chance for the children to talk through and adapt their understanding of the principle, so that they are able to verbalise their thinking using mathematical language. This deepen the child’s mastery of that step in their learning journey.
- Problem-Solving lets the children use their new skill is different ways and apply them to a range of problems where they have to adapt their conceptual understanding and use it to answer a wider variety questions.