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Teaching Primary Maths

Discussion in 'Primary' started by RMMA, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. RMMA

    RMMA New commenter

    Hi all!

    I'm actually a secondary maths teacher, but I've recently become really interested in how maths is taught at a primary level (both in KS1 and 2). I've read the Programmes of Study on the gov website, so I know what the expectation is with regard to content, but like I said, I'm interested in how concepts are introduced and taught. Can anyone recommend any good books or other sources of information?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Established commenter Community helper

  3. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    I was going to make the same suggestion as @carriecat10
    Mathematics Explained for Primary Teachers by Derek Haylock
    Really excellent book.
  4. strawberryfields4eva

    strawberryfields4eva New commenter

    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  5. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    It is not the task of Primary teachers to produce fully formed mathematicians with conceptual understanding shining out of their backsides. Examine the statutory requirements found in 'Mathematics Programme of Study Key Stages 1 & 2' - paying particular attention to 'Mathematics Appendix 1'. The requirements are minimal and anyone proficient in the processes themselves should see their way to exemplifying the methods and building from there. Constructivism in mathematics education is a fan-dance for those who are not proficient in school mathematics.

    If you really want to know how Primary schools introduce students to what they believe are mathematical concepts then save your money and don't bother buying Haylock. You should search Primary school websites for their ridiculously named 'Calculation Policy'. This is characteristically an ad hoc document cobbled together by one school or a cluster from the books others here have mistakenly recommended and they are frequently riddled with errors and misconceptions.

    If you enter Primary teaching yourself, @RMMA, then do not neglect rote learning or algorithm practice. These are not sufficient but they are necessary and, as with everything, work now saves time and stress later for you, for your colleagues in Primary and in Secondary and, most importantly, for your students.
  6. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2016
  7. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Established commenter Community helper

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2016
    Camokidmommy likes this.
  8. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I'd like to recommend a book to all those enamoured of Haylock because I'm convinced that many teachers, in Primary and in Secondary, are unaware that how they have been taught and how they are told to teach is from a Constructivist perspective and that there are better ways to teach. There is a fightback going on against these ideas & practices, and this book by Daisy Christodoulou is one of the things which sparked it off:


    Christodoulou is head of education research at Ark (if she seems familiar then you may have seen her two storming appearances on University Challenge in 2006 & 2007). You can hear a little from Christodoulou here:

    Everyone in Primary & Secondary should read this book.
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Calculation policies are generally written by the maths subject leader, who may or may not be a maths specialist at the request of the headteacher who sees policies as A Good Thing.

    However, classteachers may never have even seen it and they almost certainly don't follow it.

    Look at various free planning sites or minimal pay ones to get an idea of what goes on.
    Search the resources here for examples of maths planning.
  10. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    even better, get this on your personal development list thingy and get time to go into your feeder schools to see what is going on. If you have GCSE classes, you could request time to do this after the exams take place. Heads seem to like to control your freed up teaching time these days, so this would seem an ideal personal development use of time
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. teacup71

    teacup71 Occasional commenter

    Look at the work being done by the White Rose Maths Hub. There have produced detailed examples for each year group on fluency, reasoning and problem solving. I haven't got the link but if you follow them on Twitter you will find links.
  12. justinmalewezi

    justinmalewezi New commenter

    I have animated the policy to actually show what is done and included tasks etc

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