At Crowmoor we are beginning to develop Teaching for Mastery in Maths. This is teaching and learning that keeps the class working together on the same topic, whilst at the same time addressing the need for all pupils to master the curriculum and for some to gain greater depth of proficiency and understanding. Challenge is provided by going deeper rather than accelerating into new.
Mastery is based on Five Big Ideas
Coherence Connecting new ideas to concepts that have already been understood, and ensuring that, once understood and mastered, new ideas are used again in next steps of learning, all steps being small steps.
Representation and Structure Representations used in lessons expose the mathematical structure being taught, the aim being that students can do the maths without additional resources of the representation. They will learn to use concrete resources, such as counters or cubes, to represent real life items in a problem.
For example using counters to represent sweets in a bag or cakes on a plate. When this is embedded they will begin to draw images to help them understand the problem.
If taught ideas are to be understood deeply, they must not merely be passively received but must be worked on by the pupil: thought about, reasoned with and discussed with others. All children are expected to explain how they solved maths and why the answer is as it is.
For example we teach 3 x 10 = 30 because the 3 is 10 times greater, not that ‘you just add a zero’!
Fluency Quick and efficient recall of facts and procedures and the flexibility to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics. This is crucial for pupils to apply written and mental methods efficiently.
For example, if they know 5 + 3 = 8 then they can use this to solve 25 + 8 = as they will need to cross the tens boundary. 25 + 5 + 3 = 30 + 3 = 33
Variation Varying the way a concept is initially presented to students, by giving examples that display a concept as well as those that don’t display it. Also, carefully varying practice questions so that mechanical repetition is avoided, and thinking is encouraged. We present problems in lots of different ways.
The children have told us that they enjoy maths at Crowmoor!