Maths at The Grove
How we teach Maths and how children learn has changed since many of us were at school. We focus on building conceptual understanding, and spending time on deepening fundamental knowledge and skills. If children have excellent understanding of basic number knowledge then they can use this to reason and solve problems.
For example - what is '7'?
How can I make it? 7 + 0 , 6 + 1, 5 + 2, 4 + 3
Is 4 + 3 the same as 3 + 4? So, do I know what 7 - 3 is? Or 7 - 4? (You get the idea!)
Can I recall those number bonds easily?
So if I'm adding 5 to 7 I know that 5 + 5 = 10 and then I need to add 2 more
Or if I have to take 7 away from 24, I could visualise 20 - 4 - 3 which helps me get to the answer more quickly.
What is double seven? What is the relationship between doubling and halving? And if I know that 7 + 7 = 14 then I know what 7 + 6 or 7 + 8 is because I recognise them as near doubles.
This is what we call number sense, and if children develop a real fluency with small numbers and understand them, they can use this knowledge to work with larger numbers very easily.
Concrete - Pictorial - Abstract
Childen need to manipulate concrete objects before they start calculating on paper.
After seeing a real example they are then encouraged to make a pictorial representation of it: this helps children visualise number and develop their mental capacity to do calculations.
Finally children will be encouraged to record calculations more formally as algorithms (sums).
A child will be challenged by problem solving activities, and this does not always include larger numbers, but rather activities that develop thinking skills. We often ask children to 'prove it' - in other words explain how they got to an answer and why other answers would be wrong. Explaining your thinking is key to deepening your understanding.