Developing Childrens Mathematical Skills Education Essay

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Introduction

Maths teaches us all how to make sense of all the world around us, and for a child developing the ability to calculate, to reason and to solve problems is challenging. Maths helps a child to understand relationships and patterns in both number and space in their everyday lives.

Maths is a powerful means of communication. It is used to provide the means by which we can convey thoughts, ideas, information and ideas and how they can be presented by the use of numbers, charts, drawings and diagrams.

Through their growing knowledge and understanding, children can learn to appreciate the contribution made by many cultures to the development and application of mathematics. Appreciating mathematical principles expressed in art, literature, music and technology adds another dimension to interpreting the world in which we live.

E1

There are two main frameworks for development of mathematics for children. These are the EYFS and the National Curriculum. They cover from birth to 5 years of age as aprt of the EYFS system and 5 to 18 years of age which use the National Curriculum.

Children learn different mathematic skills through seven strands that are related to development.

As part of our strategy to raise pupil attainment, many schools use the 'National Curriculum and its

Numeracy Strategy's Framework for Teaching Mathematics' and the Mathematical Development framework for the foundation stage.

It is used as a basis for planning teaching and to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Mathematics. This ensures continuity and progression throughout the school.

Children's progress is assessed regularly by class teachers. Pupils are assessed in terms of mathematical development as they enter and exit from the Foundation Stage. Children in KS1 and 2 are assessed at the end of each year and in terms 2, 4 and 6 and at the end of Key Stage by standard assessment tests and teacher assessment.

Teachers have a thorough understanding of National Curriculum mathematics and the Mathematical Development Early Learning Goals and use a variety of teaching methods.

The National Numeracy Strategy (NNS) 3 part lesson structure is used in KS1 and KS2 - when the new framework for Numeracy is in place in September 2007 teachers will be encouraged to use a more flexible approach to lesson structure.

Every Child Matters is used In all curriculum areas, and especially in the core subjects, and are continually and consistently teaching the 'values' embedded in 'Every Child Matters' system. The process tries to make children to enjoy mathematics and be enthusiastic about the learning it

Much of the teaching needs to be aimed at developing children's skills for life and the children themselves need to understand the 'reallife' purpose of everything that they learn to do and how this can enable them to make a positive contribution to society in the future and achieve personal well-being.

E2

As mentioned above the Primary Framework for Mathematical learning has seven strands. These are:

Counting and Understanding Numbers

Knowing and using number facts

Calculating

Understanding shape

Measuring

Handling Data

Using and Applying Mathematics

Building on their knowledge and experience, children will develop an awareness of the underlying patterns in numbers and shapes which are a foundation for calculating methods, measurement and shape work in the future. Their progress of mathematical language is of elementary part. For example in the Foundation Stage children are taught :-

To develop mathematical language

To recognise and recreate patterns

To compare, sort, match, order and count objects and to sequence everyday objects and events

To develop understanding of numbers as labels and for counting

To use vocabulary involved in adding and subtracting

To use mathematical ideas and methods to solve practical problems

An example of Mathematical Development and emphasis in Key Stage One is:-

• Number and mental calculation strategies

• Learning to count in preparation for work on place value and working with large numbers

• Using the four operations of number in relative contexts and problem solving

• Recognising patterns and symmetry

• Developing skills in measuring and estimating

For Key Stage Two, Children will continue to build on their experience from Key Stage One.

In Key Stage Two

children are taught in age grouped sets or mixed sets for children who require more support in order to access the curriculum successfully.

The aim is to increase awareness and understanding of patterns, the number system, calculating methods, systems of measurement and properties of shapes. Children may extend their maths into working with a wider range of numbers and solving problems with an increasing number of steps.

E3, E4 and C1

Within the Foundation Stage, maths is taught in short activities based on 'real life' situations. Children are taught the 4 basics of number, shape, space and measure. Role-play situations provide opportunities for using and applying this knowledge and for problem solving. Many nurseries follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) guidelines in reception to the Early learning goals. In reception maths is beginning to be taught separately by following the NNS.

Children are given daily opportunities to practice and learn mental calculation. They are encouraged to try different methods by praise from the teacher and from one another. Questioning skills are used to good effect to help provide differentiation and to allow all children to be included. Written tasks are also differentiated within a common theme.

There is interactive teaching where the children are encouraged to talk about how they calculate and problem-solve. In this situation, children are given many opportunities to answer questions and to talk about the answers. Children are also encouraged to comment on and choose different methods, once taught, and to work collaboratively in pairs and in groups.

All pupils should experience a variety of recording methods, a mix of the following types should satisfy all needs:

Oral

Pictorial, graphical, symbolic, diagrammatic, models

Written.

The skill to identify and describe shapes, sizes, positions, directions, and movement is important in many work situations, such as construction and design, as well as in creating and understanding art. Becoming familiar with shapes and spatial relationships in their environment will help children grasp the principles of geometry in later years. For example:

Identify shapes and sizes. When playing with a child, identify things by their shape and size: "Pass me a sugar cube." "Take the largest cereal box out of the cupboard."

Build structures using blocks or old boxes. Discuss the need to build a strong base. Ask a child which shapes stack easily, and why.

Hide a toy and use directional language to help a child find it. Give clues using words and phrases such as up, down, over, under, between, through, and on top of.

Play "I spy", looking for different shapes. "I spy something that is round." "I spy something that is rectangular." "I spy something that looks like a cone."

Another example is understanding measurements. We use measurements to determine the height, length, and width of objects, as well as the area they cover, the volume they hold, etc. We measure time and money. Developing the ability to estimate and to measure accurately takes time and practice.

Keep a record of the daily temperature outside and of a child's outdoor activities. After a few weeks, ask a child to look at the record and see how the temperature affected his or her activities.

Include the child in activities that involve measurements. Have the child measure the ingredients in a recipe. Trade equal amounts of money. How many pennies do you need to trade for a pound?

A child should be helped to develop their own methods of recording and they should also be aware of and experience standard methods of recording at an appropriate stage. However they record their results it is important that the children learn to record clearly and logically and when recording on paper, should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their work.

E5

Maths is a core subject in the National Curriculum. Planning always takes account of the diverse and changing needs of the children. Planning takes place at three connected levels: long, medium and short term.

Long term planning is taken from the Framework which outlines the yearly teaching programmes and key objectives from Reception to Year six.

Medium term plans outline the termly units of work and the main teaching objectives and when you will teach them.

Short term plans are weekly notes on how each lesson will be taught, detailing objectives, tasks, activities and groupings of children for the three main parts of the lesson.

They include notes on resources, vocabulary, homework, use of LSA support and differentiation. Teachers should be flexible and adapt their planning to meet the needs of the children in the class, Teachers may use objectives from other year groups for children who are less able or to challenge more able children.

Pupil progress should be recorded on Pupil Progress Sheets and Teacher Assessments collected twice a year.

For example, a Mathematics Co-ordinator analyses SATs results from KS1 and KS2 (and plans targets in Maths to address any weaknesses found in the childs development). Staff will report in writing to parents annually on pupil progress in Mathematics. Homework is set weekly in KS2. For more detail see the Homework Policy.

When children are actively involved in learning they gain a sense of satisfaction. It is also important that adults working with children also have a positive attitude tomaths and that they are confident to play with mathematic concepts in a practical manner.

E6

Ask your child to help you solve everyday number problems.

"We need six tomatoes to make our sauce for dinner, and we have only two. How many more do we need to buy?"

or "You have two pillows in your room and your sister has two pillows in her room. How many pillowcases do I need to wash?"

"Two guests are coming to eat dinner with us. How many plates will we need?"

Discover the many ways in which numbers are used inside and outside your home.

Take a child on a "number hunt" in your home or neighbourhood. Point out how numbers are used on the television set, the microwave, and the telephone. Spot numbers in books and newspapers. Look for numbers on signs in your neighbourhood. Encourage your child to tell you whenever he or she discovers a new way in which numbers are used.

E7

Parents are children's first educators and are highly valued in the contribution that they make.

The role that parents have played, and their future role, in educating the children do this through:

before their child starts in our school talk to parents about their child;

children have the chance to spend time with their teacher before starting at a nursery school by having "Induction Session".

Giving parents regular opportunities to talk about their child's progress

Giving free access to their children's "Learning Journey" record books .

Encouraging parents to talk to their child's teachers about any concerns they may have.

A range of activities throughout the year that will encourage collaboration between child, nursery school and parents. Ie.fund raising days, themed activity days, concerts like Harvest Festival, nativity, Easter and leavers concert.

Have 2 formal meetings per year (Autumn and Summer term) with parents to discuss the child's progress and development.

Homework and parental involvement

Parents are given a leaflet at the start of each year, which outlines the main teaching objectives. This gives parents opportunities to ask questions and helps them to understand ways in which they can help children at home. Numeracy workshops are arranged for parents in response to questionnaires, which form part of our School Self Evaluation.

Year six children will follow an additional 'booster class' in school during the spring term. Homework will be an integral part of this revision programme.

Homework in mathematics should be enjoyed by parents and children. It aims to support learning in school. Parents will continue to be consulted as part of the review process.

All staff who are involved with EYFS should aim to develop good relationships with children and interact with them and take time to listen to the children.

E8

Nursery or placement settings aim to ensure that all pupils access a full range of mathematical learning experiences and it should be the policy to identify and provide for those children with specific needs, both those who find mathematical concepts difficult to grasp and those of good mathematical ability.

Nurseries can analyse attainment data by gender and also identify any other groups of pupils at risk of underachievement and then agree appropriate action to address any weaknesses identified.

Recognising diversity is about recognising that children can come from lots of different backgrounds and family structures and this could be from the language they speak, culture and beliefs.

Diversity means responding in a positive manner to differences, valuing all people.

All children are citizens and have rights and entitlements.

Children should be treated fairly regardless of race, religion or abilities. This applies no matter:

what they think or say

what type of family they come from

what language(s) they speak

what their parents do

whether they are girls or boys

whether they have a disability or whether they are rich or poor.

All children have an equal right to be listened to and valued in the setting.

Improving the physical environment - physical aids to access education such as ICT equipment and portable aids for children with motor co-ordination and poor hand/eye skills. New buildings should be physically accessible to disabled pupils and will involve improving access to existing buildings including ramps, wider doors, low sinks, etc

Improving the delivery of information to disabled children at nurserys or schools - The information should take account of pupils' disabilities and parents' preferred formats and be made available

All children should be treated in the same way regardless of race, religion or abilities. Nno matter what they think or say, what type of family they come from, what language(s) they speak, what their parents do, whether they are girls or boys or whether they have a disability or whether they are rich or poor.

E9

Child Care and Education - Tassoni. P. (2007). Heinemann (Harcourt Education Limited). Oxford , England

Child Development - Meggitt. C. (2006). Heinemann (Pearson Education Limited). Harlow, England

Department of education and Skills (DFES) 2007 -

Early Childhood Studies, Willan, Parker-Rees, Savage: (2004) :Learning Matters ltd

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