5 Things to consider in Primary School Maths

There is a lot to think about in here. Once I had a (very) basic grasp of the relationships between working memory and long-term memory, I realised how important the rote-learning of some basic number facts is. I also find it interesting that Kindergarten students are regularly drilled with basic number facts under names such as ‘friends of ten/twenty’ (this seems to be the most common label that I have heard), yet the same strategy, applied to higher level (yet still basic) number facts such as the times tables is seemingly actively discouraged. It fails to make sense to my mind.

Filling the pail

Following my recent posts on questions to ask your child’s primary school teacher (here and here), I had a request to expand on my comments about the teaching of mathematics. There are a few issues surrounding maths that I believe parents should know about but before I go into that, I wish to make two points. Firstly, a fundamentally misconceived maths program taught by dedicated, evaluative teachers will always be better than one that meets the highest standards of evidence but that is taught badly. In my school we have specialist mathematics teachers and I think this is far more important than the specific details of the program. Secondly, the intention of this post is to inform parents and not to have a go at primary school teachers. Some teachers were offended at my comment that time-tables songs were not the best way to memorise tables. They thought I was suggesting…

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