The Trouble with Maths

This book offers important insights into the often-confusing world of numeracy. By l ­ooking­at­learning­difficulties­in­maths­from­several­perspectives,­including­the­language­ of­mathematics,­thinking­styles­and­the­demands­of­individual­topics,­Steve­Chinn­delivers­ a­comprehensive­text­which­will­become­an­essential­classroom­companion­to­anyone­who­ uses it. Whilst­considering­every­aspect­concerning­maths­and­learning,­this­book­provides­a­ perfect­balance­of­advice,­guidance­and­practical­activities,­enabling­the­reader­to: ♦­­ develop­flexible­thinking­skills; ♦­­ use­alternative­strategies­for­pupils­to­access­basic­facts; ♦­­ implement­effective­preventative­measures­before­disaffection­sets­in; ♦­­ recognise­maths­anxiety­and­tackle­self-esteem­problems; ♦­­ make­accurate­ongoing­assessments­of­pupils’­difficulties; ♦­­ design­informal­diagnostic­procedures. With­useful­features­such­as­checklists­for­evaluation­of­books,­software­and­test­materials,­ this book highlights essential skills that will allow teachers to diagnose and address maths difficulties­ and­ improve­ standards.­ It­ draws­ on­ tried­ and­ tested­ methods­ based­ on­ the­ author’s­years­of­classroom­experience­to­provide­an­authoritative,­yet­highly­accessible­ one-stop­ classroom­ resource­ for­ all­ teachers,­ classroom­ assistants,­ Special­ Educational­ Needs­Co-ordinators,­student­teachers,­and­learning­support­staff. Steve Chinn­is­Principal­and­Founder­of­Mark­College,­Somerset,­a­specialist­school­for­ dyslexics­awarded­‘Beacon­school­status’­by­the­Department­for­Education­and­Skills.

The Trouble with Maths
A­practical­guide­to­helping­learners­with­numeracy­difficulties

Steve­Chinn

LONDON­AND­NEW­YORK

First­published­2004­by­RoutledgeFalmer 2­Park­Square,­Milton­Park,­Abingdon,­Oxon,­OX14­4RN Simultaneously­published­in­the­USA­and­Canada by­RoutledgeFalmer 270­Madison­Ave,­New­York­NY­10016 RoutledgeFalmer is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group This­edition­published­in­the­Taylor­&­Francis­e-Library,­2009. To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor­&­Francis­or­Routledge’s­collection­of­thousands­of­eBooks please go to www.eBookstore.tandf.co.uk. ©­2004­Steve­Chinn All­rights­reserved.­No­part­of­this­book­may­be­reprinted­or reproduced­in­any­form­or­by­any­electronic,­mechanical, or­other­means,­now­known­or­hereafter­invented,­including photocopying­and­recording,­or­in­any­information­storage or­retrieval­system,­without­permission­in­writing­from the publishers. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A­catalogue­record­for­this­book­is­available­from­the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data A­catalog­record­has­been­requested ISBN­0-203-35809-0­Master­e-book­ISBN

ISBN­0-203-47769-3­(Adobe­ebook­Reader­Format) ISBN­0-415-32498-X­(Print­Edition)

Contents
List of illustrations Foreword 1­ 2 3­ 4 5­ 6­ 7 8­ 9­ 10­ Appendix 1 Appendix 2 Appendix 3 Appendix 4 Appendix 5 Introduction:­learning­difficulties­in­mathematics­ Factors that affect learning What­the­curriculum­asks­pupils­to­do­and­where­difficulties­ may occur Thinking styles in mathematics Developmental­perspectives­ The language of maths Anxiety­and­attributions­ The inconsistencies of maths Assessment and diagnosis The­nasties…long­division­and­fractions­ Further Reading Checklists and resources Jog Your Memory cards for multiplication facts Setting an inclusive maths department policy Criterion referenced tests Notes Index vi ix 1 20 33 52 69 86 97 105 111 130 142 143 146 150 155 165 167

Illustrations Figures
2.1 2.2 2.3 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 4.1 4.2 4.3 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 6.1 7.1 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 10.1 Place­value­cards A blank task analysis form An­example­of­a­task­analysis Using­10p­coins­as­images­of­number­bonds­for­100 Base­ten­blocks­used­to­show­23×12 Area­model­for­31×17 28×39­compared­to­30×40­as­areas Division­by­subtraction­of­‘chunks’ Subtraction­the­inchworm­way What­is­the­area­of­the­shaded­figure? Trial and adjust the inchworm way Area models for multiplication The­blank­table­square The­almost­complete­table­square­with­the­‘easy’­number­ facts shaded 6×10­compared­to­6×9 Grouping repeated additions into partial products Multiplication­and­division­using­the­‘easy’­numbers Images­of­number­bonds­for­10 Number­bonds­for­100­with­base­ten­blocks Place­value­arrow­cards Expectations Seating­for­the­assessment Dot­recognition­and­counting Place­value­cards Screening­test­for­basic­numeracy­skills A­non-diagnostic­worksheet­for­a­Level­2­pupil ‘Traditional’­long­division 30 31 32 39 42 43 44 45 53 55 59 72 74 75 76 77 79 81 82 87 101 116 118 121 122 129 130

Figures vii

10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6

The criss-cross-times method for fractions The­hidden­division­sign Fractions and clocks Renaming­fractions­to­make­them­have­the­same­name
Tables

134 136 136 139 140

4.1 4.2

Thinking styles of the inchworm and the grasshopper Mathematics­learning­styles­I­and­II

52 53

Foreword
For­many­years,­the­field­of­children’s­learning­difficulties­has­been­dominated­by­research­on­ reading­and­dyslexia.­There­is­now­a­large­body­of­knowledge­concerning­the­nature­and­origins­ of­dyslexia­and­how­best­to­teach­reading­to­children­with­such­difficulties.­However,­learning­ to­read­is­not­the­only­skill­that­poses­difficulty­for­children­with­dyslexia-related­disorders—the­ majority­also­have­difficulty­with­at­least­some­aspects­of­number­work.­‘The­Trouble­with­ Maths’­addresses­this­issue­and­shows­how­all­who­teach­and­learn­maths­can­enjoy­it. Scientific­research­on­number­skills­has­increased­during­the­past­ten­years­and­the­evidence­ base­is­growing­at­a­rapid­rate.­It­is­now­known­that,­from­shortly­after­birth,­infants­can­detect­ changes­in­the­number­of­objects­in­visual­displays­of­objects.­This­innate­sense­of­numerosity­is­ the­foundation­of­later­number­concepts­that­develop­rapidly­during­the­pre-school­years.­But­to­ become­numerate­demands­more;­children­need­to­learn­conventional­systems­and­to­use­their­ mathematical­thinking­meaningfully­and­flexibly­in­logical­situations.­Neuroscientists­mapping­ brain-behaviour­relationships­have­shown­that­mathematical­expertise­draws­on­a­wide­range­of­ neural­circuits­in­the­right­and­left­hemispheres­that­must­work­in­concert­to­solve­mathematical­ problems.­It­is­therefore­not­surprising,­as­Steve­Chinn­points­out,­that­children’s­problems­with­ numeracy­are­diverse­and­the­term­‘dyscalculia’­may­be­too­broad­to­capture­the­wide­range­of­ problems­that­are­observed­in­children­acquiring­mathematical­skills. At­the­broadest­level,­numeracy­problems­may­affect­either­mathematical­thinking­or­computational­skills.­But­during­development,­as­this­book­shows,­the­situation­is­never­quite­so­ simple;­mathematical­learning­is­a­cumulative­process­so­that­a­poorly­developed­concept­of­ number­can­affect­the­acquisition­of­number­facts­and­by­the­same­token,­poor­arithmetic­ability­can­compromise­the­growth­of­mathematical­knowledge.­Furthermore,­school­mathematics­is­embedded­in­language,­requires­sequencing­skills,­draws­on­working­memory­systems,­ depends­on­spatial­concepts­and,­more­than­any­other­school­subject,­engenders­anxiety.­Add­to­ this­the­fact­that­the­assessment­of­mathematical­learning­usually­requires­the­child­to­read­and­ comprehend­written­questions­and­to­lay­out­their­work­clearly,­and­the­whole­area­become­a­ minefield­for­the­child­with­specific­learning­difficulties. Steve­Chinn­has­done­a­great­job­of­systemising­what­can­be­done­to­help­the­child­who­ has­problems­with­maths.­His­message­is­clear—take­account­of­the­strengths­of­the­child­and­ the­style­of­their­thinking,­marry­this­with­the­demands­of­the­numeracy­curriculum­and­adjust­ lessons­to­help.­The­book­shows­how­careful­assessment­can­lead­to­the­development­of­effective­strategies­to­help­with­basic­and­more­advanced­concepts­of­maths.­There­is­discussion­of­ what­data­mathematics­tests­can­provide­(and­by­inference­what­they­cannot)­and­a­checklist­for­ choosing­assessment­instruments.­There­are­heaps­of­ideas­for­successful­teaching­and­advice­ on­both­how­to­set­up­an­individual­education­plan­and­how­to­develop­an­inclusive­mathematics curriculum. Written­from­the­perspective­of­a­highly­skilled­practitioner­and­an­expert­teacher­educator­ who­enjoys­and­understands­numbers,­this­book­ensures­that­all­who­read­it­will­understand­ how­to­teach­maths­in­such­a­way­that­every­child­can­achieve­their­potential. Maggie­Snowling­ University­of­York­ February 2004

Chapter­1­ Introduction
Learning­difficulties­in­mathematics
This­book­is­to­help­teachers,­classroom­assistants­and­learning­support­assistants­who­have­ to­deal­with­pupils­who­are­underachieving­in­mathematics.­It­takes­several­perspectives­ on­the­situation,­from­preventive­measures­to­diagnosis­and­identification­of­difficulties,­to­ thinking­styles,­to­ideas­for­intervention.­It­works­like­a­repair­manual­in­some­respects­and­ like­a­care­awareness­manual­(looking­after­your­students)­in­other­respects. It­ is­ a­ book­ which­ can­ be­ accessed­ in­different­ ways.­ It­ can­ provide­an­ overview­ of­ where­and­how­problems­may­arise.­It­offers­insights­into­areas­of­potential­difficulty.­It­ can­focus­on­a­particular­problem­and­suggest­approaches­which­can­help­the­pupil­to­learn,­ but­it­would­be­an­impossible­task­to­attempt­to­provide­an­answer­for­every­problem­for­ every­child. It­can­be­used­to: ♦­­ identify­a­problem ♦­­ understand­possible­reasons­for­a­problem ♦­­ pre-empt­problems ♦­­ develop­flexible­thinking­skills ♦­­ circumvent­problems­in­basic­numeracy ♦­­ address­the­difficulties­pupils­have­with­word­problems ♦­­ teach­alternative­strategies­for­accessing­basic­facts ♦­­ recognise­maths­anxiety,­attributional­style­and­self-esteem­problems ♦­­ design­informal­diagnostic­procedures ♦­­ extract­diagnostic­information­from­pupils’­work ♦­­ stimulate­ideas­for­teaching­maths­to­pupils­who­are­facing­difficulties­with­the­ subject. Sometimes­you­may­find­information­repeated­in­different­chapters­of­the­book.­This­is­ deliberate­as­some­observations­fit­into­more­than­one­area.­The­new­area­should­give­a­ different­perspective­to­that­information.

What do learners need to be good at mathematics?
Although­ this­ book­ is­ about­ what­ to­ do­ when­ learners­ are­ underachieving­ in­ maths,­ it­ should­be­valuable­to­consider­what­learners­need­to­be­good­at­maths.­I­have­two­sources­ for­this­information.­One­is­from­the­USSR­and­the­other­from­the­USA. Krutetskii1 presented a broad outline of the structure of mathematical abilities during school­age.­He­specifies: ♦­­ The­ability­for­logical­thought­in­the­sphere­of­quantitative­and­spatial­relationships,­ number­and­letter­symbols;­the­ability­to­think­in­mathematical­symbols.

2

The Trouble with Maths

♦­­ The­ ability­ for­ rapid­ and­ broad­ generalisation­ of­ mathematical­ objects,­ relations­ and­ operations. ♦­­ Flexibility­of­mental­processes­in­mathematical­activity. ♦­­ Striving­for­clarity,­simplicity,­economy­and­rationality­of­solutions. ♦­­ The­ ability­ for­ rapid­ and­ free­ reconstruction­ of­ the­ direction­ of­ a­ mental­ process,­ s ­ witching­from­a­direct­to­a­reverse­train­of­thought. ♦­­ Mathematical­ memory­ (generalised­ memory­ for­ mathematical­ relationships),­ and­ for­ methods­of­problem­solving­and­principles­of­approach. ♦­­ These­components­are­closely­interrelated,­influencing­one­another­and­forming­in­their­ aggregate a single integral syndrome of mathematical giftedness. Although­Krutetskii­makes­these­observations­concerning­giftedness­in­mathematics,­they­ are­equally­appropriate­for­competence.­The­reader­can­see­where­learning­difficulties­may­ create problems. The­other­source­is­the­National­Council­of­Teachers­of­Mathematics­in­the­USA,­who­ list­and­explain­twelve­essential­components­of­essential­maths: 1­­ Problem solving­The­process­of­applying­previously­acquired­knowledge­to­new­and­ unfamiliar­situations.­Students­should­see­alternate­solutions­to­problems:­they­should­ experience­problems­with­more­than­a­single­solution. 2 Communicating mathematical ideas (receiving and presenting)­Students­should­learn­ the language and notation of maths. 3­ Mathematical reasoning­ Students­ should­ learn­ to­ make­ independent­ investigations­ of­ mathematical­ ideas.­ They­ should­ be­ able­ to­ identify­ and­ extend­ patterns­ and­ use­ e ­ xperiences­and­observations­to­make­conjectures. 4 Applying maths to everyday situations­Students­should­be­encouraged­to­take­everyday­ situations,­ translate­ them­into­mathematical­representations­(graphs,­ tables,­ diagrams­ or­mathematical­expressions),­process­the­maths­and­interpret­the­results­in­light­of­the­ initial situation. 5­­ Alertness to the reasonableness of results­In­solving­problems,­students­should­question­ the reasonableness of a solution or conjecture in relation to the original problem. They must­develop­number­sense. 6­­ Estimation­Students­should­be­able­to­carry­out­rapid­approximate­calculations­through­ the­use­of­mental­arithmetic­and­a­variety­of­computational­estimation­techniques­and­ decide when a particular result is precise enough for the purpose in hand. 7 Appropriate computational skills­ Students­ should­ gain­ facility­ in­ using­ addition,­ s ­ ubtraction,­multiplication­and­division­with­whole­numbers­and­decimals.­Today­long­ complicated­computations­should­be­done­with­a­calculator­or­a­computer.­Knowledge­ of single digit number facts is essential. 8­­ Algebraic thinking­Students­should­learn­to­use­variables­(letters)­to­represent­mathematical­ quantities­and­expressions.­They­should­understand­and­use­correctly­positive­and­negative­numbers,­order­of­operations,­formulas,­equations­and­inequalities. 9­­ Measurement­Students­should­learn­the­fundamental­concepts­of­measurement­through­ concrete­experiences. 10­ Geometry­ Students­ should­ understand­ the­ geometric­ concepts­ necessary­ to­ function­ effectively­in­the­three­dimensional­world.

Introduction 3 11­­Statistics­Students­should­plan­and­carry­out­the­collection­and­organisation­of­data­to­ answer­questions­in­their­everyday­lives.­Students­should­recognise­the­basic­uses­and­ misuses of statistical representation and inference. 12­­ Probability­ Students­ should­ understand­ the­ elementary­ notions­ of­ probability­ to­ d ­ etermine­the­likelihood­of­future­events.­They­should­learn­how­probability­applies­to­ the decision making process. And,­ picking­ up­ on­ Krutetskii’s­ first­ point­concerning­the­use­of­ symbols­in­ maths,­ the­ B ­ ritish­psychologist,­Skemp2­wrote: Among­the­functions­of­symbols,­we­can­distinguish: (1)­Communication (2)­Recording­knowledge (3)­The­communication­of­new­concepts (4)­Making­multiple­classification­straightforward (5)­Explanations (6)­Making­possible­reflective­activity (7)­Helping­to­show­structure (8)­Making­routine­manipulations­automatic (9)­Recovering­information­and­understanding (10)­Creative­mental­activity. He­concludes­that:­‘It­is­largely­by­the­use­of­symbols­that­we­achieve­voluntary­control­ over­our­thoughts.’ So,­ we­ have­ some­ characteristics­ for­ being­ good­ at­ mathematics.­ Could­ one­ assume­ that­deficits­in­all­or­some­of­these­skills­create­difficulties­in­mathematics?­I­know­from­ experience­that­there­are­many­reasons­why­someone­may­underachieve­in­mathematics­ and­that­the­picture­is­a­complex­one­with­no­single­root­cause.­Recently­the­term­dyscalculia has become more prominent and so a look at what dyscalculia might be may help our u ­ nderstanding­of­other­reasons­for­difficulties­with­mathematics.

Dyscalculia, definitions and descriptions
Dyscalculia,­a­problem­with­learning­mathematics,­is­attracting­attention­in­official­circles.­ The­DfES­(Department­for­Education­and­Skills)­has­published­a­booklet­(see­below)­on­ guidance­for­supporting­pupils­with­dyscalculia­(and­dyslexia)­in­the­National­Numeracy­ Strategy­(NNS).­There­is­now­a­screening­test­for­dyscalculia3­published­by­NFER-Nelson.­ Despite­this­attention­the­literature­on­dyscalculia­is­sparse­and­the­definitions­are­a­little­ bland­at­present.­I­have­extracted­a­few­from­various­sources. Developmental­ dyscalculia­ is­ defined­ by­ Bakwin­ and­ Bakwin­ (1960)­ as­ a­ ‘difficulty­ with­counting’­and­by­Cohn­(1968)­as­a­‘failure­to­recognise­numbers­or­manipulate­them­ in­an­advanced­culture’.­Gerstmann­(1957)­describes­dyscalculia­(Gerstmann’s­syndrome)­ as­ ‘an­ isolated­ disability­ to­ perform­ simple­ or­ complex­ arithmetical­ operations­ and­ an­ impairment­of­orientation­in­the­sequence­of­numbers­and­their­fractions.’ Kosc­(1974)­describes­developmental­dyscalculia­as­a­structural­disorder­of­mathematical­ abilities which has its origin in a genetic or congenital disorder of those parts of the brain

4

The Trouble with Maths

that are the direct anatomico-physiological substrate of the maturation of the mathematical abilities­ adequate­ to­ age,­ without­ a­ simultaneous­ disorder­ of­ general­ mental­ functions.­ This­ definition­ clearly­ puts­ dyscalculia­in­the­ inherited­ and­ specific­learning­difficulties­ category. In­1996­Magne­gave­a­slightly­more­cautious­explanation­of­a­difficulty­in­mathematics­as­ the­low­achievement­of­a­person­on­a­certain­occasion­which­manifests­itself­as­performance­ below­standard­of­the­age-group­of­this­person­or­below­his­own­abilities­as­a­consequence­ of­inadequate­cognitive,­affective,­volitional,­motor­or­sensory­etc.­development.­The­cause­ for­inadequate­development­may­be­of­various­kinds.­This­description­acknowledges­that­ there­will­be­more­than­one­cause­for­difficulties­in­mathematics. Mahesh­ Sharma­ (1986)­ lists­ the­ many­ words­ that­ have­ been­ suggested­ for­ maths­ d ­ ifficulties,­explaining­terms­such­as­acalculia,­dyscalculia,­anarithmetica­and­noting­that­ there­is­no­definite­agreement­on­their­use­universally­in­the­literature,­that­they­have­not­ been­used­consistently,­and­although­there­are­significant­differences­between­dyscalculia­ and­acalculia,­some­authors­have­used­the­terms­interchangeably.­He­concludes­that­the­ descriptions­of­these­terms­are­quite­diverse­to­say­the­least. Sharma­suggests­that­dyscalculia­refers­to­a­disorder­in­the­ability­to­do­or­to­learn­mathematics,­ that­ is,­ difficulty­ in­ number­ conceptualisation,­ understanding­ number­ relationships­and­difficulty­in­learning­algorithms­and­applying­them.­It­is­an­irregular­impairment­ of­ability.­Thus­Sharma­suggests­that­dyscalculia­is­a­specific­learning­difficulty. Acalculia­is­used­to­label­a­more­serious­condition,­the­loss­of­the­fundamental­processes­of­quantity­and­magnitude­estimation­and­a­complete­loss­of­the­ability­to­count.­ This­is­an­acquired­condition. And,­finally,­something­that­sounds­like­a­missing­member­of­the­Russian­royal­family,­ arithmastenia,­defined­as­a­uniform­deficiency­in­the­level­of­mathematical­abilities. I­wrote­the­following­for­the­Dyslexia­Institute’s­journal,­Dyslexia Review,­volume­14,­ number­3,­2003.­It­is­reprinted­with­their­permission.

Does dyscalculia add up?
Initial ramblings Is dyscalculia ‘dyslexia with moths’? With­the­publication­of­Brian­Butterworth’s­The Dyscalculia Screener and the inclusion of­dyscalculia­as­a­specific­learning­difficulty­in­the­DfES­consultation­document­for­the­ 2004­SEN­census,­dyscalculia­is­a­hot­topic.­This­article­sums­(!)­up­my­current­thinking­ about­dyscalculia.­Unfortunately­my­current­thinking­is­fluid.­I­am­trying­to­make­sense­of­ all­those­factors­which­influence­the­maths­learning­outcomes­of­children­and­adults.­So,­I­ hope this paper may attract some responses and stimulate more research. Since­absolute­knowledge­on­dyscalculia­is­in­short­supply­I­am­going­to­construct­this­ paper­around­the­questions­which­I­consider­we­have­to­investigate­to­reach­an­understanding­ of­dyscalculia.­In­doing­this­there­seem­to­be­some­very­interesting­comparisons­between­ dyscalculia­and­dyslexia.

Introduction

5

There­are­some­things­I­know­as­a­start.­I­know­that­dyscalculia­will­not­be­a­simple­ ­ c ­ onstruct­ (I­ think­ that­ means­ a­ psychological­ concept).­ I­ know­ that­ there­ will­ be­ many­ ­ reasons­why­a­person­may­be­bad­at­maths.­I­know­there­will­not­be­any­instant­or­simple­ ­ ‘cures’­because­I­know­that­there­is­unlikely­to­be­a­single­reason­behind­the­problem­of­ the­many,­many­people­who­fail­to­master­maths­and­I­know­that­not­all­of­these­will­be­ dyscalculic. I­heard­David­Geary­speak­at­the­last­IDA­conference.­This­American­guru­compared­ our­ knowledge­ of­ dyslexia­ to­ being­ close­ to­ adulthood­ and­ our­ knowledge­ of­ maths/­ dyscalculia­to­being­in­its­early­infancy.­This­is­reflected­in­the­number­of­research­studies­ done­on­language­difficulties­compared­to­those­done­on­maths­difficulties.­As­for­studies­ on­dyscalculia,­they­are­few­indeed.­I­think­there­are­so­many­parallels­at­so­many­levels­ between­dyslexia­and­dyscalculia­and­all­that­surrounds­these­specific­learning­difficulties,­ for­example­prevalence,­definition,­teaching­methods,­etiology­and­so­forth. We­ are­ some­ twenty­ years­ behind­ language/­dyslexia­ studies­ in­ our­ knowledge­ and­ ­ understanding­of­dyscalculia.­This­is­not­to­say­that­I­think­it­will­take­us­twenty­years­ ­ to­catch­up­in­all­areas,­but­that­it­takes­a­good­length­of­time­for­the­concept­to­become­ ­ accepted­in­everyday­educational­settings­and­thus­for­understandings­to­build­from­work­ ­ from­the­‘shop­floor’. ­ So,­let’s­go­back­twenty­years­to­a­much­quoted,­pioneering­paper­by­Joffe­(1980).­One­ ­ of­Joffe’s­statistics­has­been­applied­over-enthusiastically­and­without­careful­consideration­ ­ of­how­it­was­obtained.­This­is­the­‘61­per­cent­of­dyslexics­are­retarded­in­arithmetic’­and­ ­ thus­39­per­cent­are­not.­Now­it­is­not­quite­as­simple­as­that.­The­sample­for­this­statistic­ ­ was­ quite­ small,­ some­ 50­ dyslexic­ learners.­ The­ maths­ test­ on­ which­ the­ statistic­ was­ ­ largely­based­was­the­British­Abilities­Scales­Basic­Arithmetic­Test­which­is­just­that,­a­ ­ test­of­arithmetic­skills.­Although­the­test­was­untimed,­Joffe­noted­that­the­high­attainment­ ­ group­would­have­done­less­well­if­speed­was­a­consideration.­The­extrapolations­from­ this­paper­would­have­to­be­cautious.­Other­writers­seem­to­have­overlooked­Joffe’s­own­ ­ cautious­and­detailed­observations,­for­example,­‘Computation­was­a­slow­and­laborious­ ­ process­for­a­large­proportion­of­the­dyslexic­sample.’­You­will­see­at­the­very­end­of­this­ ­ paper­ I­ have­ mentioned­a­ Mark­ College­pupil­who­ was­ identified­ as­dyscalculic­ by­the­ Butterworth­screener­(where­two­out­of­the­five­exercises­focus­on­speed­and­accuracy­in­ computation)­but­who­is­predicted­to­achieve­a­Grade­A­in­GCSE­maths. I­think­there­are­two­reasons­why­Joffe’s­paper­is­so­frequently­quoted.­One­is­that­it­is­a­ good­paper­and­the­other­is­that­there­are­so­few­others­from­which­to­quote.­NFER-Nelson­ ­ describe­Brian­Butterworth­as­‘the­leading­expert­on­dyscalculia’.­Sadly,­at­the­moment­it’s­ ­ a­one­horse­race.­We­need­more­researchers­to­follow­Butterworth’s­initiative. ­ ­ ­ As­a­(lapsed)­physicist­I­have­a­scientist’s­concept­of­what­makes­a­definition.­In­physics­ one­ can­ control­ the­ variables­ and­ do­ pretty­ reliable­ experiments.­ People­ are­ difficult­ to­ control­(especially­as­teenagers).­In­this­respect­I­view­some­definitions­as­descriptions. The­ definition­ of­ a­ learning­ difficulty­ can­ be­ very­ influential­ and­ can­ have­ many­ c ­ onsequences.­For­example,­it­can­influence­the­allocation­of­resources­to­an­individual­or­ to­a­school­or­to­the­education­budget­of­an­Education­Authority.­For­an­individual,­knowing­

Definitions and labels

6

The Trouble with Maths

that­your­difficulties­have­a­label­may­be­a­relief­and­a­benefit,­but­it­may­also­cause­a­ r ­ eaction­not­at­all­dissimilar­to­that­of­grieving­for­a­loss.­So­there­needs­to­be­a­sense­of­ responsibility­and­awareness­of­all­these­implications­in­those­who­create­definitions. There­seems­to­have­been­a­change­in­the­culture­of­the­definition­of­dyslexia,­from­ the­all­encompassing­definitions­of­the­late­80s­to­the­focused,­minimalist­definition­of­the­ British­Psychological­Society­in­the­late­90s.­This­could­well­be­significant.­Professor­Tim­ Miles­talks­of­‘lumpers’­and­‘splitters’.­So,­could­there­be­‘specific­learning­difficulties’­ which­may­encompass­all­or­some­of­dyslexia,­dyspraxia­and­dyscalculia­or­can­the­three­ dys’s­have­independent­existences? Does being dyscalculic exclude you from being dyslexic or dyspraxic? Does being dyslexic exclude you from being dyscalculic? Then, turning to the lumpers, does being dyslexic mean you are also dyscalculic and dyspraxic? It­may­help­to­answer­some,­if­not­all­of­these­questions­if­you­think­of­real­people,­real­ individuals­and­what­the­answer­would­be­for­Jeff­or­Jane.­My­feeling­is­that­the­answer­to­ the­first­two­questions­is­‘No’­and­to­the­third­question,­‘Not­necessarily.’ Of­course­the­answers­depend­on­the­definitions­currently­assigned­to­the­difficulties.­ I’ll­come­back­to­summarise­my­thoughts­on­definitions­towards­the­end­of­this­paper,­but­ here­is­a­small­sample­of­definitions­for­now. The­ first­ is­ from­ a­ DfES­ booklet­ (2001)­ on­ supporting­ pupils­ with­ dyslexia­ and­ d ­ yscalculia­in­the­NNS. Dyscalculia­ is­ a­ condition­ that­ affects­ the­ ability­ to­ acquire­ mathematical­ skills.­ Dyscalculic­ learners­ may­ have­ difficulty­ understanding­ simple­ number­ concepts,­ lack­ an­ intuitive­ grasp­ of­numbers,­and­have­problems­ learning­number­ facts­and­ procedures.­Even­if­they­produce­a­correct­answer­or­use­a­correct­method,­they­may­ do­so­mechanically­and­without­confidence. Very­little­is­known­about­the­prevalence­of­dyscalculia,­its­causes,­or­treatment.­ Purely­dyscalculic­learners­who­have­difficulties­only­with­numbers­will­have­cognitive­and­language­abilities­in­the­normal­range,­and­may­excel­in­non-mathematical­ subjects.­It­is­more­likely­that­difficulties­with­numeracy­accompany­the­language­ difficulties­of­dyslexia. The­second­dates­from­1970­and­is­attributed­to­Kosc­(1974:47). Developmental­dyscalculia­is­a­structural­disorder­of­mathematical­abilities­which­ has its origin in a genetic or congenital disorder of those parts of the brain that are the direct anatomico-physiological substrate of the maturation of the mathematical a ­ bilities­ adequate­ to­ age,­ without­ a­ simultaneous­ disorder­ of­ general­ mental­ functions.

Introduction 7 Sharma­(1990)­discusses­three­terms­for­difficulties­in­mathematics,­saying­that, Terms­such­as­acalculia,­dyscalculia,­anarithmetica…there­is­no­definite­agreement­ on­ their­ use­ universally­ in­ the­ literature…they­ have­ not­ been­ used­ consistently… although­there­are­significant­differences­between­dyscalculia­and­acalculia,­some­ authors­ have­ used­ the­ terms­ interchangeably…the­ descriptions­ of­ these­ terms­ are­ quite­diverse­to­say­the­least. He­explains­dyscalculia­and­acalculia­as: Dyscalculia­ refers­ to­ a­ disorder­ in­ the­ ability­ to­ do­ or­ to­ learn­ mathematics,­ that­ is,­difficulty­in­number­conceptualisation,­understanding­number­relationships­and­ difficulty­ in­ learning­ algorithms­ and­ applying­ them.­ (An­ irregular­ impairment­ of­ ability). ­­­­Acalculia­is­the­loss­of­fundamental­processes­of­quantity­and­magnitude­estimation.­(A­complete­loss­of­the­ability­to­count.) The­final­example­is­from­a­DfES­consultation­document­called­‘Classification­of­SEN.’­ The­descriptions­are­to­be­used­in­the­pupil­level­annual­schools­census­from­2004­(DfES­ 2002). Specific­ learning­ difficulty­ (SpLD)­ covers­ a­ range­ of­ related­ conditions­ which­ occur­across­a­continuum­of­severity.­Pupils­may­have­difficulties­in­reading,­writing,­spelling­or­manipulating­numbers­which­are­not­typical­of­their­general­level­of­ p ­ erformance.­Pupils­may­have­difficulty­with­short-term­memory,­with­organisational­ skills,­with­hand-eye­coordination­and­with­orientation­and­directional­awareness.­ Dyslexia,­dyscalculia­and­dyspraxia­fall­under­this­umbrella. Pupils­ with­ dyscalculia­ have­ difficulty­ with­ numbers­ and­ remembering­ m ­ athematical­facts­as­well­as­performing­mathematical­operations.­Pupils­may­have­ difficulties­ with­ abstract­ concepts­ of­ time­ and­ direction,­ recalling­ schedules­ and­ sequences­of­events­as­well­as­difficulties­with­mathematical­concepts,­rules,­formulas­and­basic­addition,­subtraction,­multiplication­and­division­of­facts. What distinguishes dyscalculia from just problems with maths? What do we mean by ‘problems with maths’? How big is the problem? We­don’t­know.­It­will­depend­on­the­definition.­It­may­also­depend­on­the­perseverance­of­the­difficulty.­Goodness­knows­how­many­people­have­a­‘difficulty’­with­maths.­ Like­all­skills,­if­you­cease­to­practise­you­lose­the­skill­and­few­adults­practise­maths,­ e ­ specially­ topics­ such­as­fractions­ or­ algebra,­after­ leaving­school.­ So­ the­ extent­ of­ the­ problem­could­well­increase­in­adults.­For­example,­a­study­done­in­1995­on­behalf­of­the­ Basic­Skills­Agency­of­1714­adults­aged­35­years­found­that­just­under­one­quarter­had­ very­low­numeracy­skills­at­a­level­which­would­make­it­difficult­to­complete­everyday­ tasks successfully.

8

The Trouble with Maths

So I am sure that just having a difficulty with maths should not automatically earn you the label ‘dyscalculic’. Dyscalculia­ introduces­ another­ word­ into­ the­ vocabulary­of­special­ needs.­ Some­ see­ these words as labels and thus as descriptors of a person. That would not be helpful.

OK, I’m dyscalculic. So what?
I­like­the­questions,­‘What­if?’­and­the­follow­up­‘So­what?’­‘What­if­I­am­dyscalculic,­ so­ what?’­ I­ have­ to­ ask­ does­ being­ dyscalculic­ condemn­ the­ learner­ to­ being­ forever­ u ­ nsuccessful­at­maths.­That­then­raises­further­questions: ‘What does it mean to be successful at maths?’ and What skills and strengths does a learner need to be successful at maths?’ and ‘Is it important to be successful at maths?’ At­my­school,­Mark­College,­a­DfES­approved­independent­school­for­boys­who­have­ been­diagnosed­as­dyslexic,­the­results­for­GCSE­maths­are­significantly­above­national­ average.­Usually­at­least­75­per­cent­of­grades­are­at­C­and­above­compared­to­the­national­ average­of­around­50­per­cent.­Obviously­I­believe­that­if­the­teaching­is­appropriate­then­ a­learning­difficulty­does­not­necessarily­mean­lack­of­achievement.­But,­does­a­C­grade­ or­above­in­GCSE­maths­define­success?­That’s­a­question­for­another­article,­so,­for­the­ purpose­of­this­article­let’s­assume­it­is­one­criterion­and­let’s­assume­this­is­one­piece­of­ evidence­that­appropriate­teaching­can­make­a­difference. As­for­maths,­well­there­is­the­maths­you­need­for­everyday­life.­This­rarely­includes­ algebra,­ fractions­ (other­ than­ and ),­ co-ordinates­ or­ indeed­ much­ of­ what­ is­ taught­ in­ secondary­ schools.­ It­ does­ include­ a­ lot­ of­ money,­ measurement,­ some­ time­ and­ the­ o ­ ccasional­ percentage.­ Take,­ as­ an­ example­ of­ a­ real­ life­ maths­ exercise,­ paying­ for­ a­ f ­ amily­ meal­ in­ a­ restaurant.­ It­ needs­ estimation­skills,­possibly­ accurate­ addition­skills,­ subtraction­skills­if­using­cash,­and­percentage­skills­for­the­tip. The­ Russian­ psychologist­ Krutetskii­ (1976)­ listed­ the­ components­ of­ mathematical­ a ­ bility­which­could­act­as­a­description­of­what­a­learner­needs­to­be­‘good­at­maths’­and­ thus­also­act­as­a­guide­as­to­what­may­be­the­deficits­which­handicap­the­learner­failing­to­ be­good­at­maths­(also­listed­on­page­21ff­in­more­detail). 1­­ An­ability­to­formalise­maths­material­(to­abstract­oneself­from­concrete­numerical­ relationships). 2­­ An­ability­to­generalise­and­abstract­oneself­from­the­irrelevant. 3­­ An­ability­to­operate­with­numerals­and­other­symbols. 4­­ An­ability­for­sequential­segmented­logical­reasoning. 5­­ An­ability­to­shorten­the­reasoning­process. 6­­ An­ability­to­reverse­a­mental­process. 7­­ Flexibility­of­thought.

Introduction 9 8­­ A­mathematical­memory. 9­­ An­ability­for­spatial­concepts.

What is maths?
Could a person be good at some bits of maths and a failure at other bits? Do you have to fail at ALL bits to be dyscalculic? In­ terms­ of­ subject­ content,­ early­ maths­ is­ mostly­ numbers.­ Later­ it­ becomes­ more­ v ­ aried­ with­ new­ topics­ introduced­ such­ as­ measure,­ algebra­ and­ spatial­ topics.­ Up­ to­ GCSE,­ despite­ the­ different­ headings,­ the­ major­ component­ remains­ as­ number.­ So­ the­ demands­of­maths­can­appear­quite­broad,­and­this­can­be­very­useful,­but­number­can­be­ a­disproportionate­part­of­early­learning­experiences. So poor number skills could be a key factor in dyscalculia. This might suggest that we have to consider the match between the demands of the task and the skills of the learner. In­ terms­ of­ approach,­ maths­can­ be­ a­ written­ subject­or­a­mental­exercise.­It­ can­be­ formulaic­or­it­can­be­intuitive.­It­can­be­learnt­and­communicated­in­either­way,­or­combination of ways by the learner and it can be taught and communicated in either way or combination of ways by the teacher. Maths­can­be­concrete,­but­fairly­quickly­moves­to­the­abstract­and­symbolic.­It­has­ many rules and a surprising number of inconsistencies. In­terms­of­judgement,­feedback­and­appraisal,­maths­is­quite­unique­as­a­school­subject.­Work­is­usually­a­blunt­‘right’­or­‘wrong’­and­it­has­to­be­done­quickly. Even on this brief overview it is obvious that the demands of maths are varied. The importance placed on speed of working could also be another key issue for learners.

Attitude and the affective domain
I­don’t­have­the­reference,­but­there­was­a­study­done­in­Scandinavia­which­summed­up­the­ influences­of­language­and­maths­skills­on­life.­Excuse­me­if­I­state­the­influences­somewhat­ starkly.­It­is­important­to­remember­that­people­do­not­have­to­follow­the­conclusions­of­ statistical­analysis.­Being­good­at­English­does­not­predict­success­in­life.­Being­bad­at­ English­predicts­failure.­Being­bad­at­maths­does­not­predict­failure.­Being­good­at­maths­ predicts success. Of course we all know that being bad at maths holds no social stigma in Western culture. Indeed­it­may­well­attract­much­mutual­empathy.­So­the­consequences­of­dyscalculia­are­ going­to­have­a­better­social­acceptance­than­the­consequences­of­dyslexia.­(For­example,­ I­recently­read­a­letter­to­the­Times­about­a­restaurant­menu,­complaining­that­since­it­had­ spelling­mistakes­the­writer­would­not­be­eating­there.­That­makes­sense). Schools,­of­course­rarely­reflect­life.­In­school­there­may­well­be­significant­consequences­ of­being­bad­at­maths,­for­example­the­allocation­of­the­learner­to­a­teaching­group­which­

10

The Trouble with Maths

may­limit­the­levels­of­work­in­several­other­subjects.­Also­in­school,­unlike­life,­it’s­hard­ to­avoid­the­stuff­you­don’t­like­or­the­work­you­feel­you­can’t­do. Two key factors which aid learning are ability and attitude. The latter can go a long way­towards­compensating­for­the­former,­but­then­the­two­factors­are­pretty­closely­interlinked,­for­example­when­success­encourages­good­attitude. Some­learners­just­feel­that­they­can’t­do­maths.­This­may­well­be­a­consequence­of­early­ unsuccessful­learning­experiences­or­feedback­which­is­seen­as­negative.­The­judgemental­ nature­of­maths,­together­with­the­culture­of­having­to­do­maths­quickly­can­lead­children­ to­avoid­the­risk­of­being­wrong­again­and­again­and­thus­to­disassociate­themselves­from­ the­learning­experience­(Chinn,­1995).­Maths­creates­anxiety­and,­sadly­it­usually­seems­to­ be­an­anxiety­that­does­not­facilitate­learning.­Ashcraft­et al.­(1998)­has­shown­that­anxiety­ in­maths­can­impact­on­working­memory­and­thus­depress­performance­even­more. Some learners develop an attributional style for maths which makes their attitude personal as in ‘I’m too stupid to do maths’, pervasive, ‘I can’t do any maths’ and permanent, ‘I’ll never be able to do maths.’ An individual with a combination of those three beliefs could well present as a dyscalculic.

Memory, short, long and not always working
I­often­pose­the­question­in­my­lectures­‘What­does­the­learner­bring?’­(to­maths).­I­have­ already­ mentioned­ some­ factors­ such­ as­ anxiety.­ But­ what­ about­ memory?­ I­ know­ that­ K ­ rutetskii­(1976)­lists­mathematical­memory­as­a­requirement­to­be­good­at­maths.­I­am­ sure­that­short­term­and­working­memory­are­vital­for­mental­arithmetic,­particularly­for­ those­sequential,­formula­based­maths­thinkers. But can a learner compensate for difficulties in some of these requirements and thus ‘succeed’ in maths? Now­let’s­go­back­to­school,­in­England,­where­we­have­the­excellent­National­Numeracy­Strategy.­This­truly­is,­in­my­opinion­an­excellent­programme,­but­however­excellent­ the­programme,­it­is­virtually­impossible­to­meet­the­needs­of­every­learner.­An­essential­ part­of­the­NNS­in­the­early­years­of­education­is­mental­arithmetic.­Now­that’s­an­activity­ that­needs­memories,­long,­short­and­working.­So­a­learner­with­a­poor­short­term­memory­ could­fail­maths­when­it­is­mental­maths,­even­though­he­may­have­the­potential­to­become­ an­effective­mathematician.­If­failure­is­internalised­as­a­negative­attributional­style­by­the­ learner­then­that­potential­may­never­be­realised. Is­Krutetskii’s­mathematical­memory­a­parallel­with­Gardner’s­multiple­intelligences?­ Perhaps­ there­ are­ multiple­ memories.­ That­ would­ explain­ some­ of­ the­ discrepancies­ I­ have­seen­in­children’s­memory­performances.­Like­any­subject,­there­is­a­body­of­factual­ information for maths and if a learner can remember and recall this information then he will­be­greatly­advantaged­and­if­he­can’t…

Introduction

11

So good memories may be required for doing maths in general. Short term and working memories may be essential for mental maths and mathematical long term memory will be essential for the number facts and formulae you need when doing mental arithmetic.

Counting on and on
The­ first­ number­ test­ on­ the­ Butterworth­ Dyscalculia Screener is for subitizing. This means­an­ability­to­look­at­a­random­cluster­of­dots­and­know­how­many­are­there,­without­ c ­ ounting.­Most­adults­do­this­at­6­years­old­plus­or­minus­one­year. A­person­who­has­to­rely­entirely­on­counting­for­addition­and­subtraction­is­severely­ handicapped­ in­ terms­ of­ speed­ and­ accuracy.­ Such­ a­ person­ is­ even­ more­ handicapped­ when­trying­to­use­counting­for­multiplication­and­division.­Often­their­page­is­covered­in­ endless­tally­marks­and­often­they­are­just­lined­up,­not­grouped­as­ ­that­is,­in­fives.­ Maths­is­done­in­counting­steps­of­one.­If­you­show­them­patterns­of­dots­or­groups,­they­ prefer the lines and lines. It’s­not­just­the­ability­to­‘see’­and­use­five.­It’s­the­ability­to­see­nine­as­one­less­than­ ten,­to­see­6+5­as­5+5+1,­to­count­on­in­twos,­tens­and­fives,­especially­if­the­pattern­is­not­ the­basic­one­of­10,­20,­30…but­13,­23,­33,­43… It’s the ability to go beyond counting in ones by seeing the patterns and relationships in numbers­(Chinn­and­Ashcroft­1992).

Garden variety or what?
How­do­we­distinguish­between­a­‘garden­variety’­poor­reader­and­a­dyslexic?­(Stanovich,­ 1991)­ How­ do­ we­ distinguish­ between­ a­ ‘garden­ variety’­ poor­ mathematician­ and­ a­ d ­ yscalculic? I think the answer has a lot to do with perseveration of the difficulty in the face of skilled and varied and appropriate intervention. Can­you­be­a­good­reader­and­still­be­a­dyslexic?­Can­you­be­good­at­some­areas­of­ maths­and­still­be­dyscalculic?­My­guess­is­that­the­answer­to­both­questions­is­‘Yes’,­but­ for­maths­it­is­partly­because­maths­is­made­up­of­topics,­some­of­which­make­quite­different­demands­(and­for­both­questions,­good­appropriate­teaching­can­make­such­a­difference). Once again I drift back to problems with numbers as being at the core of dyscalculia. And it is numbers that will prevail in real life, when algebra is just a distant memory. And I guess that the main problem is in accessing these facts accurately and quickly, usually straight from memory, rather than via strategies. Could­there­be­a­parallel­between­phonics­and­number­facts?­For­example­knowing­how­to­ use­phonics­to­spell­a­word­could­be­compared­to­using­addition­facts­to­add,­say,­572+319.

12

The Trouble with Maths

But­then­not­all­factors­are­intellectual.­A­difficulty­may­be­affected­by­a­bureaucratic­ decision.­Some­bureaucrats­specify­a­level­of­achievement­that­defines­whether­or­not­a­ child’s­learning­difficulties­may­be­addressed­or­even­assessed,­influenced­in­this­decision,­at­ least­in­part­by­economic­considerations.­But,­even­then,­is­a­child’s­dyslexia­or­dyscalculia­ defined­solely­by­achievement­scores?­Is­there­room­to­consider­the­individual­and­what­he­ brings­to­the­situation?­Sometimes­these­decisions­are­being­de-humanised.­So,­I­foresee­ a­child­not­receiving­provision­for­dyscalculia­unless­his­maths­age­is­five­or­more­years­ behind­the­norm,­which­could­mitigate­against­early­intervention­for­six­year­old­pupils.

Teaching
I­claimed­that­being­a­physicist­influenced­the­way­I­think.­I­am­also­a­teacher­and­have­ been­for­almost­40­years­and­those­years­have­certainly­influenced­the­way­I­think,­too.­ The­teacher­part­of­my­thinking­says,­among­other­things,­‘So­he’s­dyscalculic,­what­do­ you­expect­me­to­do­next?’ Well,­my­guess­is­that­using­the­range­of­methods­and­strategies­we­have­developed­ at­Mark­College­for­teaching­our­dyslexic­ pupils­will­also­be­effective­with­dyscalculic­ pupils.­Indeed­we­have­probably­taught­many­pupils­who­have­the­comorbid­problems­of­ dyslexia­and­dyscalculia.­What­we­address­as­teachers­is­the­way­the­pupil­presents,­not­a­ pupil­defined­by­some­stereotypical­attributes. My­colleague,­Julie­Kay­when­faced­with­a­learner­who­is­struggling­with­learning­maths­ asks­herself­the­questions,­‘Where­do­I­begin?­How­far­back­in­maths­do­I­go­to­start­the­ intervention?’­This­may­be­a­difference,­should­we­need­one,­between­the­dyscalculic­and­ the­dyslexic­who­is­also­bad­at­maths.­It­may­be­that­the­starting­point­for­the­intervention­is­ further­back­in­the­curriculum­for­the­dyscalculic­than­for­the­dyslexic.­Yet­another­topic­to­ research.­It­may­also­be­that­the­subsequent­rates­of­progress­are­different.­Another­topic. And­for­a­final­thought­in­this­section,­I­ask,­‘What­is­the­influence­of­the­style­of­curriculum?’­I­know,­for­example,­from­a­European­study­in­which­I­was­involved­(Chinn­et al., 2001),­that­the­design­of­the­maths­curriculum­certainly­affects­thinking­style­in­maths.

So what?
There are many reasons why a child or an adult may fail to learn maths skills and knowledge. For­example,­a­child­who­finds­symbols­confusing­may­have­been­successful­with­mental­ arithmetic,­but­may­find­written­arithmetic­very­challenging.­There­may­be­other­examples­ of an onset of failure at different times which will most likely depend on the match between the­demands­of­the­curriculum­and­the­skills­and­deficits­of­the­learner,­for­example,­a­dyslexic­will­probably­find­word­problems­especially­difficult­and­a­child­who­is­not­dyslexic,­ but­is­learning­at­the­concrete­level­may­find­the­abstract­nature­of­algebra­difficult.­A­child­ who­is­an­holistic­learner­may­start­to­fail­in­maths­if­his­new­teacher­uses­a­sequential­and­ formula­based­inchworm­teaching­style.­A­learner­may­have­a­poor­mathematical­memory­ and­the­demands­on­memory­may­suddenly­exceed­his­capacity. A difficulty will depend on the interaction between the demands of the task and the skills and attitudes of the learner. For example, if one of the demands of mental arithmetic is

Introduction 13 that it be done quickly, then any learner who retrieves and processes facts slowly will have learning difficulties. Learning difficulties are obviously dependent on the learning task. And­none­of­the­underlying­contributing­factors­I­have­discussed­are­truly­independent.­ Anxiety,­ for­ example­ is­ a­ consequence­of­many­influences.­I­ am­ hypothesising­ that­ the­ factors­I­have­mentioned­are­the­key­ones.­There­may­well­be­others­and­the­pattern­and­ i ­nteractions­ will­ vary­ from­ individual­ to­ individual,­ but­ these­ are­ my­ choices­ for­ the­ d ­ ifficulties­at­the­core­of­dyscalculia. Of­the­definitions­I­have­quoted,­I­much­prefer­the­NNS­version.­The­DfES­consultation­ paper­version­seems­to­describe­just­difficulties­in­maths­which­might­ occur­in­ anyone.­ I­ have­ added­ some­ extra­ notes­ into­ the­ definition­ which­ may­ then­ be­ better­ seen­ as­ a­ d ­ escription­(and­thus­not­a­label). Dyscalculia is a perseverant condition that affects the ability to acquire mathematical skills despite appropriate instruction. Dyscalculic learners may have difficulty understanding simple number concepts­(such­as­place­value­and­use­of­the­four­operations,­+­−­×­and­÷),­ lack an intuitive grasp of numbers­(including­the­value­of­numbers­and­understanding­and­ using­the­inter-relationship­of­numbers),­and have problems learning, retrieving and using quickly number facts­(for­example­multiplication­tables)­and procedures­(for­example­long­ division).­Even if they produce a correct answer or use a correct method, they may do so mechanically and without confidence­(and­have­no­way­of­knowing­or­checking­that­the­ answer­is­correct). The­NNS­version­focuses­on­number,­which­makes­sense­to­me.­It­mentions­memory­ and­ it­ includes­ those­ who­ present­ as­ competent­ in­ some­ areas,­ but­ whose­ performance­ has no underlying understanding of number. An addendum could list some of the key c ­ ontributors,­such­as: A learner’s difficulties with maths may be exacerbated by anxiety, poor short term memory, inability to use and understand symbols, and inflexible learning style. Now­the­definition/­description­is­in­this­form,­it­may­be­possible­to­set­up­a­diagnostic­ procedure.­That­sets­another­research­task­and­we­desperately­need­more­research! Finally,­ have­ I­ met­ any­ learners­ whom­ I­ think­ would­ be­ described­ accurately­ as­ perseverently and exclusively­dyscalculic?­I­have,­but­they­were­few.­I­mention­two,­one­ is­a­female,­gifted­in­language­(and­languages)­who­had­absolutely­no­idea­what­ (presented­as­symbols)­would­be.­I­asked­her­would­the­answer­be­bigger­or­smaller­than­ 50­and­she­replied­‘Yes’.­The­other­is­a­male,­average­at­language­skills­but­who­could­ not­‘see’­that­I­held­out­three­fingers.­He­had­to­count­them,­even­as­a­sixteen­year­old.­He­ achieved­a­Grade­G­in­GCSE­maths. There­are­many­others­out­there­who­may­present­as­dyscalculic­as­young­learners.­It’s­ what­happens­next­that­confirms­or­challenges­that­description. To add one piece of evidence to support the ‘What happens next’ hypothesis, I used Butterworth’s­ The­ Dyscalculia­ Screener­ on one of our Year 10 students.­ The­ Screener­ diagnosed him as dyscalculic. We are predicting he will achieve an A grade in GCSE

14

The Trouble with Maths

maths next year. Are these two statements incompatible? I think the answer lies in the word ‘perseverent’. If­ you­ want­ to­ follow­ up­ references­ for­ this­ section,­ they­ are­ listed­ at­ the­ end­ of­ this­ chapter. For­me,­the­main­issue­here­is­that­not­every­child­or­adult­who­is­failing­in­mathematics­ is­dyscalculic.­Even­for­those­who­do­gain­this­label,­it­does­not­predict­an­outcome,­but­it­ does­suggest­to­me­that­whatever­teaching­experiences­this­dyscalculic­pupil­has­had,­they­ have­not­been­appropriate.­I­know,­from­ten­years­of­data­on­pupils­at­Mark­College,­that­ it­is­possible­for­most­pupils­to­change­a­history­of­gains­in­maths­age­of­less­than­twelve­ months­per­year­to­gains­of­over­twelve­months­per­year,­thus­moving­to­‘catch­up’.­Some­ of­these­pupils­might­have­been­diagnosed­as­dyscalculic,­some­might­not.­In­many­senses­ that­was­less­relevant­than­their­history­of­underachievement­in­mathematics. And­would­intervention­for­a­dyscalculic­be­different?­The­answer­is­that­any­difficulty­ has­to­be­viewed­individually,­but­that­the­core­principles­of­teaching­and­learning­will­ probably­be­drawn­from­the­same­compendium­of­ideas­used­for­dyslexics­(see­Chinn­and­ Ashcroft­1998).

Adjusting lessons to help pupils who are having difficulties in learning maths
Adjustments­to­lessons­should­be­based­on­four­principles: ♦­­ Empathetic classroom management­which­implies­an­active­awareness­and­consequent­ adjustment­to­the­learning­strengths­and­difficulties­of­pupils. ♦­­ Responsive flexibility­allows­the­teacher­to­have­a­repertoire­of­resources­and­strategies­ which­respond­to­the­individual­(and­often­changing)­needs­of­the­pupil. ♦­­ Developmental methods­are­methods­that­address­the­remedial­need­whilst­developing­ mathematical skills and concepts. ♦­­ Effective communication which infers an awareness of thinking and learning style and an­awareness­of­limitations­such­as­language­skills,­poor­short­term­memory­or­slower­ speeds of working. The­application­of­these­principles­should­affect­all­levels­of­work,­from­the­construction of the syllabus and lesson plans to the setting and marking of homework.

Integrating dyscalculic pupils and other learners who have difficulties with mathematics into the real world of the classroom
The syllabus and programme of work 1­­ A­structure­or­programme­which­builds­in­regular­returns­to­topics­helps­learners­with­ poorer­long­term­memories.­Frequent­revisions­and­overviews,­especially­after­a­short­ time­lapse­for­reflection­help­to­reinforce­learning­(largely­implicit­in­the­NNS).

Introduction 15 2­­ Programmes­ that­ rely­ heavily­ on­ self­ tuition­ can­ allow­ pupils­ to­ develop­ incorrect­ p ­ rocedures­ and­ concepts.­ (I­ remember­ the­ Kent­ Mathematics­ Project­ where­ pupils­ worked­largely­with­work­cards­and­at­their­own­pace,­but­with­little­or­no­tuition.) In the classroom ­ ­ Short­ term­ memory­ deficits­ can­ affect­ mental­ arithmetic­ skills­ (which­ may­ show­ a­ ­marked­difference­to­written­arithmetic­skills). ­ ­ Short­ term­memory­deficits­can­affect­many­other­areas­of­learning­such­as­the­­number­ of­items­of­instruction­a­pupil­can­process­at­one­time.­These­deficits­may­be­auditory­or­ ­visual­or­both,­so­presentation­should­always­address­both­modes. Look­out­for­short­term­memory­overload­(when­the­pupil­will­just­be­overwhelmed­and­ ­recall­nothing­at­all). If­ recall­of­facts­(such­as­times­table­facts)­and­procedures­(such­as­subtracting­from­ zero)­do­not­become­automatic,­then­there­is­less­mental­‘space’­left­to­do­the­main­task.­ This­compounds­the­effect­of­difficulties.­Select­‘easy’­numbers­when­introducing­new­ arithmetical procedures. Reading­ deficits­do­not­affect­all­areas­of­mathematics­to­the­same­degree­and­are­a­ good­example­of­a­deficit­that­gives­rise­to­a­seemingly­inexplicable­change­in­level­of­ performance­(that­is,­when­word­problems­are­introduced). Some ­pupils­are­slower­to­produce­work,­due­to­such­factors­as­writing­speed, poor­ organisational­skills,­finger­counting­instead­of­instant­recall­of­facts.­Speed­of­working­ is­often­an­issue­in­mathematics­and­can­be­the­cause­of­greatly­increased­anxiety­and­ greatly­ decreased­ levels­ of­ performance.­ Consider­ allowing­ extra­ time­ for­ tests­ and­ examinations.­Consider­careful­selection­of­quantities­of­work­for­these­pupils. ­Anxious ­learners­are­often­poor­risk­takers­and­will­not­try­work­they­perceive­to­be­ d ­ ifficult,­thereby­avoiding­failure­(they­have­usually­had­enough­experience­of­failure),­ but­ they­ are­ then­ not­ accessing­ new­ learning­ experiences.­ Research­ in­ the­ 1920s­ showed­ that­ a­ pupil’s­ first­ experience­ of­ applying­ new­ knowledge­ is­ the­ experience­ that­ persists…a­ big­ problem­ if­ he­ gets­ that­ first­ experience­ wrong.­Allow­ pupils­ to­ e ­ xperiment­and­fail­as­one­of­the­steps­on­the­path­to­success,­but­this­has­to­be­a­closely­ controlled strategy.

16

The Trouble with Maths ­ ome ­pupils­are­intuitive,­answer-oriented­problem­solvers­who­may­not­learn­from­a­ S step­by­step,­sequentially­oriented,­formula­dependent­teacher,­and,­of­course,­vice­versa.­ There­are­also­significant­implications­for­documentation­of­work.­Intuitive­workers­are­ usually­disinclined­to­document.­These­differences­in­cognitive­style­(thinking­through­ problems)­ are­ present­ in­ the­ whole­ school­ population,­ including­ teachers,­ but­ their­ affect­on­pupils­with­dyslexia,­dyspraxia­or­dyscalculia­(with­their­other­contributing­ problems)­is­likely­to­be­more­critical­(see­Chapter­4).

­ Sequential,­ formula-oriented­ learners­ with­ poor­ memories­ are­ at­ risk­ of­ failure­ in­ mathematics. Inaccurate­intuitive,­answer-oriented­learners­are­at­risk. ­ ­Dyslexic­pupils­do­not­adjust­quickly­to­changes­in­routine,­for­example­if­a­new­teacher­ expects­a­different­page­layout­in­exercise­books. ­Consider­giving­the­pupil­a­times­table­square­to­stick­into­the­back­of­his­exercise­book­ (so­that­he­has­to­make­some­effort­to­turn­to­the­information)­and­make­sure­he­can­ track successfully to the answers. ­ Learning­is­usually­more­effective­if­it­is­presented­in­a­multisensory­way.­This­includes­ the­ use­ of­ concrete­ manipulatives,­ which­ are­ often­ phased­ out­ as­ being­ ‘too­ young’­ for­ secondary­ pupils.­ Manipulatives­ may­ be­ used­ as­ demonstrations,­ using­ overhead­ ­ projector­materials­or­via­PC­and­boards.­This­avoids­the­‘babyish’­image­when­used­by­ an­individual­learner. ­Money­ is­an­effective­manipulative­and­is­one­step­on­to­abstraction­from­a­directly­ p ­ roportional­manipulative­such­as­base­ten­blocks.­Also­it­is­likely­to­be­more­acceptable­ for older learners.

Concrete materials and manipulatives
As a teacher who started his career as a teacher of chemistry and physics one of the strange anomalies­of­teaching­mathematics­for­me­is­that,­unlike­science,­the­further­the­learner­ goes­up­the­mathematics­syllabus­the­less­likely­he­is­to­use­practical­materials.­Somewhere­ around about eight years old learners start to consider materials as patronising and babyish. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that some of these materials are bricks. This­can­be­circumvented­by­the­teacher­using­the­materials­to­demonstrate­rather­ than­the­learner­engaging­in­discovery­‘play’­with­the­material­(those­teaching­philosophies­from­the­1960s­die­hard). I­ think­ that­ one­ of­ the­ most­ important­ decisions­ a­ teacher­ makes­ is­ the­ choice­ of­ material(s)­to­illustrate­a­concept.­It­is­likely,­yet­again,­that­the­choice­will­be­dependent­on­the­learner.­At­least,­in­individual­work,­the­focus­should­be­the­learner­choosing­ a material that works for him rather than the teacher choosing his­favourite­material. Materials­have­their­own­inherent­characteristics.­For­example,­a­metre­rule­will­give­ a­linear­image­of­units,­tens,­hundreds­and­thousands,­whereas­Dienes­(base­ten)­blocks­ will­give­one,­two­and­three­dimensional­images­of­units,­tens,­hundreds­and­thousands.­ Money­is­not­proportional­in­size­to­the­values­it­represents,­but­it­is­familiar­and­comes­ in­easy­number­values­based­on­1,­2­and­5.

Introduction 17 It­seems­to­be­stating­the­obvious,­but­the­material­must­make­the­concept­accessible.­ It­must­give­the­learner­an­unequivocal­image­of­the­idea­that­the­symbols­represent.­ The­material­and­the­symbols­must­be­related­in­the­learner’s­mind­(rather­than­just­the­ t ­ eacher’s­mind!)

Books and worksheets
­Work­ sheets­and­text­book­layouts­can­be­overwhelming.­They­may­use,­for­exam­ ple,­lots­of­small­print,­closely­spaced­or­fussy,­confused­pages­with­cartoons­and­ disjointed­text.­Try­providing­a­cover­sheet/­window­which­reduces­the­quantity­of­ material facing the pupil. ­ The­reading­level­may­be­beyond­the­pupil.­If­a­book­cannot­be­replaced­in ­these­ ­economically­hard­times­either­provide­a­photocopied­‘translation’­or­make­sure­you­ or­a­pupil­reads­the­problem­to­the­pup il­with­difficulties.­This­is­particularly­relevant­ for­coursework­and­investigations. ­ ­If­a­dyslexic­ pupil ­is­having­difficulty­setting­out­work­on­the­page­discuss­giving­ him­ an­exercise­book­which­has­bigger/­smaller/­squares.

Homework
­ Deal­with­the­pupils­who­are­forgetful­and­badly­organised.­Take­a­positive­attitude­and­ make­sure­they­have­the­information­and­equipment­they­need.­Parents­of­such­pupils­ ­have­usually­suffered­alongside­their­child­as­he­struggles­through­school.­You­could­ try­to­liaise­with­them,­for­example­by­giving­them­a­homework­timetable.­Remember,­ difficulties­may­be­familial. Give ­ homework­ in­ a­ form­ that­ they­ can­ access.­ For­ example­ check­ the­ vocabulary. ­ Make sure the homework is read to the pupil before he takes it home. Get high tech and provide­a­disc­so­that­work­can­be­done­on­computer­and­could­even­have­the­facility­of ­ the­PC­reading­the­questions­to­the­pupil. Consider ­allowing­the­pupil­to­use­a­calculator­(with­all­the­cautions­I­know­you­have­ about­their­use)­or­a­number­square­or­a­table­square.

Marking
Mark­ new­ work­ before­ too­ many­ examples­ have­ been­ attempted.­ Do­ not­ let­ error­ patterns become ingrained. Mark ­diagnostically.­For­example,­the­pupil­may­have­used­the­correct­procedure,­but­ made­an­arithmetical­error.­Do­not­just­mark­work­‘wrong’.­Say­how­it­was­wrong­and­ what can be done to put it right.

18

The Trouble with Maths ­Remember­ the­ pupil­ who­ may­ work­ more­ slowly­ than­ his­ peers.­ Consider­ selecting­ fewer­examples­but­still­giving­the­breadth­of­experience. ­Be encouraging. Avoid­red­pens­and­big­crosses­and­scribbles.­(Try­green­and­small­and­neat­and,­better­ still,­constructive­comments­such­as­‘Small­addition­error­here,­rest­OK.’)

Remember
Pupils­are­individuals.­Some­will­need­some­of­these­suggestions,­some­will­survive­without­ any­of­these­suggestions.­I­do­not­think,­however,­that­any­learner­will­be­disadvantaged­ by­any­of­these­suggestions­and­many­will­be­advantaged.­The­suggestions­may­reduce­ some­of­the­learning­(special)­needs­in­your­classroom­and­even­prevent­the­onset­of­some­ problems. This­book­acknowledges­that­pupils­are­individuals.­I­have­long­had­a­suspicion­of­any­ scheme,­intervention­or­cure­that­claims­it­is­‘for­all’.­I­suspect­that­the­only­part­of­this­ book­that­is­‘for­all’­is­the­emphasis­on­understanding­each­pupil.­

The Catch 22 of Catch Up
If­a­pupil­falls­behind­he­or­she­will­have­been­working­more­slowly­than­their­peers.­To­ catch­up­he­or­she­will­have­to­progress­faster­than­their­peers.­It­is­possible.

A few golden rules ♦­ ­Don’t­create­anxiety.4 ♦­­ Experiencing­success­reduces­anxiety. ♦­­ Experiencing­failure­increases­anxiety. ♦­­ Understand­your­pupils­as­individuals. ♦­­ Teach­to­the­individual­in­the­group…also­known­as­the­‘Teach­more­than­one­way­to­ do­things’­rule. ♦­­ Remember­where­each­topic­leads­mathematically. ♦­­ Understanding­is­a­more­robust­outcome­than­just­recall. ♦­­ Try­to­understand­errors…don’t­just­settle­for­‘wrong’. ♦­­ Prevention­is­better­than­cure. ­ ♦­­ All­the­above­rules­have­exceptions.

­

Introduction 19

References
Ashcraft,­ M.,­ Kirk,­ E.P.­ and­ Hopkins,­ D.­ (1998)­ ‘On­ the­ cognitive­ consequences­ of­ mathematics anxiety’,­in­Donlan,­C.­(ed.)­The Development of Mathematical Skills.­Hove,­The­Psychological Corporation. Bakwin,­ H.­ and­ Bakwin,­ R.M.­ (1960)­Clinical Management of Behaviour Disorders in Children. Philadelphia,­Saunders. Butterworth,­B.­(2003)­The Dyscalculia Screener.­London,­NFER-Nelson. Chinn,­ S.J.­ (1995)­ ‘A­ pilot­ study­ to­ compare­ aspects­ of­ arithmetic­ skill’,­ Dyslexia Review­ 4, pp. 4–7. Chinn,­S.J.­and­Ashcroft,­J.R.­(1992)­‘The­Use­of­Patterns’­in­T.R.Miles,­and­E.Miles,­(eds)­Dyslexia and Mathematics,­London,­Routledge. Chinn,­S.J.­and­Ashcroft,­J.R.­(1998)­Mathematics for Dyslexics: A Teaching Handbook.­London,­ Whurr. Chinn,­ S.J.,­ McDonagh,­ D.,­Van­ Elswijk,­ R,­ Harmsen,­ H.,­ Kay,­ J.,­ McPhillips,­T.,­ Power,­A.­ and­ Skidmore,­ L.­ (2001)­ ‘Classroom­ studies­ into­ cognitive­ style­ in­ mathematics­ for­ pupils­ with­ d ­ yslexia­in­special­education­in­the­Netherlands,­Ireland­and­the­UK’,­British Journal of Special Education,­28,­2,­pp.­80–5. Cohn,­ R.­ (1968)­ ‘Developmental­ dyscalculia’,­ Pediatric­ Clinics­ of­ North­ America,­ 15,­ (3),­ pp.­651–68. DfES­ (2001)­ The National Numeracy Strategy: Guidance to Support Pupils with Dyslexia and Dyscalculia.­London,­DfES. Gerstmann,­J.­(1957)­‘Some­notes­on­the­Gerstmann­syndrome’,­Neurology­7,­pp.­866–9. Joffe,­ L.­ (1980)­ ‘Dyslexia­ and­ attainment­ in­ school­ mathematics:­ Part­ 1’,­ Dyslexia Review,­ 3­ 1,­ pp.­10–14. Kosc,­L.­(1974)­‘Developmental­dyscalculia’,­Journal of Learning Disabilities,­7,­3,­pp.­46–59. Kosc,­L.­(1986)­Dyscalculia.­Focus on Learning Problems in Mathematics,­8,­3,­4. Krutetskii,­V.A.­(1976)­in­Kilpatric,­J.­and­Wirszup,­I.­(eds)­The Psychology of Mathematical Abilities in Schoolchildren.­Chicago,­University­of­Chicago­Press. Magne,­O.­(1996)­Bibliography of Literature Dysmathematics Didakometry.­Malmo,­Sweden. Seligman,­M.­(1998)­Learned Optimism.­New­York,­Pocket­Books. Sharma,­M.C.­(1986)­‘Dyscalculia­and­other­learning­problems­in­arithmetic:­a­historical­perspective’,­ Focus on Learning Problems in Mathematics­8,­3,­4,­pp.­7–45. Sharma,­M.­(1990)­‘Dyslexia,­dyscalculia­and­some­remedial­perspectives­for­mathematics­learning­ problems.’­Math Notebook,­8,­7–10. Stanovich,­ K.E.­ (1991)­ ‘The­ theoretical­ and­ practical­ consequences­ of­ discrepancy­ definitions­ of­ dyslexia.’­In­Snowling,­M.­and­Thomsom­M.­(eds),­Dyslexia: Integrating Theory and Practise. London,­Whurr.

Chapter­2­ Factors that affect learning
This­chapter­is­about­some­of­the­factors­which­may­contribute­to­a­learner­having­difficulties­ with­ mathematics.­ Factors­ such­ as­ a­ poor­ short­ term­ memory­ can­ have­ a­ considerable­ impact on many of the topics that make up mathematics. At­the­end­of­the­section­on­each­factor­I­have­left­space­for­the­reader­to­add­his­or­ her­own­suggestions.­I­could­never­claim­to­know­all­the­solutions,­especially­as­it­is­so­ important to remember that what works for one student may well not work for another. Hence­the­need­for­a­range­of­solutions,­to­be­used­in­response­to­the­individual­needs­of­ each learner. Quite­often­the­‘Suggestions’­section­includes­the­advice­to­‘take­time­and­evaluate’.­ The­ culture­ of­ doing­ maths­ quickly­ can­ be­ totally­ opposite­ to­ the­ correct­ approach­ of­ appraising before reacting. Some­suggestions­are­immediate­whilst­others­are­long­term. Schools­ and­ colleges­ should­ work­ towards­ building­ up­ a­ bank/­library­ of­ appropriate­ resources,­so­that­many­of­these­problems­can­be­addressed­from­materials­that­have­been­ prepared before.

Short term memory
The problem
Some­children­will­have­weaker­short­term­memories­ than­their­peers.­This­may­be­a­developmental­lag­or­a­ persistent­problem.­What­is­relevant­here,­however,­is­the­ realisation that there will be a range of short term memory capacities among the pupils in any classroom. This­will­impact­on­the­pupil’s­ability­just­to­keep­up­with­ Do­not­give­lengthy­strings­of­ the lesson in general. instructions.­Imagine­someone­ g ­ iving­you­a­ten­digit­phone­number­ to­remember­by­presenting­it,­ once,­spoken­quickly­and­with­no­ breakdown into chunks of numbers. So­present­712563449­as­712­563­ 449­or­71­25­63­44­9­or­whatever­ chunking size pupils prefer. In­mental­arithmetic­it­may­be­a­challenge­for­them­to­ remember­the­question. Repeat­the­question,­or­put­the­key­ numbers on the board.

Suggestions

Factors that affect learning

21

The­procedure­they­are­trying­to­use­to­solve­the­question­ Ask what method they are trymay­have­too­many­steps­for­their­short­term­memory­ ing­to­use.­If­appropriate­suggest­ capacity. an­alternative­method,­or­accept­ an estimate. Perhaps allow them to make memory jottings for i ­ntermediate­steps­(halfway­house­to­ full­mental­work). When­attempting­mental­arithmetic­questions­they­are­ handicapped­by­slow­retrieval­of­basic­facts. Provide­a­table­square­or­a­basic­ addition­facts­square. Give­them­questions­which­use­the­ facts­they­do­know­(usually­2,­5,­10). Provide­a­worksheet­which­they­can­ write­on.­Use­colour­or­highlighters­ to help them to track their position on the board or worksheet. Mark the questions­they­create­rather­than­the­ ones­they­should­have­done. Be­aware­of­this­attitude,­which­will­ build into a major self esteem and attributional style issue.

When­copying­questions­from­a­page,­worksheet­or­a­ board­they­only­copy­one­or­two­or­three­items­(letters­ or­numbers)­at­a­time­and­may­mix­up­parts­of­questions,­ creating­new­extra­questions.

Remember,­the­easy­option­is­for­the­learners­to­opt­out­ and not try the work.

Add­your­own­suggestions­and­solutions­(and­extra­problems!)

Mathematics memory
(This­is­long­term­memory­for­mathematical­information).­ The problem
Some­pupils­find­instant­recall­from­ memory of basic addition facts a persistent­problem,­particularly­in­ exams.

Suggestions
Allow­finger­counting­(but­be­aware­that­this­will­not­ develop­number­skills). Teach pupils how to build on key addition facts such as­doubles­or­number­bonds­for­10.­For­more­detail­see­ below. Teach pupils to write the number bonds for ten as their key facts­and­teach­how­to­derive­other­facts­from­these­bonds. Teach­pupils­how­to­draw­up­an­addition­square.

Some­pupils­find­that­instant­recall­ Give­pupils­a­multiplication­square­(and­show­them­how­to­ of multiplication facts is a persistent use­it…for­division­too). problem. Teach­pupils­how­to­create­a­multiplication­square. Teach­pupils­strategies­which­build­on­the­‘easy’­facts.­For­ example,­double­the­2×facts­to­obtain­the­4×facts,­or­work­ out­the­9×facts­by­working­back­from­the­10×facts.­For­ more detail see below. A pupil cannot remember the long multiplication algorithm. A pupil cannot remember the d ­ ivision­procedure. Teach­repeated­addition­(in­chunks­of­2×,­5×,­10×,­20×,­ etc.).­See­Chapter­5. Teach­repeated­subtraction­(in­chunks­of­2×,­5×,­10×,­20×,­ etc.)­See­Chapter­5.

Add­your­own­suggestions­and­solutions­(and­extra­problems!)

22

The Trouble with Maths

Direction
The problem
Some­children­find­the­directionality­of­ maths a challenge. The problem will be greatly­exacerbated­by­inconsistencies­ such­as­division­(see­below). For­example,­some­will­find­counting­ b ­ ackwards­problematic,­more­so­than­ you,­the­teacher­might­predict. This­will­require­more­practise,­perhaps­asking­for­ smaller­sequences­of­reverse­order­numbers,­starting­ with­‘one­less,­one­back­from­x’. Start­from­different­numbers.­Try­counting­back­in­ 2s,­5s,­10s­(also­as­76,­66,­56,­46…as­well­as­70,­60,­ 50,­40…).­Then­introduce­9s­and­relate­to­10s.­Try­ counting­to­a­target­number­18,­16,­14,­_,­_,­_,­6,­4. Point­out­patterns,­using­colour­to­highlight­the­pattern. The­teen­numbers­are­the­exceptional­two­digit­ n ­ umbers,­with­the­unit­digit­coming­before­the­ten­ (teen).­See­Transposals,­p.­36.

Suggestions

The­pupil­hears­‘Nineteen’­and­writes­ 91­(which­actually­follows­the­order­of­ the­word,­as­is­the­case­for­all­the­‘teen’­ n ­ umbers).

They­may­also­find­the­change­from­posi- A­chance­to­remind­learners­to­look­for­detail,­to­ tive­coordinates­to­negative­coordinates­ absorb before reacting. Perhaps the learner could label­the­axes­negative­and­positive­boldly­and­ d ­ isproportionately­more­difficult. appropriately.­Refer­back­to­work­on­the­number­line.­ This may pre-empt the problem. Children­may­also­be­phased­by­the­ change in direction of the steps for t ­raditional­short­and­long­division­ compared to the right to left working for addition,­subtraction­and­multiplication. Teach­alternate­methods,­for­example­repeated­ addition or subtraction.

Confusion­may­arise­over­the­different­ Make sure you do not assume pupils will ways­in­which­division­is­represented,­for­ automatically take on board these representations. example­54­divided­by­9­can­be­written­ Explain­the­meaning­alongside­the­alternatives.­In­ the­÷­symbol­the­dots­are­replaced­with­the­numbers­ as:­­ of­the­fraction,­that­is,­in­this­example­the­dots­are­ replaced­by­54­(on­the­top)­and­9. The­sequence­of­place­values­as­you­move­ Show­the­digits­as­you­say­the­words.­Use­a­visual­ left or right of the decimal point may image or concrete material such as base ten blocks. confuse,­especially­when­the­language­is­ ‘This­is­one­tenth,­one­divided­into­ten­equal­parts,­ considered as in hundreds and hundredths. ’­or­money­with­10p­as­ ­of­£1.­The­relationship­ between ­and­10­can­be­considered­with­10p­and­ £10,­bringing­in­language­and­rewording­such­as­ ‘How­many­10p’s­in­£10?’­compared­to­the­abstract­ ‘10­divided­by­ ’­(which­also­rephrases­a­division­ q ­ uestion­as­a­multiplication­question).

Add­your­own­suggestions­and­solutions­(and­extra­problems!)

Factors that affect learning

23

Visual
The problem
Think­about­the­‘look’­of­a­page,­a­ w ­ orksheet,­a­test.

Suggestions
Look­carefully­at­presentation­when­choosing­text­ books­or­when­designing­a­worksheet.­(See­also­ Speed­of­Working,­p.27.)

If­the­presentation­is­crowded,­with­little­ Illustrations­may­help­the­look­of­a­page.­They­should­ be pertinent. space­between­lines­or­questions,­then­ If­lines­of­print­are­set­too­close­then­pupils­may­mix­ some­pupils­will­experience­anxiety. up­lines,­taking­some­information­from­one­line­and­ the­next­inappropriately­from­another­line. Try­providing­the­pupil­with­a­piece­of­card­with­a­ window or slot cut into it so only a part of the page is revealed. In­an­attempt­to­be­more­user-friendly­ some­book­designers­have­made­the­ layout­very­fragmented. The symbols for the four operations can be confusing if not written or printed carefully.­A­+­can­be­close­to­a­÷.­A­ little­rotation­can­make­a­+­and­a­×­ indistinguishable Look­for­simple,­clear­design.­Try­the­window­ s ­ trategy­(above). Choose­a­clear­font­at­a­suitable­size.­Also­be­wary­of­ learners­perseverating,­that­is­continuing­to­add,­for­ example­when­the­problems­have­changed­to­subtract.­ The­pressure­of­working­quickly­can­exacerbate­this­ p ­ roblem,­as­can­anxiety.­Encourage­the­learner­to­ relax­and­to­sub-vocalise­the­symbols­or­highlight­ them. Line­off­questions­or­space­them­out.­Try­a­coloured­ overlay.­Black­print­on­white­paper­blurs­the­images­ for­some­readers.­(Suppliers­I.O.O.­Marketing,­City­ U ­ niversity,­London:­admin@ioo marketing.co.uk). Mark­the­question­they­have­created­rather­than­the­one­ in­the­book! Try­a­coloured­overlay.­Try­printing­worksheets­on­ coloured­paper.­Try­different­coloured­print.­Suggest­a­ visit­to­a­specialist­optometrist. Provide­a­handout­or­use­coloured­pens­to­break­up­ information.­Keep­presentation­clear­and­well­spaced­ out.­Try­not­to­talk­when­pupils­are­copying.­(Some­ pupils­cannot­dual­task,­i.e.­listen­and­write­at­the­same­ time.) Try­providing­isometric­paper.­Show­how­the­drawing­ of a cuboid is made up of two off-set rectangles joined by parallel lines.

Pupils­may­mix­up­questions,­taking­ part from one line and part from the line below.

The page seems blurred. The­pupil­finds­copying­from­the­board­ a problem.

Pupils­cannot­draw­a­2D­representation­ of­a­3D­figure,­for­example­a­cuboid.

Add­your­own­suggestions­and­solutions­(and­extra­problems!)

24

The Trouble with Maths

Speed of working
The problem Suggestions
Teachers­often­expect­learners­to­do­ Allow­selected­pupils­to­have­a­little­more­time.­For­exammental­arithmetic­problems­quickly. ple,­ask­the­question,­say­you­will­come­back­to­them,­ask­ another­learner­(or­two)­and­then­return­for­the­answer. Slow­recall­of­basic­facts­may­be­the­slowing­influence.­ Give­the­pupil­a­table­square­or­an­addition­square.­Give­ part­of­the­answer,­for­example,­asking­for­64+78,­ask­for­ the­unit­digit:­‘64­plus­78­is­one­hundred­and­forty…’­or­ structure­‘What­is­8­add­4?­What­is­60­add­70­add­10?’ Pupils­may­find­homework­(and­ class)­tasks­difficult­to­finish. Set­fewer­questions,­but­ensure­the­pupil­gets­to­experience­the­range,­as­in­setting,­say,­the­even­number­questions­(thus­revising­that­concept­too). Provide­worksheets­where­the­pupils­fill­in­gaps­rather­ than­writing­out­all­of­the­question.­Don’t­overface­the­ learner. For­word­problems,­encourage­them­to­read­through­a­ problem,­rephrase­it,­draw­it­if­possible.­For­number­ problems­encourage­them­to­verbalise­it,­for­example­for­ 85–17,­sub-vocalise,­‘85­minus­17;­85­take­away­17’­using­ different phrasing. Repeat­instructions,­chunking­them,­not­giving­too­many­ steps at once. Make sure he has heard by asking him (quietly­and­individually,­to­repeat­the­instructions).

Pupils­take­an­impulsive­approach­ to the maths problems.

Pupils­are­slow­to­even­start­work.­ There­could­be­several­reasons…­ They did not hear all the instructions­(poor­short­term­memory,­ i ­nattention,­distractions,­hearing). They­are­avoiding­the­work­ (anxiety,­attribution,­attitude).­Pupils­ fail­to­finish­a­test­within­the­set­ time

The­first­two­reasons­need­long­term­nurture­(see­Chapter­ 8).­Attitude­could­be­due­to­several­causes­and­needs,­ i ­nitially,­empathetic­discussion.­Provide­them­with­a­ different coloured pen or pencil and allow them to carry on until­they­have­tried­as­many­of­the­items­as­they­feel­they­ can attempt. If­there­is­a­support­assistant,­this­could­be­part­of­their­ brief.­Establish­a­routine.­For­example­have­equipment­ ready­to­give­out­and­have­a­system­to­make­sure­it­is­ returned­(mark­it­clearly!). (More­suggestions­in­‘No­attempts’.)

They­haven’t­got­all­the­necessary­ equipment­(book,­pen,­calculator).

Add­your­own­suggestions­and­solutions­(and­extra­problems!)

Factors that affect learning

25

No attempts
The problem
A­pupil­leaves­lots­of­ unanswered­questions. Pupils­who­think­they­can’t­succeed­at­a­question­may­decide­to­not­ try­rather­than­get­it­wrong,­this­is­in­part­an­anxiety/­attitude­problem.­ So­check­if­they­understand­the­topic­and­ask­what­it­is­that­is­making­ them­not­attempt­the­work.­‘What­is­it­you­don’t­understand?’­(Do­ not­accept,­‘Maths’­as­an­answer!­Ask­them­to­be­specific,­this­is­a­ d ­ iagnostic­question.)­Is­there­a­pattern­to­the­missed­questions?­(More­ diagnosis.)­Were­they­absent­when­that­topic­was­taught? It­could­be­that­the­pupil­is­badly­organised…can’t­find­book,­pen,­etc.­ If­this­is­a­regular­occurrence,­have­a­‘buddy’­pupil­pack­for­him.­You­ may­even­get­it­back­at­the­end­of­the­lesson! It­could­be­that­avoidance­of­failure.­Try­asking­him­to­attempt­just­one­ or­two­questions.­(This­has­another­very­important­benefit.­If­a­pupil­ makes­an­error­in­his­first­practise­of­a­new­topic,­that­error­pattern­ will­establish­itself,­setting­up­the­need­for­intensive­remediation­in­the­ future.) Try­sitting­the­pupil­at­the­back­of­the­class­so­you­can­walk­over­to­ him and focus him without the other pupils noticing him. This could be negotiated­instead­of­sitting­him­at­the­front­where­everyone­sees­the­ reminders Offer­a­starting­hint­or­do­the­first­line.­Offer­a­model­answer. This­could­be­the­‘quantum­leap’­effect.­Some­exercises­and­ w ­ orksheets­start­with­two­or­three­relatively­straightforward­and­easy­ questions­and­then,­‘Wham’­the­next­question­is­so­very­much­harder­ that­the­pupil­goes­into­the­‘No­attempt’­strategy.­Check­the­worksheet­ or­exercise­by­actually­doing­the­questions­and­imagining­you­are­that­ pupil. Then modify the work.

Suggestions

A pupil is slow to start work.

A pupil has no idea how to begin. A­pupil­starts­the­exercise,­but­gives­up­after­ two­or­three­questions.

Add­your­own­suggestions­and­solutions­(and­extra­problems!)

Recording/writing up
The problem
The pupil only writes an answer. There is no record­of­the­method/­­ procedure used. The­pupil­writes­very­ cursory notes.

Suggestions
This­may­be­a­consequence­of­a­‘grasshopper’­thinking­style­ (Chapter­4).­Pupils­should­be­encouraged­to­discuss­their­methods­ and be shown how to record their methods. This could be done by the­teacher­modelling­the­technique­or­providing­an­exemplar­answer­ ‘frame’. This­may­be­a­consequence­of­slow­writing­skills­rather­than­the­ pupil­not­knowing­what­to­do.­Allow­more­time­and/­or­reduce­the­ number­of­examples­he­is­required­to­do.­Provide­a­sheet­with­the­ key­vocabulary.

26

The Trouble with Maths
Try­squared­paper­of­variously­sized­squares­until­a­ suitable one is found. Offer a worksheet where the writing demands are minimised. Allow the pupil opportunities to talk through his methods so he can show his abilities. Offer notes. Allow him to photocopy the notes from a student who produces good notes. If­the­material­is­in­a­text­book,­allow­him­to­ highlight key areas. Check,­regularly­that­he­has­adequate­(or­better)­ notes. Provide­notes.

Writing­is­extremely­untidy­and­disorganised.

Copying­from­the­board.­This­requires­ the­student­to­look­up,­focus­on­the­board,­ find­the­correct­place,­remember­some­ data,­refocus­on­his­paper/­book,­write­the­ data­in­the­correct­space,­refocus­on­the­ board and repeat the procedure. This is very­influenced­by­short­term­memory.

Add­your­own­suggestions­and­solutions­(and­extra­problems!)

Poor recall of basic facts
The problem
The­pupil­makes­many­basic­fact­errors,­ such­as­7+6=12­or­6×7­=67­within­‘longer’­computations.

Suggestions
Have­a­supply­of­basic­fact­squares­(expect­losses). Supply­a­calculator,­suggesting­it­is­just­used­to­ access the basic facts rather than doing the whole calculation. Show­how­to­make­a­number­bonds­for­ten­chart 10­9­8­7­6­5­4­3­2­1­0 0­1­2­3­4­5­6­7­8­9­10 (note­the­emphasis­for­5,­acting­as­a­check)­and­ show how to use it to obtain other facts.

Poor knowledge of basic factors handicaps­factorising­quadratic­equations.

Teach­some­patterns­to­reduce­the­extent­of­the­ p ­ roblem,­such­as­looking­for­even­numbers­(2­and­ 4),­5s­and­0s,­digits­adding­to­9,­digits­adding­to­3,­ 6­or­9­(3). Provide­a­table­square­and­revise­how­to­use­it­for­ factors­(division)­Show­how­to­fill­in­a­blank­table­ square­and­see­above. Make­sure­the­early­questions­involve­only­simple­ factors,­so­the­pupil­can­focus­on­learning­the­ procedure.

Add your own suggestions and solutions (and extra problems!) Poor reading skills
The problem
The­pupil­has­difficulty­in­reading.

Suggestions
Check­if­he­needs­spectacles­or­a­better­(and­possibly­ bigger)­print­(many­photocopiers­can­enlarge­print).­ Try­a­coloured­overlay­to­change­the­print/­paper­ c ­ ontrast­(suppliers­I.O.O.­Marketing,­see­Appendix­2).

Factors that affect learning

27

The­pupil­has­difficulty­in­reading­word­ Read­them­to­him.­(Though­this­takes­your­time­and­ problems­(but­understands­them­if­they­ may damage his self-esteem if not done discretely and with­empathy.) are­read­to­him). Provide­him­with­a­personal­dictionary,­with­the­necessary­vocabulary­for­this­topic—previously­read,­ explained­and­discussed. Check­the­non-mathematical­vocabulary­(names,­ places,­etc.).­Change­it­to­easily­decodable­alternatives,­ for­example,­Ocraville­to­Bath). Scan­the­work­into­a­computer­and­let­the­pupil­use­ voice­output. The­pupil­has­difficulty­in­ u ­ nderstanding/­interpreting­word­ problems. Encourage­the­pupil­to­reword­the­question. Encourage­the­pupil­to­try­and­represent­the­problem­as­ pictures.­Try­one­of­the­reading­acronyms,­e.g.­SQ3R…­ Survey,­Question,­Read,­Review,­Respond.­(If­nothing­ else­it­counteracts­impulsivity.) Give­number­sentences­and­encourage­learners­to­ c ­ reate­word­problems­for­themselves­(see­Chapter­6).

Add­your­own­suggestions­and­solutions­(and­extra­problems!)

Sequencing skills
The problem
Pupils­have­difficulty­remembering­and­ recalling­sequential­information. Number­sequence­for­2­beyond­10.

Suggestions
Point­out­and­demonstrate­the­pattern.­Don’t­wait­ too­long­for­the­learner­to­discover­the­sequence­for­ himself. Start­with­the­part­they­can­recall­2,­4,­6,­8­(who­do­ we­appreciate)­and­use­it­as­a­base,­pointing­out­the­ patterns­12,­14,­16,­18…22,­24,­26,­28…­possibly­ using coins or base ten blocks. This can also be a task where the learner progresses from counting on. The difference between numbers is two each time. A­good­chance­to­enhance­place­value­concepts.­Again­ use coins or base ten blocks to show the pattern. This time the units digit is the stable factor. The­difference­between­consecutive­numbers­is­ten­ each time. Use­a­1­to­100­number­square­and­point­out/­colour­in­ the­‘plus­10’­patterns. Encourage­the­pupil­to­work­out­the­differences­ between­consecutive­numbers­and­thus­know­if­the­ difference is always the same or if the differences create­a­new­sequence­(finding­the­‘bridge’­between­ numbers). For­sequences­such­as­adding­(or­subtracting)­6,­7,­8­ or­9­each­time­suggest­that­the­addition­or­subtraction­ be­done­using­the­easy­numbers.­So,­to­add­6,­add­as­5­ and­1­or­to­subtract­9­take­away­10­and­add­back­1.

Number­sequences­for­10­when­the­unit­ digit is not zero. The­pupil­can­recall­10,­20,­30,­40…­ but­finds­sequences­such­as­13,­23,­33­ …challenging.

General­number­sequences.

28

The Trouble with Maths

Incorrect­decimal­sequence­as…0.7,­0.8,­ Use­10p­coins­alongside­the­written­numbers;­that­is,­ 0.9,­0.10 write­the­decimal­and­place­the­coins,­write­the­next­ decimal and add another coin. Discuss­where­the­0.1,­0.2,…­sequence­is­heading.­It­ is­heading­for­1.0.­Offer­a­sequence­with­gaps…0.1,­ 0.2,­_,­0.4,­_,­_,­0.7,­0.8,­_,­_,­1.1,­_,­1.3 Incorrect­fraction­sequence­as… where the learner assumes that is the biggest of the three fractions. Go­back­to­the­fractions­that­(should)­be­known,­i.e.,­ half,­quarter­and­third­and­place­these­in­order­of­size.­ Demonstrate­with­folded­paper.­Discuss­sharing­slices­ of­cake­and­pizza,­but­remember­that­these­are­not­true­ fractions.­Use­a­clock­(time)­for­halves­and­quarters.­ Establish­the­concept­that­fractions­involve­division.­ Remind­them­that­fractions­cannot­be­taken­at­face­ value.­Learners­have­to­look­beyond­the­numbers­that­ they see or write. Try to support memory with understanding. Find­an­alternative­procedure­that­relates­to­the­pupil’s­ thinking­style­(see­Chapter­4). Find­a­mnemonic­(e.g.­BODMAS)­but­do­not­use­ this­strategy­too­often­lest­the­mnemonics­themselves­ become another burden on memory.

Procedural­sequences/­algorithms­(e.g.­ long­division).

Pupils­have­difficulty­entering­data­into­ Encourage­the­pupil­to­be­wary,­not­rush­and­write­the­ a­calculator­in­the­correct­sequence­as­in­ problem in symbols then appraise and compare the ‘Take­16­from­47’­or­ original­question­and­its­symbolic­form. Pupils­have­difficulty­continuing­a­ sequence­if­it­does­not­start­at­the­beginning­as­in­‘What­is­the­next­number­ after­6?’­The­learner­goes­back­to­1,­2,­ 3,­4,­5,­6…7. Show­the­whole­sequence,­for­example­with­wood­or­ plastic­numbers,­then­take­away­some­of­the­beginning­ numbers­and/­or­some­of­the­end­numbers. Show­how­to­identify­the­interval­(gap)­between­ c ­ onsecutive­numbers­in­the­sequence. Say­a­series­of­numbers­and­ask­the­pupil­to­join­in­at­ different­points.­Show­parts­of­sequences,­for­example,­ 46,­48,­50,­52…or­34,­39,­44,­49,­54­…and­ask­pupils­ to­identify­the­sequence.

Add­your­own­suggestions­and­solutions­(and­extra­problems!)

Transfer of skills
The problem
The pupil can only add when the numbers­are­presented­in­the­standard­vertical format. The­pupil­can­combine­2×8­with­5×8,­ but cannot combine 2x+5x.

Suggestions
Practise­the­skill­in­a­‘problem’­context,­working­from­ the­digits­to­simple­language,­‘Add­46­and­88’­to­more­ complex­language…in­small­steps. Demonstrate­the­transition­with,­say,­number­rods.

Add­your­own­suggestions­and­solutions­(and­extra­problems!)­

Factors that affect learning

29

The ‘terminal’ inchworm/grasshopper (see Chapter 4)
The problem
The pupil will only respond to and work in one thinking mode. His­thinking­style­is­fixed­at­ one end of the continuum.

Suggestions
If,­after­much­empathetic­intervention­the­learner’s­thinking­ style­remains­inflexible,­then­you,­the­teacher­will­have­to­work­ with that situation. This­will­mean­accepting­the­learner­as­he­is­and­giving­him­ the skills to succeed using only a restricted thinking style. One consequence­may­well­be­that­he­has­to­learn­how­to­identify­ questions­that­are­unchangeably­grasshopper­and­not­waste­ time trying to answer them. This­is­pragmatism­at­a­level­that­will­sit­uncomfortably­with­ many­teachers,­but­it­may­be­the­kindest­(and­most­effective)­ way of teaching these rareish pupils.

Add­your­own­suggestions­and­solutions­(and­extra­problems!)

Order
The problem
The­learner­hears­‘Ten­past­ seven’­and­writes­10:7.

Suggestions
Time­is­one­of­those­topics­which­is­so­familiar­in­everyday­ use that we may forget the problems it generates. The learner should be taught to repeat the time putting in hours and m ­ inutes,­‘Ten­minutes­past­seven­hours’­and­know­that­the­ written­convention­is­‘Hours:­minutes’.

The­learner­reads­‘Take­8­away­ The­learner­must­be­taught­to­be­wary­of­even­the­most­ from­18’­and­writes­8−18. innocent looking word problems and rephrase them until they make­sense.­The­fact­that­8−18­either­looks­impossible­or­leads­ to­a­negative­answer­should­suggest­caution. In­an­addition­sum­such­as­ The teen numbers are misleading in that the unit syllable comes 56+37,­the­learner­adds­6­and­7­ before­the­tens­syllable.­See­Chapter­6. to­make­13,­writes­down­1­and­ carries­3.

Add­your­own­suggestions­and­solutions­(and­extra­problems!)

Not checking an answer
The problem
The­learner­checks­(often­ quickly­and­inadequately). Try­to­encourage­checking­by­an­alternative­method.­This­links­ to­encouraging­flexible­thinking­styles­(see­Chapter­4). Try­to­encourage­a­check­via­an­estimate.­Ask­‘Does­the­answer­ make­sense?’ Use­the­basic­estimate­question,­‘Is­the­answer­bigger­or­ smaller?’­(adjusted­to­make­contextual­sense). The­learner­doesn’t­check­at­all. Ask­him­what­rough­value­(for­numeracy)­he­expected­the­ answer­would­be.­Allow­a­wide­guess/­estimate­and­edge­him­ towards closer estimates. This could be part of the training towards risk taking.

Suggestions

30

The Trouble with Maths

Add­your­own­suggestions­and­solutions­(and­extra­problems!)

Organisation
The problem
The­pupil­always­arrives­at­lessons­without­ key­equipment.

Suggestions
Suggest­he­obtains­a­pencil­case­or­similar­ holder in which to keep just the essentials. Be­prepared­to­lend­equipment,­but­be­even­ more prepared to remember to collect it back at the­end­of­the­lesson.­(He­will­forget.)­Make­sure­ the­equipment­you­lend­is­clearly­marked! Try­squared­paper,­offering­different­sizes­of­ square­to­find­what­suits. Try­vertical­lines. Try modelling good layout. Try a worksheet where part of the work is written­(differentiation).

The­pupil’s­written­work­on­the­page­is­ badly organised.

Add­your­own­suggestions­and­solutions­(and­extra­problems!) Transposals The problem
The­pupil­transposes­numbers,­for­example­ he­writes­31­for­thirteen.­This­is­likely­to­be­ the­consequence­of­the­words­we­use­for­the­ ‘teen’­numbers.­These­are­the­only­two­digit­ numbers­where­the­units­digit­is­named­first­ as in fourteen.

Suggestions
Try­place­value­cards­(Figure­2.1)­or­coins­ to­model­the­correct­digit­order.­(Check­if­ t ­ransposals­only­occur­for­teen­numbers,­where­ the­words­do­mislead,­as­in­thirteen…three­ten,­ rather­than­twenty-three­which­does­not.) Explain­the­language­structure­of­a­teen­number­ compared to the digit structure. Explain­that­the­teen­numbers­are­exceptional­ and­to­be­wary­when­they­are­around.­Show­ how transposals can be a problem when adding n ­ umbers­as­27+36­becoming­81­instead­of­63­ since­7+6­is­added­as­31.­Encourage­the­learner­ to­evaluate­such­answers­by­estimates. Play­card­search­games,­with­cards­that­show,­ for­example,­16­and­61­and­ask­for­‘sixteen’­or­ ‘sixty-one’.

Figure 2.1­Place­value­cards

Add­your­own­suggestions­and­solutions­(and­extra­problems!)

Factors that affect learning Generalisations and recognising patterns The problem
The learner does not recognise patterns. Some­lessons­rely­on­pupils­making­the­ discovery­of­a­pattern.­This­may­not­ always­be­a­reliable­method­(for­example,­a­pupil­may­process­in­groups­of­ three and the pattern may be in groups of­four).

31

Suggestions
Be­more­overt­in­hinting­at­the­pattern,­Use­colours.­ Use­materials­(use­trial­and­error­to­find­the­match­ between­learner­and­material).­For­example­base­ten­ blocks may work as an illustration of multiplying and dividing­by­10,­possibly­in­conjunction­with­a­place­ value­sheet.

Add­your­own­suggestions­and­solutions­(and­extra­problems!) Task analysis In­order­to­be­pre-emptive,­it­may­be­worth­doing­a­task­analysis­for­a­new­topic.­This­ can­ be­ a­ quick­ procedure,­ just­ thinking­ about­ the­ topic­ and­ making­ notes­ on­ the­ sheet­ below.­The­analysis­can­consider­the­topic,­of­course,­but­it­can­also­take­into­consideration­ the­nature­of­the­learner(s).­For­example­if­the­group­contains­a­number­of­students­with­ l ­anguage­problems­then­you­might­give­more­thought­to­that­particular­aspect­of­the­task.­ A­task­analysis­can­be­useful­in­focusing­attention­on­areas­where­some­pre-emptive­action­ may­ greatly­ reduce­ the­ number­ of­ learners­ developing­ a­ problem­ with­ the­ topic­ and/­or­ reduce­the­intensity­of­the­problems­(Figures­2.2 and 2.3,­shown­overleaf). Analysing­ from­ the­ pre-requisite­ sub-skills­ perspective­ (Chapter­ 4)­ may­ also­ help­ a­ tutor/­teacher­understand­where­learning­may­falter.­ TOPIC Factor
Vocabulary and symbols Language Short­term­memory Long term memory Sequences Direction Organisation/­­spatial Thinking style

Problem

Suggestion

Figure 2.2 A blank task analysis form

32

The Trouble with Maths Mental addition of two digit plus two digit numbers Problem Suggestion
A­variety­of­words­imply­+ Vary­the­vocabulary­of­the­questions:­ ‘What­is­46­add­72?’­‘43­plus­56?’­ ‘What­is­the­total­of­61­and­39?’

TOPIC Factor
Vocabulary and symbols Language

Should­not­be­an­issue­with­mental­ addition,­unless­wrapped­up­in­a­ complicated story. May­not­remember­the­question.­ May­not­have­enough­short­term­ memory­to­do­the­question. The usual problem of recall of­basic­facts,­and­possibly­of­ ‘carrying’. Not­a­main­problem­in­this­topic,­ but the answer may be computed in the­reverse­order,­e.g.­74+­75­done­ as­9­then­14. Since­64+56=56+­64­this­ should­not­be­a­problem,­but­see­ ‘sequences’. Should­not­be­a­factor­in­mental­ work,­but­spatial­memory­may­be­ needed. The pupil may use a method that is less suitable for his learning problems. Encourage­alternative­strategies.­Ask­ the­pupil­to­evaluate­and­inter-relate­the­ numbers,­e.g.­8­and­9­can­be­rounded­ up­to­10. Repeat­the­question. Try an alternate method. Ask­a­part­question. Use­sums­with­known­facts,­e.g.­74+75,­ so doubles can be used. Encourage­pre-estimates­and­allow­time­ for­this­or­ask­in­two­stages,­that­is­first­ ask for an estimate and then the accurate answer.

Short­term­ memory Long term memory Sequences

Direction

Organisation/­­ spatial Thinking style

Figure 2.3­An­example­of­a­task­analysis

Chapter­3­ What the curriculum asks pupils to do and where difficulties may occur
In­the­last­chapter­I­looked­at­factors,­for­example,­poor­short­term­memory,­which­could­ create­learning­difficulties­for­mathematics.­In­this­chapter­I­am­looking­at­topics­in­mathematics­and­how­they­could­create­difficulties­in­learning. This­ chapter­ is­ based­ on­ the­ English­ National­ Numeracy­ Strategy,­ but­ it­ is­ likely­ to­ be­similar­to­the­development­of­different­strands­and­topics­in­many­numeracy­schemes­ across­the­world.­What­I­have­done­is­to­take­the­Year­5­(age­9­years)­teaching­programme­ as­ typical­ of­ the­ content­ of­ the­ NNS­ Framework,­ highlighted­ the­ key­ issues,­ predicted­ where­difficulties­and­confusions­might­arise­and­outlined­some­possible­solutions.­Some­ of­ these­ are­ dealt­ with­ in­ more­ detail­ in­ other­ chapters,­ but­ to­ avoid­ the­ need­ to­ flick­ between­pages,­I­have­kept­the­content­somewhat­self­contained.­The­chapter­illustrates­ analysis of content in terms of its likely interactions with learners. A similar analysis could be­applied­to­any­programme­of­work.­This­is­the­preventative­medicine.­Whatever­the­curriculum,­the­analogy­I­like­is­to­compare­preparing­a­mathematics­lesson­to­preparing­an­ expedition.­You­prepare­for­all­the­many­problems­you­know­you­are­going­to­encounter,­ and­experience­helps­you­to­predict­what­they­will­be,­but­then­experience­tells­you­that­ there­will­still­be­some­problems­you­will­not­have­predicted.­The­curriculum­is­the­guide­ to­the­journey.­This­chapter­is­the­guide­to­some­of­the­unpredicted­events­that­may­prevent­ your­learners­from­having­a­successful­expedition.

The programme for Year 5 of the National Numeracy Strategy: numbers and the number system
Place value, ordering and rounding This­section­deals­with­basic,­fundamentally­important­topics­which­set­the­foundations­ for­success­in­numeracy.­Much­of­this­section­and,­indeed­the­complete­‘Numbers­and­the­ Number­System’­is­inter-linked­and­each­part­should­support­understanding­of­the­other­ parts.­You­should­not­assume­that­pupils­absorb­these­links­by­osmosis.­Many­will­need­ explicit­teaching.­It­is­easy­to­assume­that­an­ability­for­recall­means­understanding. Most­of­this­work­is­within­the­pupils’­experiences.­This­is­both­a­positive­and­negative­factor.­It­is­positive­in­the­sense­that­pupils­are­working­from­familiar­facts­and­awareness,­but­negative­in­that­they­may­already­have­formed­some­incorrect­ideas­or­feel­that­because­the­work­ is­familiar­they­do­not­need­to­organise,­strengthen­and­inter-relate­their­fact­base­to­new­work. Place­value­is­a­key­concept.­Children­who­fail­to­grasp­the­idea­of­place­value­find­ numeracy­difficult­and­make­errors­such­as:
45 +88 12­13 45 +88 123

34

The Trouble with Maths

Misconceptions­can­arise­from­early­experiences.­For­example,­we­start­number­as­1,­2,­3,­ 4,­5…where­the­sequence­‘gets­bigger’­as­we­track­to­the­right.­When­place­value­arises,­as­ with,­say­24,­the­number­to­the­left­is­‘bigger’. Subtraction,­ especially­ involving­ decomposition­ will­ also­ be­ handicapped­ by­ poor­ understanding­of­place­value.­Equally­multiplication­by­the­traditional­methods­requires­ that­place­values­are­understood,­so­that,­for­example­when­multiplying­by­45­the­pupil­ needs to know and understand that the 4 is 40 and what effect this has on the multiplication. Pupils­need­to­be­able­to­break­down­numbers.­This­includes­using­place­value­as­well­as­ number­relationships,­for­example­25­as­10÷4­or­99­as­100−1. Manipulatives­can­be­helpful,­particularly­base­ ten­blocks­and­ coins­to­ give­a­visual­ image­to­the­symbolic­representations­of­numbers.­Numbers­which­involve­zero­(such­as­ 5004)­often­need­extra­explanation­and­again­base­ten­materials­may­help.­Try­working­ from­5444,­through­5044­to­5004­using­the­base­ten­blocks.­Multiplying­and­dividing­by­10­ and­powers­of­10­may­also­help­to­show­how­the­position­of­a­number­affects­its­value. All the work on placing a number in the correct position on a number line and the linked work­on­estimation­leads­pupils­to­overview­skills.­Estimation­is­a­holistic­skill­and­should­ be­taught­to­complement­the­procedural­skills­of­ written­arithmetic,­even­though­pupils­ may­show­a­marked­preference­towards­one­of­these­skills.­Remember­that­estimation­is­ not­precise­and­that­the­required­level­of­‘accuracy’­of­the­estimation­depends­on­the­particular­real­life­situation.­The­‘empty’­number­line­is­a­good­visual­for­practising­this­skill. Rounding­strengthens­estimation­in­the­sense­of­‘levels’­by­rounding­to­the­nearest­ten,­nearest­hundred,­nearest­thousand.­It­is­also­a­good­real­life­skill,­particularly­useful­for­shopping. The­introduction­to­negative­numbers­uses­everyday­examples.­Later­pupils­may­come­to­ forget­the­reality­at­the­root­of­negative­numbers­and­see­them­as­a­very­abstract­concept.­This­ introductory­work­on­adding­to­a­negative­number­(−3°­C­and­warming­up­by­4°­C)­and­subtracting­from­a­negative­number­(−3°­C­and­cooling­down­by­a­further­4°­C)­sets­the­foundation­ to­work­from­an­image­that­is­‘real’­to­an­abstract­and­symbolic­representation­(−3+4=1­and­ −3−4=­−7).­This­topic­also­introduces­the­idea­that­addition­and­subtraction­are­opposite­versions of the same idea. The­quite­sophisticated­sequence­10,­9,­8,­7,­6,­5,­4,­3,­2,­1,­0,­−1,­−2,­−3,­−4­…takes­a­familiar­reverse­counting­skill­beyond­the­zero­and­the­rules­of­number­sequence­are­now­reversed.­In­ positive­numbers­4­is­bigger­than­3.­In­negative­numbers­−4­is­smaller­than­−3.­In­early­number­ work­these­‘abnormalities’­can­confuse­tentative­learning­and­need­that­explicit­teaching.

Properties of numbers and number sequences
This­section­of­the­programme­could­be­treated­as­largely­rote­learning.­However,­there­will­ be some pupils who fail to rote learn facts. There will be other pupils who merely learn and do­not­understand.­It­will­be­important­to­identify­both­groups­of­these­pupils­and­help­them­ circumvent­these­early­barriers­which­could­result­in­an­anxiety­about­maths­which­could­ then­lead­them­to­not­being­involved­in­future­learning.­The­section­could­be­used­as­a­good­ opportunity­to­develop­confidence­with­numbers­by­showing­how­frequently­patterns­occur­ and­how­frequently­these­same­patterns­can­help­with­remembering­and­accessing­facts­ and­ working­ with­ numbers.­The­ inter-relationship­ between­ numbers,­ especially­ relating­ n ­ umbers­to­the­‘reference’­numbers­of­2,­5­and­10­will­build­better­recall­and­understanding­ for­ALL­pupils.­The­goal­is­to­making­the­acquisition­of­skills­and­understanding­robust.

What the curriculum asks pupils 35 Using­strategies­to­access­facts­is­an­early­indicator­of­a­‘grasshopper’­learning­style,­ that­is­an­intuitive­way­with­numbers­and­an­ability­to­break­down­and­build­up­numbers­ into­more­convenient­values,­e.g.­using­100­instead­of­98.­(See­Chapter­4.)

Recognise and extend number sequences
This­area­sets­many­basic­procedures­and­understandings­in­place­and,­although­perhaps­deceptively­simple­or­ordinary,­needs­attention­so­that­understanding­and­as­much­automaticity­as­ possible­is­achieved. Counting­on­in­6s,­7s,­8s,­and­9s­and­11s­(to­a­lesser­extent)­will­be­problematic­for­some­ pupils.­The­patterns­and­relationships­(6=5+1,­7=5+2,­8=­10−2,­9=10−1­and­11=10+1)­will­be­ essential­strategies­for­some­pupils­and­useful,­reinforcing­processes­for­others. There­ are­ repeating­ patterns­ when­ counting­ on­ in­ 6s,­8s,­ 9s­ and­ 11s.­These­ need­ to­ be­ clearly­demonstrated­to­ensure­all­pupils­absorb­and­then­recreate­the­patterns.­It­will­help­to­ use­visual­support­for­any­oral­presentations.­Number­lines,­Cuisinaire­rods­and­coins,­used­ alongside­the­numbers,­would­suit­these­topics. Number­rods­are­good­to­show­the­9­sequence­against­a­metre­rule­marked­in­decimetres,­ showing­a­one­less­comparison­each­time.­This­is­good­for­8­rods­too,­reinforced­with­the­ repeating­pattern­in­the­unit­digits­of­8,­6,­4,­2,­0,­which­is­giving­number­connection­support­ by­using­10−2=8­(on­10­back­2­for­addition­and­back­10­on­2­for­subtraction). This­also­compares­with­adding­and­subtracting­9­and­11,­where­9­is­computed­as­10−1­and­ 11­is­done­as­10+1.­Also­adding­and­subtracting­6­can­be­done­as­5­and­1­and­7­as­5­and­2. All­these­examples­are­relating­‘harder’­numbers­to­the­base­numbers­of­5­and­10,­building­ on­what­pupils­know,­rather­than­just­adding­in­extra,­unrelated­information.­You­are­giving­ memory­an­extra­source­of­support. Look­out­for­the­common­error­in­the­decimal­sequence,­0.1­0.2­0.3…0.8­0.9­0.10­(‘nought­ point­ten’).­A­supporting­visual­image­such­as­coins,­or­a­number­line­should­help.­It­is­important­to­pre-empt­this­error,­so­that­it­does­not­become­that­all­too­influential­first­experience­of­ this important concept of the transition from a decimal number to a whole number. Counting­backwards­is­often­much­harder­than­counting­forwards.­Do­not­assume­learners­ will­exhibit­equal­facility­with­these­two­tasks.

Even and odd numbers
Even­numbers­end­(have­a­units­digit)­in­0,­2,­4,­6­or­8.­Every­other­digit­can­be­odd,­it’s­ that­last­one­that­matters,­e.g.­975,312­is­even. Odd­numbers­end­(have­a­units­digit)­in­1,­3,­5,­7­or­9.­Every­other­digit­can­be­even,­it’s­ the­last­one­that­matters,­e.g.­864,207­is­odd. Establish­ (or­ re-establish)­the­main­ idea­ that­ even­ numbers­ are­ about­ 2,­ about­ being­ exactly­divisible­by­2­(an­early­exposure­to­the­concept­of­division).­And­an­even­number­ plus­1­makes­an­odd­number. Use­any­even­Cuisenaire­rod,­say­a­6­rod­and­place­a­1­rod­on­the­end.­Show­this­is­the­ same­value­as­a­7­rod.­Review­the­reasons­why­6­is­even­and­7­is­odd.­Now­show­side­by­ side­two­‘6­rod­plus­1­rod’­and­pair­the­1­rods­to­show­that­the­combination­is­even…two­ odd­numbers­add­to­make­an­even­number.­Now­show­three­‘6­rod­plus­1­rod’­then­four­and­ five­to­develop­the­pattern­of­combining­odd­and­even­numbers.­Repeat­for­other­values.­ Demonstrate­the­same­pattern­for­subtraction,­referring­to­the­similarities­with­addition.

36

The Trouble with Maths

Recognise multiples of 6, 7, 8 and 9
The­alternative­approaches­are­straight­recall­or­strategies­built­on­patterns.­Rote­learning­ will­work­for­many,­but­the­successful­rote­learners­also­will­benefit­from­learning­to­recognise­patterns­and­using­them­to­support­and­develop­their­facility­with­numbers.­There­is­ good­scope­for­visual­images­to­reinforce­oral­patterns. Show­the­patterns­in­each­of­these­series,­for­example­the­6,­2,­8,­4,­0­pattern­in­the­units­for­ 6×,­the­‘adding­up­to­9’­pattern­for­9×­facts­(6×9=54…­5+4=9).­Reinforce­the­multiples­of­7­ which­are­known­from­other­times­tables,­for­example­9×7,­2×7­(thus­4×7),­5×7­and­10×7.

Know and apply tests of divisibility by 2, 4, 5, 10 or 100
♦­­ This­is­another­chance­to­reinforce­the­use­of­patterns­and­inter-relationships­of­numbers­ and­to­relate­multiplication­and­division. ♦­­ Recognising­ an­ even­ number­ will­ identify­ divisibility­ by­ 2­ and­ will­ lead­ to­ testing­ d ­ ivisibility­by­4­(dividing­by­2­twice­is­an­alternative). ♦­­ The­5­pattern­is­good­for­predicting­if­the­answer­will­have­a­units­digit­of­5­or­0,­that­is­ be­an­odd­or­even­number,­thus­providing­further­reinforcement­of­that­concept. ♦­­ Introduce­ ‘factor’­ using­ multiplication­ examples­ as­ well­ as­ division­ (for­ example,­ a­ pair­of­factors­of­15­is­3­and­5,­15­is­divisible­by­3­and­by­5,­and­3×5=15)…relating­ m ­ ultiplication­and­division­again.

Fractions, decimals and percentages, ratio and proportion
Inter-relating­these­ways­of­representing­numbers­less­than­one­(and­bigger­than­one­of­ course)­ will­ reinforce­ the­ understanding­ of­ each­ format.­ Keep­ referring­ to­ the­ common­ equivalents­using­them­to­provide­‘markers’­and­illustrate­other­examples:

Use fraction notation and vocabulary: change an improper fraction to a mixed number, etc.
Fractions­ are­ radically­ different­ in­ that­ they­ incorporate­ a­ (disguised)­ division­ sign­ and­ use­ two­ numbers.­ The­ introductory­ explanations­ set­ the­ foundations­ of­ the­ concept­ of­ f ­ ractions,­ relating­ them­ to­ everyday­ knowledge,­ building­ on­ an­ existing­ awareness­ that­ needs­organisation­and­mathematical­understanding.­Using­half­and­quarter­can­provide­a­ secure­base­to­refer­back­to­as­knowledge­develops. The­vocabulary­for­fractions­can­be­used­to­aid­comprehension,­e.g.­ can be translated as­4­divided­by­5­or­4­out­of­5­equal­parts­or­four­fifths.­Each­of­these­translations­needs­ explicit­explanation­and­clear­visual­images.­The­explanations­must­ensure­that­the­visual­ images­ are­ accurately­ related­ to­ the­ symbols.­ For­ example,­ working­ from­ the­ familiar­

What the curriculum asks pupils 37 image­of­a­clock­face­gives­an­image­of­half­and­quarter­(remember­that­these­two­fractions­ are­vocabulary­exceptions,­unlike­one­tenth­or­one­twenty­sixth).­The­familiar­fractions­ ­can­be­used­to­establish­the­vocabulary­and­idea­of­numerator­and­denominator.­ Although­ it­ is­ a­ reasonable­ expectation­ that­ pupils­ should­ and­ can­ manage­ these­ two­ words,­for­some­pupils­they­will­be­a­barrier­to­further­understanding.­Use­alternative­clear­ v ­ ocabulary­alongside­the­accepted­labels.­The­clock­ face­can­be­used­to­explore­ all­the­ interpretations­built­around­fractions,­e.g.­the­division­into­two­equal­parts,­two­halves­are­ one­whole­(but­beware­the­other­meaning­‘hole’)­the­adding­of­ to to make ­(don’t­ let pupils leap to ­ without­ understanding­ the­ idea­ involved,­ equivalent­ fractions,­ that­ is Also introduce ­ ).­ Extend­ to­ the­ adding­ of­ to make ­The­frequent­misconception­of­big­numbers­making­fractions­of­big­values­can­be­ addressed by building on being smaller than and ­(1­minute)­being­smaller­than­ Another­important­understanding­can­be­based­on­fundamental­fractions,­the­idea­that­ and ­are­1­and­then­onto­ The concepts or the misunderstandings of fractions often begin when working with these­first­examples. Other­ everyday­ images­ could­ be­ included­ such­ as­ 50p­ as­ half­ of­ one­ pound­ (100p)­ which­will­eventually­lead­to­the­connection­with­decimal­fractions.­Two­50p­coins­could­ be­shown­as­equivalent­to­£1­and­add­to­the­concept­of­equivalent­fractions. Folding­squares­of­paper­can­act­as­a­good­visual­image.­It­also­keeps­the­developmental­model­of­area­in­mind.­Folding­one­square­shows­fractions­such­as­ and some image­of­the­inter-relationships.­Folding­two­or­more­squares­shows­an­early­introduction­ to,­say­ This can be done by folding three sheets of paper to to compare with l ­ooking­at­three­quarters­on­one­sheet.­(See­Chapter­10.)

Relate fractions to division
Operations such as ­challenge­some­previous­ideas­and­need­more­explanation­than­ just­learning­a­rule­or­procedure.­A­clear­understanding­of­this­type­of­question­is­another­ step­towards­secure­work­with­fractions.­Pupils­will­probably­relate­‘of’­to­multiply.­Previous­ experience­ of­ ‘multiply’­ is­ that­ the­ answer­ is­ bigger,­ which­ tallies­ with­ everyday­ language­use­of­multiply.­Set­up­the­basic­first­question,­‘Is­the­answer­the­same,­bigger­or­ or smaller?’­This­could­develop­into­a­follow-up­question,­‘Is­it­a­lot­smaller­ just a bit smaller ­? Explain­that­ ­decodes/­translates­to­ This highlights the ‘hidden’­divide­sign­and­shows­that­the­times­or­divide­can­be­done­in­either­order.

Use decimal notation for tenths and hundredths
Pupils­will­be­familiar­with­money­written­as­£3.49.­This­can­be­used­to­give­an­image­of­ ­0.1­and­ ­0.01.­Base­ten­blocks­can­be­used­to­provide­a­proportional­model.­If­pupils­

38

The Trouble with Maths

are­having­difficulty,­show­each­decimal­with­money­and­base­ten­blocks.­Add­on­coins­or­ blocks,­0.1­and­0.01­to­make­new­numbers.­Discuss­the­place­value,­as­base­ten,­coins­and­ symbols­(digits). There­ can­ be­ a­ language­ and­ order/­direction­ confusion­ here­ for­ some­ pupils.­Whole­ numbers­progress­from­right­to­left­as­units,­tens,­hundreds,­getting­bigger,­whilst­decimals­ go­right­to­left­as­tenths­and­hundredths,­getting­smaller­and­with­only­a­slight­change­in­ the sound of the words.

Round a number with one or two decimal places to the nearest integer
The­similarity­of­this­process­to­whole­number­rounding­should­be­explained.­The­use­of­ shop­prices­such­as­£9.99­can­be­discussed.

Relate fractions to their decimal representation
Focus­on­the­key­values­of­ ­and­0.5­(It­may­help­some­pupils­to­discuss­0.5­and­0.50.­ Another­ directional­ difference­ with­ whole­ numbers,­ 0.5­ and­ 0.50­ are­ the­ same­ value­ whereas­5­and­50­are­not­and­05­is­used­rarely—sometimes­on­forms­for­months,­05­being­ May,­or­in­24­hour­timetables),­and­ ­and­0.25,­ ­and­0.1,­ ­and­0.01.­Set­up­a­table­and­ start­to­fill­in­some­gaps,­such­as­0.2­which­is­ ­Show­how­decimals­can­be­combined,­such­as­0.3­and­0.5­to­make­0.8­and­compare­this,­without­calculations,­to­combining­ fractions such as and ­Calculations­for­fractions­to­decimals­can­be­shown­with­a­calculator,­especially­if­patterns­are­demonstrated­

Begin to understand percentages
Percentages­are­the­third­way­of­representing­numbers­between­0­and­1­(and­bigger­than­ 1­as­pupils­often­do­not­realise­that­200%­is­2×).­Work­from­100%­as­1,­through­50%­as­ and­0.50,­25%­as­ ­and­0.25,­10%­as­ ­and­0.10­to­1%­being­ ­of­something­(some­ pupils­may­need­a­brief­revision­of­dividing­by­10­and­100).­If­a­pupil­can­understand­that­ 1%­is­ ­and­that­it­is­obtained­by­dividing­by­100­and­that­2%­is­obtained­by­multiplying­ 1%­value­by­2,­that­3%­is­by­multiplying­by­3,­that­4%,­etc.,­then­she­has­the­foundation­ for­calculating­percentages­by­formula.­Fill­in­gaps­of­the­easy­values­by­discussion­such­ as­where­will­20%­go?­What­fraction­and­decimal­is­it­equivalent­to?­Is­it­twice­10%?­Is­ 5%­half­of­10%?­Do­some­simple­calculations­on­‘25%­of’­by­halving­50%­and­do­5%­by­ halving­10%.­Combine­25%­and­50%­to­make­75%­and­5%­and­10%­to­make­15%.­A­100­ number­square­is­good­for­visualising­percentage­values.

What the curriculum asks pupils 39

Calculations
Rapid recall of addition and subtraction facts There­will­be­some­pupils­for­whom­the­task­of­rapid­recall­will­be­difficult.­The­additional­ pressure­ of­ responding­ quickly­ will­ exacerbate­ their­ problem.­ It­ will­ be­ vital­ for­ these­ pupils­and­helpful­for­the­others­if­the­connections­and­patterns­are­explained.­The­key­ number­bonds­for­10­can­be­extended­to­the­decimal­equivalents­such­as­0.2+0.8.­Extension­to­examples­such­as: 6.2+3.8 37+63­ 450+550 and

may­require­a­good­visual­image,­possibly­based­on­addition­facts­to­9­followed­by­addition­ facts­to­10,­for­example, ♦­6.2+3.8­is­in­two­parts,­whole­numbers­which­add­to­9­and­decimals­which­add­to­1. ♦­37+63­is­in­two­parts,­tens­which­add­to­90­and­units­which­add­to­10. ♦­450+550­is­in­two­parts,­hundreds­which­add­to­900­and­tens­which­add­to­100. The­visual­image­for­number­bonds­for­100­could­be­money.­So,­for­example,­splitting­100­ into­two­parts­could­be­shown­by­trading­a­£1­coin,­100p­for­ten­10p­coins.­These­can­be­ divided­into­two­lots,­demonstrating­the­number­bonds­for­ten­extended­to­100.­The­pattern­ written­on­the­board,­maybe­as­shown­in­Figure­3.1. A­second­level­of­splitting­up­the­100­is­then­shown­by­taking­one­10p­coin­and­trading­ it­for­ten­1p­coins­(the­tradings­are­reinforcing­the­concept­of­decomposition),­so­that­there­ are­now­nine­10p­coins­and­ten­1p­coins,­making­100.­The­two­lots­of­coins­can­now­be­ split,­first­the­nine­10ps­then­the­ten­1ps­and­the­process­discussed. This­is­easily­extended­to­decimals­(ones­and­tenths)­adding­to­10. This­section­provides­good­opportunities­to­build­on­and­extend­from­key­basic­facts­ and­thus­help­pupils­understand­the­inter-relationships­of­numbers,­which­is­an­essential­ skill for mental arithmetic.

Figure 3.1­Using­10p­coins­as­images­for­number­bonds­for­100

40

The Trouble with Maths

Mental calculation strategies (+ and −)
This­ section­ builds­ on­ the­ previous­ section­ and­ relies­ very­ much­ on­ those­ skills­ being­ securely­fixed­in­the­pupils’­memory…and­retrievable­from­memory. In­addition­to­having­good­access­to­basic­facts,­pupils­should­be­aware­of­and­use­the­ relationship between the four operations. This section focuses on the relationship between addition­ and­ subtraction­ and­ pupils­ will­ benefit­ from­ some­ simple­ demonstrations­ with­ the­ number­ line,­ moving­ forward­ for­ addition­ and­ backwards­ for­ subtraction­ and­ then­ d ­ iscussing­ the­ significance­ of­ the­ difference­ between­ two­ numbers­ and­ the­ alternative­ subtraction­ procedure­ of­ counting­ on,­ emphasising­ the­ stepwise­ nature­ of­ this­ through,­ for­example­10s­and­100s­(which­we­old­folk­used­to­do­when­counting­on­change).­An­ example­is­1000−648,­where­648­is­the­start­point. 648+2=650…650+50−700…700+300−1000…answer­352 Written­ addition­ (and­ subtraction)­ is­ traditionally­ done­ from­ right­ to­ left,­ from­ units­ digits­to­tens,­hundreds­and­so­on.­If­this­is­transferred­to­mental­addition,­then­the­answer­ is­generated­in­reverse­order,­that­is­the­unit­digit­is­calculated­first,­but­stated­last­in­the­ digits­that­make­up­the­answer.­If­pupils­add­from­right­to­left,­starting­with­the­highest­ place­values­first,­then­they­can­repeat­the­digits­of­the­answer­as­they­construct­the­answer,­ in­the­correct­order.­For­example,­adding­425­and­367­could­start­at­400+300=700,­then­ 20+60=80,­taking­the­answer­to­780,­then­5+7=12,­taking­the­answer­to­792. There­may­well­be­a­need­to­develop­appropriate­flexibility­in­approaches­for­addition­ and­subtraction,­not­least­to­recognise­that­there­will­be­different­cognitive­styles­within­a­ class­(back­to­the­inchworms­and­grasshoppers). A mental arithmetic skill that is easy to learn applies to numbers which are close to 10s,­ 100s,­ 1000s.­ For­ example­ 9+7­ is­ 10+7−1­and­98+78­ is­ 100+78−2­ and­2993+88­is­ 3000+88−7­(any­of­these­could­be­done­in­another­order­88−7+3000).­The­same­principle­ applies to subtraction. The most likely confusion is that the pupil will do the wrong adjustment,­ so­in­98+78,­they­ might­ add­2­instead­of­subtracting­2.­This­is­an­indication­that­ number­values­and­relationships­are­not­well­understood.­The­question­‘Is­the­answer­bigger,­smaller­or­the­same?’­is­useful­yet­again­as­a­first­estimate­and­check.­A­second­check­ is­knowing­that­8+8­gives­a­unit­digit­of­6.­Learning­checking­strategies­is­essential­for­ accurate mental arithmetic.

Pencil and paper procedures (+ and −)
The­Numeracy­Strategy­uses­this­section­to­reinforce­mental­arithmetic­methods­by­encouraging­pupils­to­document­procedures­other­than­just­the­traditional­algorithm­(procedure).­ There­will­be­some­pupils­who­compute­so­rapidly­and­intuitively­that­documentation­will­ not be easy for them. A classroom ethos which encourages different methods will help. On the­other­hand,­there­will­be­pupils­who­will­be­confused­by­exposure­to­too­many­alternatives…the­teacher’s­knowledge­of­an­individual­pupil’s­learning­styles­will­enable­him­or­ her to balance and manage this.

What the curriculum asks pupils 41 ‘Carrying’­and­‘decomposition’­(two­words­against­which­I­have­a­personal­vendetta)­ are essential procedures to understand. They are complementary and can be demonstrated­together­which­may­well­reinforce­the­understanding­that,­like­subtraction­and­ addition­being­opposite­versions­of­the­same­procedure,­these­two­contributors­to­the­ procedures­are­also­equal­opposites. The­similarity­can­be­demonstrated­with­coins­or­base­ten­blocks.­I­marginally­prefer­ coins­with­this­age­group­as­they­have­some­reality­and­the­trading­is­common­sense.­ So,­ set­ up­ an­ addition­with­ coins­ and­ written­ numbers,­ say­57+78.­Add­ the­ 1p­ coins­ to­obtain­ 15p.­Trade­ ten­ 1p­ coins­for­ one­10p­coin­and­ ‘carry’­ it­ to­ the­ tens­ column.­ Now­add­five­10p­coins­to­seven­10p­coins­and­the­carried­10p­coin­to­make­thirteen­ 10p­coins.­Trade­ten­10p­coins­for­one­pound­coin­(100)­and­‘carry’­it­to­the­hundreds­ column…answer­135. Now­ subtract­ 78­ from­ 135,­ which­ will­ require­ trading­ in­ the­ £1­ coin­ for­ ten­ 10p­ coins­and­trading­a­10p­coin­for­ten­1p­coins…decomposing­the­100+30­+5­to­120+15.­ Do­ some­ other­ examples.­ This­ should­ show­ the­ relationship­ between­ carrying­ and­ decomposition. The coin procedure mirrors the traditional written procedure.1

Understanding multiplication and division
The­four­operations,­+,­ −,­×­and­÷­are­closely­inter-related.­A­clear­understanding­of­ each operation and how it relates to the others will strengthen the understanding of the­ other­ operations.­ Multiplication­ is­ often­ described­ as­ ‘repeated­ addition’­ but­ the­ understanding­of­this­phrase­may­not­be­clear.­Similarly,­division­can­be­described­as­ ‘repeated­subtraction’.­Pupils­will­need­some­concrete­material­experiences­to­start­to­ develop­these­concepts.­The­symbols­will­not­be­enough. The­ basic­ ideas­ in­ this­ section­ are­ the­ commutative­ property­ of­ multiplication­ (8×7=7×8),­the­distributive­law­{23×45=(20+3)×45=(20×45)+­(3×45)},­the­non-commutative­nature­of­division­and­that­division­is­the­inverse­of­multiplication. The­ connection­ between­ addition­ and­ multiplication­ can­ be­ explained­ (and­ linked­ back­to­earlier­work­and­developed­into­new­work)­by­starting­with­times­table­facts.­ So­3×6­is­also­6+6+6.­This­can­be­sub-divided­as­(6+6)+6­or­(2×6)+6,­thereby­introducing­brackets.­Similarly,­7×8­is­also­8+8+8­+8+8+8+8,­which­can­be­sub-divided­as­ (8+8+8+8+8)+(8+8)­or­(5×8)+(2×8).­This­idea­can­be­extended­to­a­two­digit­multiplier­ such­as­12×4­which­is­also­4+4+4+4+4+4+4+4+4+4+4+4­or­(10×4)+(2×4).­This­then­ leads­ into­ the­ traditional­ written­ method­ for­ multiplications­ such­ as­ 46×51,­ which­ is­ calculated­as­(40×51)+(6×51)­or­as­(50×46)+(1×46)­which­is­the­distributive­law. In­each­example­of­multiplication­it­is­good­to­point­out­the­division­implications.­ For­example­46×51=2346­should­also­be­presented­as­‘How­many­51s­in­2346?­What­ is­2346­divided­by­51?’ Area­is­a­good­visual­aid­which­can­also­give­support­to­estimation­of­answers.­This­ can­be­presented­with­base­ten­blocks­and/­or­squared­paper­and­later­with­just­sketches­ of­rectangles­(see­Figure­3.2).

42

The Trouble with Maths

Figure 3.2­Base­ten­blocks­used­to­show­23×12

Rapid recall of multiplication and division facts
The­ Strategy­ requires,­ as­ a­ key­ objective­ that­ pupils­ in­ Year­ 5­ ‘Know­ by­ heart­ all­ m ­ ultiplication­facts­up­to­10×10.’­Sadly,­there­will­be­a­percentage­of­pupils­who­do­not­ achieve­ this­ objective­ either­ because­ they­ do­ not­ practise­ enough,­ for­ which­ there­ is­ a­ potential­solution,­or­because­they­just­can’t­learn­the­facts,­which­requires­a­different­solution­and­a­degree­of­compromise­and­empathy.­(My­hypothesis­is­that­some­pupils­have­so­ often­given­a­wrong­answer,­and­probably­not­a­consistently­wrong­answer,­that­the­memory­has­not­experienced­an­adequate­and­consistent­input­of­correct­information.)­This­situation­will­probably­generate­maths­anxiety,­greatly­exacerbated­by­the­additional­need­for­ ‘rapid­recall’­and­put­a­significant­number­of­pupils­into­the­25­per­cent­who­fail­to­reach­ the­required­standards.­It­seems­ inefficient­to­let­this­ happen,­since­an­inability­to­learn­ these­facts­does­not­preclude­success­as­a­mathematician.­Your­classroom­management­of­ this­objective­will­have­a­profound­effect­on­your­statistics.­ Some­pupils­will­find­this­section­merely­another­rote­learning­task­at­which,­with­some­ effort,­they­can­succeed.­There­is­a­possibility­that­successful­rote­learning­may­reduce­the­ need­to­understand­and­relate­numbers.­Thus­all­pupils­should­benefit­from­work­which­is­ built­around­patterns,­consistent­procedures­and­the­inter-relationships­between­numbers. For­times­table­facts­focus­on­what­most­can­learn,­×0,­×l,­×2,­×5,­×10.­Build­on­these.­A­ table­square­as­opposed­to­separate­times­tables­has­the­benefits­of­showing­all­the­information­ at­one­go­(gives­the­whole­picture)­and­can­be­used­for­division­as­well­as­multiplication. One of the useful strategies that pupils may adopt is the breaking down of numbers into easier­chunks.­For­example,­half­of­920­might­look­daunting,­but­half­of­800­plus­half­of­ 120­may­be­easier­for­some.­While­800+120­is­a­more­creative­split­than­the­place­value­ split­of­900+20­(this­idea­also­supports­a­broader­understanding­of­decomposition). Many­pupils­read­numbers­literally.­For­example­9­is­9,­the­number­after­8­rather­than­1­ less­than­10.­Twenty-five­is­only­seen­as­a­number­in­the­twenties,­not­as­ ­of­100­or­ of 50­or­even­as­20+5.­Ninety-eight­is­seen­as­nine­tens­and­eight­units­and­not­as­2­less­than­ 100.­Can­your­pupils­learn­to­find­the­easy­number­breakdown?­This­is­a­very­useful­mental­ arithmetic­skill­and­several­worksheets­deal­with­this­area.­As­ever,­visual­images­will­help­

What the curriculum asks pupils 43 many­pupils.­For­example­a­100­square­may­help­pupils­see­the­closeness­of­numbers­in­ the­nineties­to­100.­Coins­could­also­be­used.­One­hundred­1p­coins­show­the­closeness­of,­ say­96­to­100.

Mental calculation strategies (× and ÷)
This should build on the foundations set up in the last section. Written procedures often require­too­much­short­term­memory­to­be­used­for­mental­calculations,­so­different­procedures­need­to­be­developed.­Often­these­are­based­on­the­compensatory­strategies­some­ pupils­use­to­circumvent­their­weak­knowledge­of­basic­facts. There­is­more­focus­on­multiplication­than­division­in­this­section.­The­main­learning­ points­are­again­based­on­the­inter-relationships­of­numbers.­For­example,­to­multiply­by­ 6­you­can­multiply­by­factors­2­and­then­3­(6=2×3),­to­multiply­by­50­you­can­multiply­by­ 100­then­divide­by­2(50=100÷2),­to­multiply­by­12­you­can­multiply­the­number­by­10,­ multiply­the­number­by­2­and­then­add­the­two­(partial)­products­together­(12=10+2).­Each­ time­the­operations­follow­the­relationship­used­to­separate­the­number,­so­for­×20­you­ can­use­×2­and­then­×10­because­20=2×10­and­for­×15­you­can­use­×10­plus­×5­because­ 15=10+5­(and­5×­can­be­obtained­by­halving­10×). So­this­section­uses­the­principle­of­converting­one­difficult­step­to­(usually)­two­easier­ steps. Look­critically­at­some­of­the­examples­in­Part­6­of­the­National­Numeracy­Strategy­ folder.­It­does­not­always­use­efficient­number­breakdowns.­For­example,­it­builds­up­a­ set­ of­ ×25­ facts­ by­ repeated­ doubling,­ giving­ 2×25,­ 4×25,­ 8×25,­ 16×25­ and­ so­ on.­An­ alternative­set­of­facts­would­be­2×25,­possibly­4×25,­10×25­and­thus­back­to­5×25,­then­ onto­20×25,­50×25,­100×­25­and­so­on.­This­builds­a­better­pattern­and­revisits­the­effect­ of­multiples­of­10,­100.­Using­these­multiples­means­that­25×25­could­be­done­as­(20×25)­ +(5×25)­rather­than­(16×25)+(8×25)+(1×25).

Pencil and paper procedures (× and ÷)
Approximations­for­TU×TU­are­ helped­by­reviewing­the­area­model­for­multiplication.­ Some­examples­are­given­below­(see­Figures­3.3 and 3.4).

Figure 3.3­Area­model­for­31×17

44

The Trouble with Maths

Figure 3.4­28×39­compared­to­30×40­as­areas The­area­model­also­acts­as­a­good­illustration­of­partition­methods.­It­also­emphasises­the­ units,­tens­and­hundreds. The­ long­ multiplication­ procedure­ is­ likely­ to­ be­ one­ of­ the­ first­ procedural­ barriers­ for­pupils.­It­can­be­very­abstract­so­memory­has­less­chance­of­a­‘realistic­hook’­to­hang­ from­and­the­organisation­of­the­various­written­stages,­including­the­‘carried’­numbers­ is­challenging.­The­area­model,­shown­in­base­ten­blocks,­or­on­squared­paper­or­just­as­ sketched rectangles shows where each part of the calculation originates. The area model is also­valuable­in­fractions­and­algebra.­This­means­the­pupils­are­getting­a­consistent­and­ developmental­image.­If­you­start­with­the­area­and­one­side,­division­leads­to­finding­the­ value­of­the­other­side.­The­same­image,­of­course,­works­for­multiplication­and­division­ and­shows­the­inverse­relationship­between­these­two­operations­(see­Figure­3.5). Division­by­repeated­(chunked)­subtraction­is­the­inverse­of­multiplication­by­partition.­ It­can­also­be­shown­on­the­area­model.

What the curriculum asks pupils 45

Figure 3.5­Division­by­subtraction­of­‘chunks’ I­like­the­values­used­in­setting­up­key­multiplication­values,­that­is­1×,­2×,­5×,­10×,­20×,­ 50×,­100×­and­so­on­along­this­pattern.­So,­for­example,­to­divide­537­by­8,­set­up­the­table,­ using the patterns
1×8 2×8 5×8 10×8 20×8­ 50×8 100×8 = = = = = = = 8 16 40 80 160­ 400 800

46

The Trouble with Maths

The­answer­to­537÷8­can­be­seen­to­lie­between­50­and­100,­closer­to­50,­and­a­little­less­ than­70­(50+20).­Subtraction­of­multiples­will­take­the­pupil­to­an­answer.
537 −400 137 −80 57 −40 17 −16 1 2×8 answer:­67­remainder­1 5×8 10×8 50×8

This does relate to the standard written method. Both are by step by step subtraction of multiples­of­(in­this­case)­8.

Using a calculator
The­requirement­to­calculate­at­speed­will­create­errors­for­some­pupils.­Word­questions­ in particular need to be carefully read right through to make sure the correct operation is chosen.­Read­these­two­examples­carefully: Question 1 Question 2 Mark­has­6­apples.­James­has­5­more­apples­than­Mark.­How­many­ apples­does­James­have? Mark­has­6­apples.­Mark­has­5­more­apples­than­James.­How­many­ apples­does­James­have?

Both­questions­use­the­word­‘more’­which­is­usually­associated­with­add,­but­question­1­ could­be­written­as­6+5=11­and­question­2­could­be­written­as­6−5­=1.­The­wording­of­the­ two­questions­is­extremely­similar­and­both­use­‘more’. Also­look­out­for­division­and­subtraction­questions,­where­the­words­are­often­written­ in­the­opposite­order­to­that­needed­for­keying­into­the­calculator,­for­example,­‘Divide­6­ into­48’­or­‘Subtract­15­from­32’.­Remember­to­revise­the­fact­that­division­and­subtraction­ are­not­commutative. Other­classic­errors­are­created­by­mixing­units­such­as­cm­and­m,­or­kg­and­g,­and­by­ mixing­pence­and­pounds­as­in­£47.60−45p­(answered­incorrectly­as­£2.60).

Checking the results of calculations
Another­way­of­checking­the­addition­of­several­numbers­is­to­identify­the­combinations­ which­make­10.­For­example­look­at­the­units­column;

What the curriculum asks pupils 47
46 31 87 44 33 89 +78

There­are­‘10­combinations’­in­the­units­column,­6+4,­1+9,­7+3.­With­the­unmatched­8,­this­ makes­a­total­of­38.­This­procedure­also­practises­number­bonds­for­ten.­Some­pupils­may­ introduce­more­sophisticated­number­combinations,­such­as­8+7+5=20. Another method of adding down a column of numbers is to use tallies. This method helps­ pupils­ with­ poorer­ short­term­memories.­ So,­ with­the­example­ above,­as­ you­ add­ down­the­units­column,­6+1=7,­7+7=14.­Put­a­stroke­through­the­7­to­mark­the­ten­from­ the­14­and­just­move­on­with­4.­So­4+4=8,­8+­3=11.­Put­a­stroke­through­the­3­to­note­the­ ten­from­the­11­and­move­on­down­with­the­1­unit.­1+9=10.­Put­a­stroke­through­the­9­to­ mark­another­ten.­0­is­added­to­8,­8­goes­in­the­units­place­of­the­answer­column.­There­are­ three­ten­tallies,­so­30­carries­over­to­the­tens­column­as­3­tens. Checking­calculations­is­usually­most­effective­when­a­different­method­is­used­for­the­ check.­ Pupils­ who­ have­ flexible­ approaches­ to­ procedures­ are­ likely­ to­ be­ much­ better­ at­ checking­and­evaluating­their­answers.­Flexible­thinking­styles­are­explained­in­Chapter­4.

Solving problems
Making decisions Some­problems­could­be­presented­where­the­pupils­are­not­actually­required­to­work­out­ the­answer.­For­example,­they­could­be­asked­to­estimate­an­answer.­This­could­be­as­basic­ as­‘Is­it­bigger?’­‘Is­it­smaller?’­Pupils­could­be­asked­which­operation­they­would­use,­+,­ −,­×­or­÷­and­to­explain­how.­This­could­also­lead­to­useful­discussions­and­comparisons­of­ methods.­The­vocabulary­around­the­four­operations­is­varied­in­content­and­interpretation.­ The­English­language­provides­several­ways­of­inferring­add,­subtract,­multiply­and­divide.­ There­is­also­the­use­of­the­same­‘trigger’­word­to­infer­different­operations­(see­‘Using­a­ calculator’).­This­topic­needs­some­careful­examples­and­explicit­instruction. Making­up­‘number­stories’­is­an­important­activity.­Too­often­teachers­expect­pupils­ to­‘translate’­word­problems­into­mathematical­equations/­statements­whilst­forgetting­the­ reverse­ translation.­ By­ doing­ this­ pupils­ can­ learn­ how­ word­ problems­ are­ constructed­ (usually­resulting­in­totally­boring,­anorak­questions­in­text­books)­and­how­misleading­ features­can­be­introduced,­such­as­extraneous­data.­It­can­also­be­fun­and­creative! Making up number stories can help pupils understand how key words can be used to mean­ different­ operations­ and­ move­ them­ away­ from­ an­ overly­ literal­ interpretation­ of­ vocabulary.­(See­Chapter­6.)

48

The Trouble with Maths

Reasoning and generalising about numbers or shapes
It­is­not­always­easy­for­a­pupil­to­explain­their­reasoning­for­a­mental­calculation.­It­will­help­ this­objective­if­the­classroom­ethos­is­open­and­flexible.­Even­then­some­pupils­may­find­that­ their­method­is­so­intuitive­(and­quick)­that­they­cannot­really­explain­all­that­happened­in­the­ brain.­This­may­improve­as­pupils­become­accustomed­to­the­idea­of­analysing­their­thinking. Of­course,­once­a­teacher­knows­the­procedure­used­by­a­pupil,­she­or­he­might­be­tempted­ to­suggest­changes­or­alternatives.­This­may­not­always­be­the­best­move­and­instant­change­ may­well­not­be­possible­for­the­pupil.­This­whole­area­of­cognitive­style­is­fascinating­and­ important.­Ideally­pupils­should­learn­to­be­flexible­in­their­choice­of­methods­(and,­hopefully­ appropriate­to­their­own­subskills),­being­able­to­use­successfully­a­range­of­procedures.­For­ most­pupils­this­will­happen­over­a­period­of­time­of­exposure­to­the­idea­and­encouragement­ to­work­in­this­more­open­manner.­It­must­not­be­assumed­that­pupils­can­adjust­their­cognitive­ style­overnight.­(For­more­details­on­thinking­style­see­Chapter­4.) This­topic­area­can­be­used­to­develop­further­flexibility­in­using­numbers­and­to­show­ the­inter-relationships,­especially­those­which­make­the­manipulation­of­numbers­easier,­ for­example­49×30­calculated­via­50×30. Spatial­examples­can­be­a­break­from­number­crunching­activities­and­may­well­allow­ some­pupils­who­have­strong­spatial­skills­to­succeed. Equally­unstructured­questions­of­the­type­t+h+w=1­will­confuse­some­pupils.­Some­will­ just­not­have­the­confidence­or­skill­to­actually­start­the­process,­even­with­encouragement.­ Be­prepared­to­lead­more­than­you­might­want! Angle­work­enters­a­new­world­where­a­key­value­is­90,­not­100­and­where­the­length­of­ the­two­lines­which­meet­to­make­an­angle­do­not­effect­the­size/­value­of­the­angle. There­are­ample­examples­of­angles­around­us­in­everyday­life­which­can­be­used­to­set­ the­picture­for­this­section.­Again­it­is­possible­to­build­on­what­the­pupil­knows,­but­may­ not­have­internalised­or­related.­Right­angles­abound­and­it­is­easy­to­show­aspects­of­two,­ three­and­four­right­angles.­A­clock­face­is­a­good­source­for­360°,­30°,­90°,­180°,­270°­ and­so­on.­A­square­shows­45°.­Make­sure­the­pupils­have­a­sound­foundation­on­which­to­ build their concepts.

Problems involving ‘real life’, money and measures
The­Numeracy­Strategy­provides­ample­opportunity­for­reviews,­revisits­and­revision.­This­ overlearning­is­a­strong­positive­factor­in­the­acquisition­of­numeracy­skills.­Additionally,­the­ interlinking­of­different­sections­can­be­used­to­help­develop­and­consolidate­concepts. So­word­problems­occur­again­giving­another­chance­to­explore­the­meaning­and­uses­ of­mathematical­vocabulary. This­ section­ allows­ teachers­ to­ introduce­ some­ truly­ ‘real­ life’­ work,­ such­ as­ money,­ exchange­rates­and­measures.­It­would­seem­an­ideal­section­in­which­to­use­manipulative­ materials­such­as­coins,­bottles,­scales­and­such.­Let­pupils­experience­100­g,­100­ml­and­see­ everyday­recognisable­examples­to­give­them­a­basis­for­judging­their­answers­in­this­area. For­ foreign­ exchange­ it­ would­ be­ good­ to­have­ some­foreign­ currency,­and­ possibly­ discuss­which­values­of­coins­and­notes­are­chosen­and­why.­(For­example,­the­UK­works­ on­1,­2,­5,­10,­20,­50,­100,­etc.)

What the curriculum asks pupils 49 When­dealing­with­recipes,­talk­about­the­reality­of­proportions­when­calculations­may­ lead to eggs. Perhaps do some costing for recipes. With­ questions­ on­ time,­ remind­pupils­that­for­time­60­and­12­ are­the­key­numbers.­ Practise­counting­through­a­minute­and­an­hour­(58­seconds,­59­seconds,­60­seconds…1­ minute,­and­58­minutes,­59­minutes,­60­minutes…1­hour). There can be some conceptual problems with the 24 hour clock. The two most likely confusions­are­with­20:00­hours­(8­p.m.)­and­22:00­hours­(10­p.m.),­so­try­to­pre-empt­the­ difficulty.­The­clock­is­now­the­only­base­12­experience­children­will­have.

Handling data
Probability This­is­a­topic­which­lends­itself­to­discussion­around­events­which­are­within­a­pupil’s­ experience­and­from­which­the­mathematical­groundwork­can­be­naturally­derived.­Probability­is­‘everyday’,­covering­topics­such­as­the­chance­that­it­will­rain­to­the­probability­ of­it­being­an­‘Eastenders’­night. It­allows­involvement­of­all­pupils­and­is­an­area­of­maths­which,­at­this­stage,­is­not­ a­matter­of­producing­an­exact­answer­to­be­correct.­In­this­introductory­stage,­pupils­can­ get­a­feel­of­probability­values­(and­perhaps­a­more­rational­understanding­of­risks­that­are­ often­overstated).­As­ever,­it­allows­for­some­cross­linking­to­other­topics.­For­example,­ an­understanding­of­fractions­may­be­improved­when­considering­probabilities­such­as­ compared to

Organising and interpreting data
Collecting­and­classifying­data­is­usually­a­less­stressful­and­less­judgmental­activity.­With­ careful instruction all pupils should produce acceptable work in this area. The word frequency­may­cause­some­confusion­and­needs­good­and­clear­definition. There­ is­ good­ computer­ software­ which­ prints­ out­ charts,­ giving­ an­ opportunity­ to­ d ­ iscuss­the­clarity­and­appropriateness­of­presentation.­This­can­also­circumvent­the­drawing­ problems­ some­ pupils­ may­ exhibit­ (for­ example,­ dyspraxic­ pupils).­ Alternatively,­ pupils­could­be­given­support­by­supplying­a­partially­completed­graph,­say­with­the­axes­ already­drawn­and­labelled,­or­a­data­sheet­with­the­chart­already­drawn­and­ready­for­the­ pupil to use for her collection of data. There­are­sets­of­data­that­can­be­collected­which­allow­the­involvement­of­all­pupils,­ for­example,­the­colours­of­cars­or­vans­passing­by­the­school,­the­heights­of­pupils,­shoe­ sizes,­dates­of­birth­(i.e.­the­day­of­the­month),­particular­words­in­a­newspaper,­comics/­ magazines,­popular­sweets­and­so­on. For­ line­ graphs­ pupils­ need­ to­ know­ the­ significance­ of­ starting­ an­ axis­ at­ a­ value­ other­than­zero­(and­how­this­can­distort­the­relative­values­of­data—a­qualitative­link­to­ p ­ roportion).­The­labelling­of­axes­is­another­habit­that­pupils­need­to­acquire.

50

The Trouble with Maths

This­ section­ also­ acts­ as­ an­ early­ experience­ of­ averages­ as­ a­ ‘central’­ measure­ and­ an­opportunity­to­evaluate­data­objectively.­This­should­again­give­good­opportunity­for­ realistic inclusion.

Measures, shape and space
The­shape­and­space­section­could­show­up­a­new­group­of­pupils­who­have­strengths­in­ maths­and­another­group­which­find­these­concepts­more­difficult.

Measures
This­section­allows­ample­scope­to­work­on­pupils’­existing­experiences­and­bring­together­ experiences­to­create­understandings­and­concepts.­For­example,­pupils­know­the­standard­ soft drink can size and can be shown that this is close to of a litre. This fraction can then be shown­in­terms­of­cl­and­ml.­The­contents­of­a­can­can­be­measured­exactly­and­the­result­ used­for­discussion­on­averages­and­the­place­of­precise­and­approximate­measurements­ in­ everyday­ life.­ The­ new­ work­ can­ be­ built­ around­ everyday­ experience­ and­ previous­ numeracy­knowledge,­combining­revision­and­awareness­to­develop­understanding. The­metric­prefixes­of­m,­c,­d,­and­k­are­not­always­perceived­to­be­consistent.­This­ may­in­part­be­due­to­the­kilogram,­which­is­an­anomaly­compared­to­the­metre­and­the­ litre.­Also,­the­kilometre­is­often­viewed­as­a­separate­unit­to­the­metre,­since­the­scale­ and­ use­ of­ this­ unit­ is­ not­ necessarily­ connected­ to­ the­ relatively­ small­ scale,­ everyday­ sized­metre.­These­areas­may­well­need­to­be­addressed­explicitly.­It­is­both­important­and­ extremely­useful­to­know­that­the­metric­prefixes­are­consistent.­(I­do­feel­that­examiners­ and­ writers­ of­ exercise/­text­ books­ sometimes­ inadvertently­ exacerbate­ this­ problem­ by­ s ­ etting­deliberately­confusing­questions.) The confusions which might arise in this section can be reduced by using the ample opportunities­available­to­show­real­items­which­relate­the­theory­to­experience­and­give­ pupils a baseline image for measures. Reading­from­scales­is­an­important,­cross­curriculum­skill­and­estimating­a­reading­ which­falls­between­divisions­is­a­good­estimation­skill­which­relates­back­to­‘Numbers­ and­the­Number­System’.­Using­a­large­scale­(that­is­with­big­distances­between­divisions)­ should­ help.­ Circular­ and­ curved­ scales­ should­ also­ be­ demonstrated.­ (This­ also­ offers­ some­revision­of­proportion.) Areas­ may­ need­ a­ fundamental­ revision­ before­ moving­ to­ the­ new­ work.­ It­ always­ impresses­ me­ that­ 7×7­ is­ an­ area­ very­ close­ to­ half­ of­ 10×10.­This­ shift­ in­ comparison­ parameters­is­demanding­and­may­well­be­helped­by­building­up­some­‘easy’­areas­with­ unifix­cubes­or­similar. Basic­reference­values,­such­as­100­mm=1­cm­and­10,000­cm=1­m­need­to­be­acceptable­ as well as remembered. Perimeter­and­area­can­be­confused­during­calculations,­so­it­is­helpful­to­establish­a­ clear­picture­in­pupils’­minds­for­each­word.­A­simple­link­such­as­perimeter­fence­(which­ infers­a­line)­may­suffice.­It­is­also­useful­to­emphasise­the­units­used­and­to­create­a­visual­ image­of­a­square­centimetre­and­a­square­metre.

What the curriculum asks pupils 51 Reading­from­timetables­requires­tracking­skills.­Pupils­who­do­not­have­this­skill­will­ need­structured,­small­step­instruction­to­learn­the­skill.­An­L-shaped­piece­of­card­may­ help­with­the­actual­process­of­tracking.­A­possible­practise­topic­is­a­number­square­or­ times­table­square.­Most­rail­companies­have­summary­timetables­giving­only­two­or­three­ destinations­(for­example­there­is­a­timetable­for­just­Exeter,­Taunton­and­London).­These­ offer easier tracking tasks.

Shape and space
The­language­content­around­shapes­is­quite­complex.­There­are­some­benefits­in­words­ like­scalene­and­isosceles­in­the­ sense­that­they­are­not­used­in­other­contexts­and­with­ other­meanings.­There­is­a­considerable­new­vocabulary­to­learn­and­some­help­may­be­ needed,­for­example­explaining­that­‘iso’­means­same­and­that­‘octo’­refers­to­eight­as­in­ octopus. Some­children­will­find­two­dimensional­representations­of­three­dimensional­shapes­ difficult.­Explicit­instruction,­based­on­real­shapes­should­help. For­ coordinates,­ the­ most­ likely­ error­ will­ be­ in­ mixing­ up­x and y coordinates. The simple­mnemonic­‘along­the­corridor­(x) and up the stairs (y)’­may­help­give­the­correct­ order. Angle­values,­as­with­any­values,­need­a­reference­example­which­is­automatised.­For­ angles­the­most­likely­value­is­90°­and­from­this­can­be­derived­(and­visualised)­45°,­30°,­ 60°,­ 10°,­ 110°,­ 135°,­ 150°­and­ so­on.­Work­ on­ complementary­angles­ (adding­to­ 180°)­ provides­a­little­revision­of­subtraction­and­addition­skills­and­on­recognising­the­closeness­ of­90­to­100­and­180­to­200. Shape­and­space­is­a­visual­topic­and­must­be­accompanied­by­visual­teaching­materials.­ Development­of­this­skill­is­via­hands-on­materials,­for­example­pupils­should­have­nets­ which­they­can­handle­and­shape­before­they­advance­to­doing­this­purely­by­visualising.

Chapter­4­ Thinking styles in mathematics
Introduction
The­ designers­ of­ mathematics­ curricula­ across­ the­ world­ seem­ to­ be­ moving­ to­ some­ s ­ imilar­conclusions.­One­of­which­is­that­the­curriculum­must­encourage­flexible­thinking.­ P ­ resumably­ this­ is­ to­ encourage­ good­ problem­ solving­ skills­ to­ complement­ good­ computational skills. Formulas,­ procedures­ and­ accurate­ and­ swift­ recall­ of­ facts­ will­ lead­ to­ success­ in­ number­work,­but­countries­need­problem­solvers­as­well­as­computationally­adept­pupils­ (particularly­when­calculators­and­computers­are­readily­available).

Two thinking styles
Several­researchers­have­suggested­that­there­are­two­styles­of­thinking­for­mathematics,­ extremes­at­the­ends­of­a­continuum.­Ideally­learners­should­be­able­to­move­appropriately­ between­styles­as­they­solve­problems.­Two­American­colleagues­and­I­studied­thinking­ styles,­which­they­had­labelled­‘inchworm’­and­‘grasshopper’.­Grasshoppers­are­holistic,­ intuitive­and­resist­documenting­methods.­Inchworms­are­formulaic,­procedural,­sequential­ and need to document. The two styles are described and compared in Table­4.1. M.R.Marolda­and­P.S.Davidson,­researchers­from­the­USA,­also­tabulated­(Table 4.2)­ the­characteristics­of­what­they­call­Mathematics­Learning­Style­I­(similar­to­the­inchworm)­ and­Mathematics­Learning­Style­II­(similar­to­the­grasshopper).1 By describing learning style­ as­ opposed­ to­ thinking­ style­ they­ take­ in­ a­ broader­ picture,­ but­ describe­ similar­ patterns to those in Table­4.1. The­ impact­of­ this­ construct­is­ often­ under-rated.­ It­seems­obvious­that­ the­way­that­ learners­think­will­be­a­very­critical­factor­in­the­way­they­learn­and­in­the­way­they­are­ taught. The­three­examples­below­illustrate­thinking­styles­in­operation. Table 4.1 Thinking styles of the inchworm and the grasshopper Inchworm
First approach to a problem 1 2

Grasshopper
Overviews,­holistic,­puts­together. Looks at the numbers and facts to ­ estimate­an­answer,­or­narrow­down the­range­of­answers.­Controlled­ exploration. Answer-oriented.

Focuses on the parts and details. 1 Looks at the numbers and facts to select a suitable formula or procedure. Formula,­procedure-oriented 2

Solving­the­ problem

3

3

Thinking styles in mathematics 53
4 5 6 Constrained­focus.­Uses­one­ method. Works­in­serially­ordered­steps,­ usually forward. Uses­numbers­exactly­as­given. 4 5 6 Flexible­focus.­Uses­a­range­of­ methods. Often works back from a trial answer. Adjusts,­breaks­down/­builds­ up numbers to make an easier calculation. Rarely­documents­method.­Performs­calculations­mentally­(and­ i ­ntuitively). Likely­to­appraise­and­evaluate­ answer against original estimate. Checks­by­an­alternative­method/­­ procedure. Good­understanding­of­number,­ methods and relationships.

7

More comfortable with paper and­pen.­Documents­method. Unlikely­to­check­or­evaluate­ answer.­If­a­check­is­done­it­ will­be­by­the­same­procedure/­­ method. Often does not understand procedures­or­values­of­numbers.­ Works mechanically.

7

Checking­and­ evaluating­ answers

8

8

9

9

Thinking style and computation
Thinking­style­will­influence­how­a­learner­uses­numbers­and­the­operations­(+,­−,­×,­÷). Inchworms­see­numbers­and­the­symbols­for­operations­literally.­In­the­example­below,­ 98­is­seen­as­just­98,­not­as­a­number­very­close­to­100.­Indeed­if­you­ask­an­inchworm­ to­adjust­98­to­an­easier­number­they­may­not­relate­to­the­question­and­if­they­do­try­to­ answer­they­may­well­say­96.­They­will­go­into­subtraction­mode­applying­the­subtraction­ rules­automatically,­probably­with­little­or­no­understanding­of­the­maths­behind­the­procedure­(Figure­4.1).

Figure 4.1­Subtraction­the­inchworm­way Table 4.2­Mathematics­learning­styles­I­and­II Mathematics Learning Style I
Highly­reliant­on­verbal­skills.

Mathematics Learning Style II
Prefers perceptual stimuli and often reinterprets abstract­situations­visually­or­pictorially.

54

The Trouble with Maths
Likes­to­deal­with­big­ideas;­doesn’t­want­to­be­ bothered with the details.

Tends­to­focus­on­individual­details­or­ single aspects of a situation. Sees­the­‘trees’,­but­overlooks­the­ ‘forest’. Prefers­HOW­to­WHY.

Prefers­WHY­to­HOW.

Relies­on­a­preferred­sequence­of­steps­to­ Prefers­non-sequential­approaches­involving­patterns­ pursue a goal. and interrelationships. Reliant­on­teacher­for­THE­approach. Lack­of­versatility. Challenged­by­perceptual­demands. Prefers­quizzes­or­unit­tests­to­more­ c ­ omprehensive­final­exams. Challenged­by­demands­for­details­or­the­ r ­ equirement­for­precise­solutions. Prefers performance based or portfolio type assessments to typical tests. More comfortable recognising correct solutions than generating them. Prefers­comprehensive­exams.

If­the­question­had­been­asked­as­mental­arithmetic,­then­the­load­on­short­term­memory­ and­visualising­the­process­in­the­mind­would­be­significant.­If­the­learner­has­those­skills­ then­the­method­is­acceptable­even­if­not­efficient. The­grasshopper­will­use­his­good­sense­of­number­values­and­the­interrelationship­of­ operations. ♦­­ The­97­will­be­rounded­up­to­100­(by­3); ♦­­ The­(simple)­subtraction­340−100­gives­240; ♦­­ The­grasshopper­knows­that­this­intermediate­answer­is­smaller­than­the­correct­ answer­(by­3); ♦­­ Adding­3­takes­him­to­the­correct­answer­of­243. The­load­on­short­term­memory­is­less.­There­is­less­need­to­visualise­the­process­in­your­ mind.­The­method­uses­good­awareness­of­number­values.

Thinking style and problem solving
Question­Which­stall­at­a­fair­raises­£90,­if­the­total­raised­is­£500­and
tombola takes books takes cakes takes spinner takes crafts takes 34% 11% 23% 18% 14% of­the­total?

An­inchworm­methodically­calculates,­starting­at­the­top­of­the­list

Thinking styles in mathematics 55

A­grasshopper­looks­at­the­same­question­and­writes­£90.­The­teacher­asks­‘Where­is­ your­working­out?’­‘Didn’t do any’­‘So­how­did­you­do­it?’­‘Just knew.’­‘No­working,­no­ marks.’­How­the­grasshopper­did­the­question­was­to­overview­all­the­percentages­and­see­ that­among­the­percentages,­only­one­was­a­multiple­of­nine.­Eighteen­is­a­multiple­of­nine,­ so­18%­must­be­the­answer.­Is­that­explanation­acceptable,­even­if­documented?

Thinking style and shape and space problems
What is the area of the shaded part of Figure 4.2?­ (A­ written­ answer,­ with­ method­ is­ expected,­or­a­verbal­explanation.) An­inchworm­with­few­mathematical­skills­may­well­simply­count­the­squares.­A­more­ math-ematically sophisticated inchworm will analyse the parts­of­the­figure,­seeing­a­triangle,­a­square­and­two­thin­rectangles.­Then,­if­he­brings­a­knowledge­of­area­to­the­problem­ he may well calculate the area of the triangle from the formula onto­the­square­and­the­‘legs’. ­×base×height­and­thus­

Figure 4.2­What­is­the­area­of­the­shaded­figure?

56

The Trouble with Maths
= = = = 4×4=16 4 4 subtotal 24 subtotal­28 total 32

Head/­triangle­area Body/­square­area leg­1­area leg 2 area

The­ addition­ of­ the­ area­ of­ each­ part­ is­ likely­ to­ be­ sequential­ and­ irrespective­ of­ any­ number­bonds­for­ten,­as­in­adding­a­leg­to­the­body­to­make­20.­Inchworms­tend­not­to­ overview­or,­indeed­look­ahead. On­the­positive­side,­the­inchworm­will­be­able­to­document­his­method,­quote­formulae­ and­show­that,­even­if­he­makes­an­error­with­the­calculation,­he­has­knowledge­of­area­ calculations. The­grasshopper­may­seek­to­redesign­and­simplify­the­problem.­He­will­take­a­holistic­ view,­trying­to­put­the­parts­together,­so­the­triangle­is­‘seen’­as­half­of­a­4×4­square.­The­ gap­between­the­two­legs­is­also­half­of­a­4×4­square,­so­the­triangle­can­be­used­to­fill­that­ gap­and­make­a­4×8­rectangle­giving­an­area­of­32.­This­method­is­far­more­difficult­for­ the pupil to document.2

Thinking styles and the National Numeracy Strategy
There­will­be­expectations­with­thinking­style­implications­for­pupils­learning­mathematics.­ A­specific­example­is­when­learners­are­expected­to­be­able­to­estimate­answers­to­simple­ numerical­calculations.­A­more­general­expectation­is­ that­pupils­show­flexibility­ in­the­ way they handle mathematics. The­ National­ Numeracy­ Strategy­ states­ a­ number­ of­ outcomes­ (which­ really­ are­ e ­ xpectations)­ that­ pupils­ should­ achieve.­ Some­ of­ these­ are­ related­ to­ inchworm­ thinking­and­some­to­the­grasshopper­style­of­thinking.­Krutetskii,­a­psychologist­and­mathematician­ specified­ flexibility­ of­ thinking­ as­ one­ of­ the­ key­ requisites­ for­ being­ a­ good­ m ­ athematician.­The­National­Council­of­Teachers­of­Mathematics­(USA)­also­lists­flexibility­as­one­of­the­characteristics­of­good­mathematicians.­This­requirement­seems­to­me­ to­have­face­validity,­that­is­it­just­feels­sensible­and­right.­It­is­possible­to­survive­maths­as­ an­inchworm,­though­there­are­a­number­of­essential­skills­needed­to­make­this­an­effective­style,­for­example­a­good­memory­for­sequential­information.­It­is­less­likely­that­a­ grasshopper­will­survive­school­maths,­especially­at­higher­levels­where­documentation­is­ essential,­but­it­is­likely­he­will­be­successful­at­‘life­maths’.­So­ultimately­it­is­not­the­end­ of­the­world­if­your­maths­thinking­style­is­at­either­extreme,­but­in­the­school­environment­ it­will,­inevitably,­be­more­of­a­problem.­As­an­adult­who­can­usually­avoid­some­maths,­if­ not­all­maths,­it­is­less­critical­that­you­are­not­a­flexible­thinker,­but­in­general­terms­as­a­ problem­solver,­it­is­going­to­be­better­if­you­can­develop­flexible­thinking.­So­schools­can­ help­and,­as­ever,­awareness­of­the­implications­of­everything­you­teach­and­how­you­teach­ it­is­an­important­factor.­It­is­back­to­‘What­else­are­you­teaching?’ The­NNS­encourages­pupils­to­share­their­different­methods­and­for­teachers­to­present­ different­methods.­This­will­require­good­sales­techniques.­Some­pupils­will­just­not­want­ to buy into different methods because they think one is enough and two or more will be

Thinking styles in mathematics 57 confusing.­Each­method­should­illustrate­another­facet­of­number­and,­even­if­the­pupil­ doesn’t­adopt­the­method,­an­exposure­to­a­different­way­of­perceiving­a­problem­should­ be­beneficial. I­have­listed­the­outcomes­that­the­NNS­expects­of­pupils.­Where­the­text­is­plain,­the­ outcome­is­inchworm­biased,­when­the­text­is­italic,­the­outcome­is­more­favourable­to­a­ grasshopper­thinking­style.­Underlined­text­is­not­thinking­style­specific. The­NNS­states­that­your­pupils­should: ♦­­ have a sense of the size of a number and where it fits in the number system; ♦­­ know­by­heart­number­facts­such­as­number­bonds­(10),­multiplication­tables,­doubles and halves; ♦­­ use what they know by heart to figure out answers mentally; ♦­­ calculate­accurately­and­efficiently,­both mentally­and­with­paper­and­pen,­drawing on a range of calculation strategies; ♦­­ explain­their­methods­and­reasoning­using­correct­mathematical­terms; ♦­­ judge whether their answers are reasonable and have strategies for checking them where necessary; ♦­­ recognise­when­it­is­appropriate­to­use­a­calculator­and­be­able­to­do­so­effectively; ♦­­ make sense of number problems, including non-routine problems, and recognise the operations­needed­to­solve­them. Some­examples­of­methods­advocated­by­the­NNS­that­could­be­classified­as­grasshopper­include: ♦­­ In­Year­1­pupils­are­encouraged­to­explore­all­the­pairs­of­numbers­which­add­to­6. ♦­­ In­Year­2­the­mental­addition­16+7­is­shown­as­16+4+3­and­22−7­is­22−2−5=15. ♦­­ In­Year­3­the­four­times-table­facts­are­obtained­by­doubling­the­two­times-table­facts. ♦­­ In­Year­4­pupils­practise­responding­rapidly­to­oral­or­written­questions,­explaining the strategy used.­(Sadly­there­is­still­this­need­to­do­maths­quickly,­which­is­not­so­good­ for­many­dyslexics.) ♦­­ In­Year­5­(continue)­to­add/­subtract­9,­19,­29…or­11,­21,­31…by­adding­or­subtracting­ 10,­20,­30…then­adjusting.­A­Year­5­pupil­is­taught­to­‘see’­1.5+1.6­as­double­1.5­plus­ 0.1. ♦­­ In­Years­5­and­6­pupils­are­asked­to­find­percentages­by­halving­and­quartering­and­halving­again,­as­in­finding­12.5%­of­£36­000­by­halving­three­times­and­in­finding­75%­of­ £300­by­halving­to­get­50%,­halving­again­to­get­25%­and­adding­to­obtain­75%.­This­ is­inter-relating­numbers,­building­up­and­breaking­down­numbers. Some­examples­from­the­NNS­that­could­be­classified­as­inchworm­include; ♦­­ Knowing­facts­by­heart­in­Year­1. ♦­­ In­Year­2­find­a­small­difference­between­a­pair­of­numbers­using­counting. ♦­­ Using­number­lines­for­addition­in­Year­3. ♦­­ In­Year­4­using­standard­written­methods­for­short­multiplication. ♦­­ Using­standard­written­methods­for­addition­and­subtraction­in­Years­5­and­6. The­NNS­advocates­a­mixture­of­thinking­styles­(without­actually­articulating­this­as­ a­policy).­Such­implications­exist­in­the­curiculum­statements­of­other­countries,­too,­for­

58

The Trouble with Maths

example­in­Eire,­the­Mathematics­Curriculum­of­1999­is­structured­to­‘enable­the­teacher­ to­cater­for­individual­differences­in­ability,­previous­learning­and­learning­style.’­While­in­ Hong­Kong,­the­curriculum­includes: Fostering general abilities and skills.­It­is­important­that­students­need­to­develop­ their­capabilities­to­learn­how­to­learn,­to­think­logically­and­creatively,­to­develop­ and­use­knowledge,­to­analyse­and­solve­problems,­to­access­information­and­process­ it­effectively­and­to­communicate­with­others­so­that­they­can­meet­the­challenges­ that­ confront­ them­ now­ and­ in­ the­ future.­Acquiring­ mathematics­ knowledge­ has­ always­been­emphasised,­but­fostering­these­general­abilities­and­skills­are­strongly­ advocated­for­all­students­in­the­revised­curriculum.

Can you change or influence thinking style?
First­you­have­to­ask­‘Would­it­be­a­good­idea?’­Basically­the­wisdom­for­maths­is­that­ learners­ need­ to­ be­ able­ to­ draw­ on­ both­ thinking­ styles,­ maybe­ even­ in­ the­ course­ of­ s ­ olving­a­single­question.­Learners­might­start­with­the­overviewing­skills­of­the­grasshopper,­moving­onto­the­documenting­and­procedural­skills­of­the­inchworm­and­finally­checking­ the­ answer­ using­ the­ appraising­ skills­ of­ the­ grasshopper.­Also­ some­ questions­ and­ topics­lend­themselves­more­to­one­thinking­style.­For­example,­mental­arithmetic­is­better­ for­grasshoppers,­whilst­algebra­is­more­inchworm­friendly.­So­the­question­becomes,­can­ you­teach­learners­to­make­appropriate­use­of­both­styles? Returning­for­a­moment­to­the­first­form­of­the­question,­a­European­study­carried­out­ with­colleagues­in­the­UK,­Holland­and­Ireland­showed­that­the­design­of­the­maths­curriculum­can­have­an­influence­on­thinking­style.­It­also­showed­that­many­learners­can­be­ taught­flexible­thinking,­but,­inevitably­there­will­be­those­who­are­exceptions.­There­will­ be­those­whose­thinking­style­is­so­fixed­that­they­can­only­be­taught­in­that­dominant­style.­ For­example­George­was­an­extreme­inchworm.­As­an­eleven­year­old­he­would­draw,­with­ a­ruler,­large,­complex­and­extremely­detailed­pictures­of­fantasy­army­vehicles.­Despite­ more­than­four­years­of­encouraging­flexibility­in­his­approach­to­maths­we­had­to­accept­ that he was a terminal inchworm. We taught him methods that acknowledged this and he achieved­a­Grade­D­in­GCSE­maths.­Typical­of­his­problem­solving­was­a­trial­and­adjust­ question:
Question The formula V­is­the­volume­in­cm ­gives­the­approximate­volume­of­a­sphere.
3

d is the diameter in cm

A­sphere­has­a­volume­of­120­cm3. Use­trial­and­improvement­to­find­the­diameter,­correct­to­1­decimal place. Use­the­table­to­record­your­trials.­The­first­is­done­for­you­(see­Figure 4.3).

Thinking styles in mathematics 59 d too small
5 6 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 91.5 98.3 105.5 113.1 121.7 62.5 129.6

V too large

Figure 4.3 Trial and adjust the inchworm way As­you­can­see­George­had­a­procedure,­which­did­not­include­evaluating­each­trial.­He­ went­straight­to­6,­saw­the­value­it­gave­for­V­was­too­big,­but­did­not­evaluate­or­appreciate­ how­close­this­value­of­V­was­to­the­target­answer­of­120.­He­used­his­secure­inchworm­ strategy—start­in­the­middle,­5.5,­and­work­up,­which­he­did­meticulously­0.1­at­a­time­till­ he­arrived­(just­as­the­space­in­the­table­was­about­to­run­out)­at­his­answer,­5.9­cm. So,­the­answer­is­‘Usually,­yes,­but­not­with­everyone.’­If­you­can­you­should.­If­you­ can’t­then­you­may­do­more­harm­than­good­and­you­should­teach­to­the­entrenched­style.­ This­ decision­ may­ be­ linked­ to­ where­ the­ learner­ is­ in­ his­ educational­ career.­ If­ he­ is­ approaching­GCSE­then­it­is­too­late­to­try­such­a­change.­Impending­examinations­create­ different priorities. During­our­European­study­on­thinking­style­we­asked­pupils­as­they­worked­through­ questions­which­were­designed­to­diagnose­their­thinking­style,­‘How­did­you­do­that?’­ and­then­a­follow­up­question,­‘Can­you­think­of­another­way­to­do­the­question?’­After­ six­months­in­the­school­we­retested­and­the­percentage­of­pupils­who­could­think­of­an­ alternative­method­had­more­than­doubled.­Now­our­hypothesis­was­not­that­the­style­of­ teaching­ was­ the­ main­ cause,­ though­ it­ does­ lead­ to­ increased­ flexibility­ over­ a­ longer­ period­of­time,­but­that­it­was­mainly­the­ethos­of­the­classroom­which­allowed­pupils­to­ explore­different­approaches.­The­work­was­done­pre-NNS­and­the­results­may­be­different­ now.­This­key­philosophy­of­the­NNS­seems­to­me­to­be­one­of­the­best­components­of­its­ structure. Finally,­ remember­ that­ the­ uncertain­ learner­ often­ likes­ the­ security­ of­ the­ familiar,­ even­if­the­familiar­is­not­all­that­successful.­Teachers­may­have­to­do­the­hard­sell­on­that­ alternative­method.

How do you teach flexible thinking style?
The­design­of­the­curriculum­is­a­great­influence.­If­it­actively­encourages­flexibility­then­ most­learners­will­adapt.­If­it­dictates­limited­methods­then­most­pupils­will­not­explore­ alternatives.­It­is­a­classic­example­of­the­interaction­between­the­cognitive­and­the­affective­ domains.

60

The Trouble with Maths

The­ethos­of­the­classroom­is­another­key­factor.­If­learners­are­encouraged­to­explore­ different­methods­and­their­efforts­are­praised­and­appreciated­(children­are­adept­at­spotting­false­praise)­then­they­will­generate­a­learning­culture­of­flexible­thinking.­Like­the­ CASE3­and­CAME4­programmes­I­believe­that­thinking­style­teaching­should­be­integrated­ into the curriculum rather than be taught as a separate skill. So,­as­promoted­by­the­NNS­pupils­can­be­encouraged­to­share­and­discuss­different­ methods.­There­is­a­need­to­manage­the­extreme­inchworms­who­may­be­confused­by­too­ much­choice,­but­valuing­different­approaches­will­encourage­flexibility.­Once­again­the­ culture­of­speed­may­be­counter-productive.­If­we­are­encouraging­pupils­to­read,­digest,­ analyse­and­comprehend­questions­then­the­pressure­of­speed­may­discourage­them­from­ doing­that.­It­should­be­that­there­are­set­times­and­topics­where­a­more­reflective­approach­ is encouraged. Two­key­grasshopper­skills­an­inchworm­should­adopt: 1­­ Inter-relating­numbers,­for­example,­seeing­9­as­1­less­than­10,­seeing­5­as­half­of­10. 2­­ Overviewing­any­problem,­for­example­reading­to­the­end­before­starting­or­getting­a­ feel of what the answer may be. Two­key­inchworm­skills­a­grasshopper­should­adopt: 1­­ Explaining­their­methods. 2­­ Documenting­their­methods. As­a­first­example­of­teaching­pupils­to­be­flexible­thinkers­whilst­acknowledging­potential­ gaps­in­sub-skills,­let’s­take­a­column­addition.­Take­ten­two­digit­numbers­at­random.
Start­by­eliminating­combinations­of­unit­digits­which­add­to­10 4+6=10 1+9=10 8+2=10

49 5+3+2=10 9 just­a­9­left,­and­a­total­of­four­tens­(40)

The same strategy is used for the tens digits. This­method: ♦­­ revises­the­number­bonds­for­10; ♦­­ reduces­the­risks­of­addition­errors;

Thinking styles in mathematics 61 ♦­­ reduces­the­load­on­short­term­memory; ♦­­ and­consequently­is­low­stress. This method is more grasshopper style. An­ alternative­ method,­ which­ is­ more­ towards­ the­ inchworm­ style­ is­to­use­markers­ every­time­additions­go­above­nine.­So,­as­the­units­digits­are­added­from­top­down, 3+1=4­4+4=8­8+9=17 a­strike­is­put­through­the­9­to­represent­the­10­and­the­addition­continues­with­the­7 7+8=15 so­another­strike­is­used,­this­time­through­the­8.­The­5­is­carried­onwards 5+2=7­7+6=13 so­another­strike­is­used,­this­time­through­the­6.­The­3­is­carried­onwards 3+2=5­5+9=14 so­a­fourth­strike­is­used,­this­time­through­the­9.­The­4­is­carried­onwards 4+5=9­which­is­written­in­the­units­total. There­are­four­strikes,­so­40­is­carried­as­4­tens­into­the­tens­column.­The­same­procedure­ is then used for the tens column.
23 51 74

12 42 +85 539

62

The Trouble with Maths

This­method: ♦­­ supports­short­term­memory; ♦­­ avoids­taking­the­pupil­to­any­total­beyond­19; ♦­­ is­structured­and­sequential; ♦­­ and­is­more­inchworm­friendly. The­ first­ method­ encourages­ pupils­ to­ scan­ down­ the­ numbers­ and­ spot­ the­ ‘10s’.­ The second­method­is­more­structured­and­is­less­likely­to­encourage­any­overview. A­good­question­to­ask­pupils­and­to­support­overviewing­is­to­ask­them­to­estimate­a­ total.­(There­are­ten­numbers.­If­they­span­the­range­of­10­to­99­reasonably­equally,­then­an­ acceptable­average­is­50­and­an­estimate­is­50×10=500. As­a­second­example­of­teaching­pupils­to­be­flexible­thinkers­let’s­take­a­word­problem­ about legs…
Question 1 On­a­farm­there­is­a­total­of­35­pigs­and­chickens.­If­the­total­number­of­legs­ for­these­pigs­and­chickens­is­120,­how­many­chickens­are­there­on­the­farm?

A­grasshopper­will­focus­on­the­numbers­involved,­that­is­35­and­120.­The­numbers­suggest­that­the­answer­is­likely­to­be­a­factor­of­5­and­there­are­likely­to­be­more­pigs.­So­try­ a­20/­15­split­(using­a­trial­and­adjust­approach,­but­selecting­numbers­in­a­logically­controlled way rather than just a random choice. 20×4=80­15×2−30 60+30=110 Since­this­is­too­few­legs­and­5­is­the­factor­to­consider,­move­to­a­25/­10­split­to­obtain­ more legs. 25×4=100­10×2=20­Total=120 There may be no documentation or perhaps just a couple of scribbled numbers. The grasshopper needs to be encouraged to articulate his method and to make notes that communicate his thinking processes. The­ inchworm­ with­ good­ algebra­ skills­ will­ set­ up­ simultaneous­ (that­ is,­ two)­ e ­ quations
p=number­of­pigs p+c=35 4p+2c=120 c=number­of­chickens (based­on­the­number­of­creatures) (based­on­the­number­of­legs)

These­will­then­be­solved­by­substitution,­say­of­p=35−c­into­the­second­equation­and­the­ answers will be p=25­c=10

Thinking styles in mathematics 63 The inchworm may­substitute­these­answers­back­ into­the­original­question­to­ check­ their accuracy. The inchworm needs to be encouraged to make an initial appraisal and an estimate of an answer,­even­if­it­is­just­back­at­the­‘Is­the­answer­bigger­or­smaller?’­which­in­this­case­is­ ‘Are­there­more­chickens­or­pigs?’ The­ grasshopper­ overview­ for­ Question­ 1­ depended­ on­ 5­ as­ a­factor­ in­ the­ numbers­ involved.­The­other­encouraging­numbers­are­1,­2­and­10.­There­may­be­a­slightly­different­ approach for Question 2.
Question 2 There­are­a­total­of­42­pigs­and­chickens­on­a­farm.­If­they­have­a­total­of­ 126­legs,­how­many­are­pigs?

The­inchworm­will­again­set­up­simultaneous­equations.­If­he­does­not­have­this­skill­or­ the­confidence­to­use­this­skill­then­he­may­try­trial­and­adjust,­but­the­choice­of­a­starting­ number­will­be­problematic­and­fairly­random.­It­is­unlikely­to­relate­to­an­appraisal­of­the­ numbers­in­the­question. The­grasshopper­may­well­appreciate­that­the­average­number­of­legs­for­a­pig­and­a­ chicken­is­3­and­that­3×2=6,­so­the­number­of­pigs­and­chickens­are­the­same­(to­give­the­ average­value­of­3)­and­thus­there­are­21­of­each­creature. If­he­doesn’t­sense­the­answer­so­precisely,­he­will­still­feel­that­the­numbers­are­near­ and­try­the­easy­split­of­22­and­20­and­then­adjust­to­21/­21. If­the­question­now­uses­‘unfriendly’­numbers,­then…
Question 3 The­number­of­pigs­and­the­number­of­chickens­on­a­farm­add­up­to­39.­The­ n ­ umbers­of­legs­add­up­to­124.­How­many­pigs­are­there?

The­inchworm­will­use­an­algebra­solution­again.­This­is­ideal­for­an­inchworm,­because­ he­has­been­able­to­solve­all­three­problems­with­the­same­method,­if­he­has­the­requisite­ skills. There­are­several­trial­and­adjust­style­methods­for­a­grasshopper­to­try.­A­grasshopper­ with­a­less­sophisticated­skill­of­controlled­exploration­may­just­start­with­40­(easier­ to­ compute­than­39). 40×4=160­He­can­then­adjust­back­to­39­pigs­to­obtain­156. Now­appraisal­skills­can­be­used­to­compare­156­with­the­target­number­of­124.­A­difference­ of­32­legs­suggests­there­should­be­16­chickens.­(If­one­chicken­is­exchanged­for­one­pig,­ there­will­be­2­less­legs).­Thus­there­are­23­pigs. A­ grasshopper­ may­ split­ 39­ into­ 19­ and­ the­ easy­ number­ 20­ (but­ still­ see­ the­ 19­ as­20−1). Then­a­first­trial­gives­
20×4=80 19×2=38 Total=118

64

The Trouble with Maths

‘Is­the­answer­smaller­or­bigger?’­takes­the­grasshopper­to­add­in­more­pigs.­To­reach­the­ target­number­of­124,­6­more­legs­are­needed­so­there­must­be­3­more­pigs.­Thus­there­are­ 23­pigs. In­ each­ example­ the­ inchworm­ was­ able­ to­ use­ the­ same­ algebraic­ procedure.­ The­ g ­ rasshopper­has­used­a­version­of­trial­and­adjust,­but­has­usually­worked­from­an­initial­ controlled­estimate­(that­is,­not­a­wild­guess).

Do teachers have different thinking styles?
I­have­lectured­to­teachers­about­thinking­style­for­many­years­and­usually­this­involves­ asking­the­group­to­do­some­maths­questions­which­can­be­used­to­diagnose­thinking­style.­ When­I­ask­the­group­to­decide­which­style­predominates­for­each­of­them,­the­show­of­ hands­is­almost­always­close­to­a­50/­50­split.­It’s­not­sophisticated­statistically,­but­by­now­ it­is­a­very­large­sample! Another­informal­survey­which­was­built­into­my­lectures­for­about­three­years­suggested­ that different teachers appraise the different styles of thinking of their pupils differently. A­Manchester­Metropolitan­University­study­showed­that­teachers­who­are­not­maths­ specialists­but­find­themselves­teaching­maths­may­well­regress,­out­of­insecurity,­to­the­ formulaic­methods­they­learnt­at­school,­in­the­same­way­that­insecure­pupils­do. Teachers need to realistically appraise their own thinking style when teaching maths and appraising maths and look at the pupils who sail through their lessons. Then they should look at the pupils who struggle and see if a mismatch of thinking style is a contributing factor. The­NNS­guides­teaches­towards­flexibility.­(In­fact­it­starts­predominantly­grasshopper­ and­ then­ gradually­ introduces­ more­ inchworm­ methods­ as­ the­ emphasis­ moves­ more­ towards­written­maths.) The­ English­ exam­ system­ encourages­ documentation­ which­ puts­ grasshoppers­ at­ a­ d ­ isadvantage.­ Lack­ of­ documentation­ at­A­ level­ may­ well­ result­ in­ failure,­ even­ if­ the­ answer is correct.

Encouraging flexible thinking style
Flexible­ thinking­ should­ permeate­ each­ lesson.­Teaching­ this­ flexibility­should­ begin­ at­ an­ early­ age.­ Some­ researchers­ state­ that­ thinking­ style­ is­ habitual,­ but­ my­ experience­ s ­ uggests­that­for­many­pupils­(not­all,­as­ever)­thinking­style­is­definitely­open­to­influence.­ Curriculum­can­influence­as­we­found­in­our­tri-country­study.­I­am­pleased­to­see­that­the­ key­requisites­of­the­grasshopper­style­are­set­into­the­early­years­programmes­of­the­NNS.­ There is a lot of content on inter-relating numbers and the four operations. Written methods and a more formulaic approach are gradually introduced as the curriculum progresses. One­of­the­other­key­lessons­is­to­encourage­learners­to­overview­and­review. The­old­teaching­adage­of­‘Tell­’em­what­you­are­going­to­teach,­teach­’em,­tell­’em­ what­ you’ve­ just­ taught­ them’­ could­ infer­ ‘supply­ an­ introductory­ overview,­ provide­ a­ detailed­ explanation­ and­ then­ review­ and­ appraise­ the­ whole­ process­ and­ results.’­You­ cover­the­cognitive­styles­and­teach­flexibility­and­thoroughness­in­working­processes. Different­methods­should­be­encouraged,­valued­and­evaluated.

Thinking styles in mathematics 65 As­an­example­of­using­different­methods­consider­how­the­relationship­of­the­numbers­ can affect the methods used when adding and subtracting. An inchworm will focus on the symbol­(+­or­−)­and­move­to­use­a­procedure­irrespective­of­the­numbers­involved.­For­ example­faced­with­600−594­an­ inchworm­is­likely­ to­start­decomposing­(urgh!)­ rather­ than appreciate that the closeness of the two numbers takes him to an easy solution.

Flexible methods for mental addition and subtraction
In­ each­ case­ I­ have­ listed­ the­ essential­ sub-skills­ needed­ to­ succeed­ when­ using­ each­ method. This may help teachers diagnose where and why a pupil may not be successful in­using­each­method.­Again­I­am­trying­to­help­teachers­focus­on­the­pupil­and­what­he­ brings to the maths problem.

1 Rounding up, e.g. 98→100 or 995→1000
For­example­where­one­number­is­near­ten,­hundred,­thousand,­etc.­such­as­758+196 196­is­rounded­up­to­200­and­added­to­758­to­give­998 4­is­subtracted­to­re-adjust­to­the­addition­of­196 giving­an­answer­of­994. What are the essential sub skills? ♦­­ An­appreciation­that­you­can­adjust­numbers­to­make­them­easier­to­use. ♦­­ A­knowledge­of­the­consequences­for­the­intermediate­answer­of­the­adjustment,­ knowing­if­this­intermediate­answer­is­bigger­or­smaller­than­the­final­answer. ♦­­ Knowing­how­to­make­this­adjustment. ♦­­ Knowing­basic­addition­facts­is­less­essential­in­this­strategy,­but­can­be­used­as­a­ check.­(In­this­example,­knowing­8+6=14­checks­the­units­digit). ♦­­ Remembering­the­question.

2 Balance and adjust
For­example­86−38 86­is­adjusted­to­88­by­adding­2 88−38=50 adjust­back­by­subtracting­2­to­give­48. What are the essential sub skills? ♦­­ An­appreciation­that­you­can­adjust­numbers­to­make­them­easier­to­use. ♦­­ A­knowledge­of­the­consequences­for­the­intermediate­answer­of­the­adjustment,­ knowing­if­this­intermediate­answer­is­bigger­or­smaller­than­the­final­answer. ♦­­ Knowing­how­to­make­this­adjustment.

66

The Trouble with Maths

♦­­ Knowing­basic­subtraction­facts­is­less­essential­in­this­strategy,­but­can­be­used­as­a­ check.­(In­this­example,­knowing­□6−□8=□8­checks­the­units­digit.) ♦­­ Remembering­the­question.

3 Counting on
This­is­such­an­early­skill,­used­for­examples­such­as­9–5,­but­now­involves­appreciating­ how­to­bridge­tens,­hundreds,­etc. This­ method­ lends­ itself­ to­ modelling­ with­ coins­ (and­ was­ used­ in­ shops­ prior­ to­ c ­ omputerised­tills). For­example­86−38 Start­with­38­and­add­to­reach­40(2) Add­tens­to­reach­80(40) Add­to­reach­86(6) Add­up­the­answers­from­the­three­steps­2+40+6=48. What are the essential sub skills? ♦­­ An­appreciation­that­you­can­add­instead­of­subtract. ♦­­ Knowing­how­to­make­this­adjustment. ♦­­ Appreciating­the­significance­of­the­place­values­of­tens,­hundreds,­etc. ♦­­ Knowing­how­much­to­add­each­time,­though­this­can­be­achieved­by­counting,­but­ with the potential to affect short term memory load. ♦­­ Remembering­the­intermediate­numbers­added­on­and­making­the­cumulative­total. ♦­­ Remembering­the­question.

4 Working from left to right
For­ many­ pupils­ mental­ methods­ are­ merely­ written­ methods­ they­ do­ in­ their­ heads,so­ adding from left to right will not be a natural inclination. For­example,­374+567­ Add­300­to­500­to­give­800 Add­70­to­60­to­give­130 Add­130­to­800­to­give­930 Add­4­to­7­to­give­11 Add­11­to­930­to­give­941. What are the essential sub skills? ♦­­ Knowing­addition­facts­(but­counting­on­is­a­possibility). ♦­­ Remembering­the­last­addition­each­time, ♦­­ Remembering the question.

Thinking styles in mathematics 67 This­ method­ has­ two­ memory­ benefits.­The­ answer­ is­ generated­ in­ the­ correct­ order­ of­ digits. The intermediate steps rehearse the intermediate answers.

5 Equal additions for subtraction
A method from my own school days. For­example­82−57 Although­not­essential­the­sum­is­usually­pictured­in­the­vertical­form:

Ten­is­added­to­the­2­to­make­12­so­the­units­subtraction­becomes­12−7(=5) An­equalising­ten­is­added­to­the­subtracting­number­so­the­50­becomes­60­and­the­final­ answer­is­25.­(I­confess­that­I­never­knew­how­this­worked,­but­it­did­and­I­got­the­necessary­ticks­for­my­subtractions.­I­was­particularly­bemused­by­the­fact­that­the­tens­digit­of­ the­subtracting­number­got­bigger.­I­understand­now­and­will­use­the­method­if­under­pressure­to­rush­out­an­answer­and­feel­secure­about­it­being­correct.­Old­habits­die­hard.) What are the essential sub skills? ♦­­ A­good­visual­memory. ♦­­ Adding­in­the­tens­in­the­correct­places. ♦­­ Good­recall­of­basic­facts­(counting­on­or­back­is­going­to­push­the­short­term­memory­ further­towards­overload). ♦­­ Blind­faith­in­the­method! ♦­­ An­ability­to­reverse­the­digits­of­the­derived­answer­(done­from­units­to­hundreds)­ back­into­the­correct­hundreds,­tens,­units­sequence. ♦­ An­ability­to­visualise­the­method­in­an­organised­and­clear­form.

6 Using the written algorithm mentally
The­learner­has­to­visualise­the­question­as­if­it­were­written­on­paper­and­be­able­to­hold­ that­image­and­work­on­it­as­the­computation­progresses­(see­p.22). What are the essential sub skills? ♦­­ A­good­visual­memory. ♦­­ Good­recall­of­basic­facts­(counting­on­or­back­is­going­to­push­the­short­term­memory­ further­towards­overload). ♦­­ Recall­of­procedures­for­carrying­or­decomposing. ♦­­ An­ability­to­reverse­the­digits­of­the­derived­answer­(done­from­units­to­hundreds)­ back­into­the­correct­hundreds,­tens,­units­sequence. ♦­­ Estimation­skills­for­a­crude­check­of­the­final­answer.­(Failure­using­this­method­is­ likely­to­be­a­long­way­from­the­correct­answer.)

68

The Trouble with Maths

To sum up
There­is­almost­always­more­than­one­way­to­solve­a­maths­problem,­however­simple­it­ seems­ to­ be.­ Children­ will­ become­ better­ problem­ solvers­ if­ they­ can­ think­ of­ ‘another­ way’­to­solve­a­problem.­This­will­also­help­them­check­their­answers­and­become­more­ confident­with­their­answers.­Adults­can­still­learn­this­skill,­though­in­the­case­of­adults­ the­skill­is­probably­already­there,­it­just­needs­drawing­out.­Learning­to­leave­the­old­skill­ behind­for­a­time­while­you­learn­another,­almost­contradictory­skill,­is­hard­for­any­sports­ player.­It’s­hard­to­do­in­academic­activities,­too.­The­old­safe­secure­methods­are­just­that,­ safe­and­secure.­They­may­be­inefficient,­but­the­early­stages­of­learning­the­new­skill­may­ appear­even­less­efficient.­Hopefully­that­will­change­and­the­new­skill­can­take­its­place­ alongside the old skill. The­ grasshopper­ style­ involves­ the­ key­ skill­ of­ overviewing­ and­ estimating­ and­ the­ inchworm­style­involves­the­key­skill­of­seeing­the­details­and­documenting­procedures.­ Encouraging­flexibility­in­thinking­style­is­yet­another­aspect­of­the­risk­taking­classroom­ ethos­needed­to­develop­successful,­non-anxious­mathematicians. Remember,­there­may­be­some­inchworms­and­some­grasshoppers­whose­thinking­style­ is­terminal­and­totally­impervious­to­change,­however­skilled­the­teacher!

Chapter­5­ Developmental perspectives
Much­of­maths­is­developmental.­Some­psychologists­write­about­a­hierarchy­of­cognitive­ development,­but­some­aspects­of­development­are­more­simple­than­that­and­others­are­ more­sophisticated.­Whenever­a­teacher­or­tutor­is­working­on­a­maths­topic­the­question­ ‘What­else­are­you­teaching?’­is­very­relevant.­It­may­be­that­a­concept­is­being­introduced­ or­that­a­previously­recognised­pattern­is­being­revisited­in­a­new­form.­Each­topic­is­likely­ to­be­setting­the­groundwork­for­future­topics,­so­there­is­a­need­to­know­where­the­maths­ is­going­when­taking­the­first­steps­on­that­mathematical­journey. At­a­later­the­stage­the­question­may­well­change­to­be­‘Where­did­this­problem­begin?’­ If­a­learner’s­grasp­on­mathematics­is­not­robust­his­learning­may­break­down­when­faced­ by­a­more­challenging­development. The­‘simple’­aspect­of­development­concerns­basic­skills­and­knowledge.­For­example,­ not­knowing­that­6×7=42­would­handicap­a­pupil­working­on­the­problem­26×17.­If­the­ marking­of­this­sum­is­based­purely­on­right/­wrong,­then­a­wrong­answer­is­a­wrong­answer­ and does not judge that the method has been mastered and lack of knowledge of one fact was­the­error.­The­pupil­cannot­develop­skills­in­long­multiplication­without­support­for­his­ deficit,­which­is,­in­this­example,­recall­of­basic­multiplication­facts. A­ more­ complex­ situation­ illustrates­ the­ multi-faceted­ aspects­ of­ progression.­ Faced­ with­a­question­such­as­635−197­an­inchworm­and­a­grasshopper­(Chapter­4)­will­use­quite­ different­procedures­to­obtain­their­answers.­Each­will­be­drawing­on­different­supporting­ skills­ and­ using­ different­ concepts.­ Let’s­ assume­ that­ both­ the­ inchworm­ pupil­ and­ the­ grasshopper pupil are skilled. The­inchworm­pupil­will­need­a­good­visual­memory­to­‘see’­the­sum­in­his­mind­as
635 −197

He­will­then­subtract­starting­at­units­moving­through­to­hundreds,­decomposing­merrily­ and­ then­ reversing­ the­ order­ of­ the­ digits­ from­ his­ workings­ to­ give­ an­ answer­ of­ 438.­ C ­ onceptually­ he­ has­ understood­ (or­ at­ least­ remembered)­ the­ procedure­ and­ he­ has­ the­ abilities­ to­ carry­ out­ the­ process.­ He­ may­ or­ may­ not­ understand­ decomposition­ (in­ its­ mathematical­sense). The­ grasshopper­ pupil­ will­ consider­ the­ values­ of­ the­ individual­ numbers­ and­ their­ r ­ elative­ values.­ He­ will­ perceive­ the­ 197­ as­ very­ close­ to­ 200­ and­ have­ a­ first­ estimate­ of­ the­ answer­ as­ over­ 400,­ probably­ estimating­ at­ a­ little­ more­ than­ 435.­ He­ adjusts­ for­ the­ approximate­ subtraction­ of­ 200­by­ adding­ back­ 3­ to­ obtain­ 438.­His­ conceptual­ u ­ nderstanding­has­focused­less­on­procedure­and­more­on­the­relative­values­of­numbers.­ So,­the­grasshopper­has­appreciated­the­order­and­size­of­number­by­rounding­197­up­to­ 200.­He­has­also­understood­that­the­subtraction­of­200­gave­a­smaller­answer­(compared­ to­subtracting­197)­and­adjusted­by­adding­3.­His­conceptual­understanding­has­focused­on­ the­values­of­numbers.

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The Trouble with Maths

I­think­it­would­be­a­difficult­argument­to­decide­which­method­was­higher­up­the­cognitive­ development­ladder.­And­that’s­with­taking­as­an­example­a­relatively­straightforward­whole­ number subtraction problem. Analysing the way a task can be approached is a fascinating activity.­All­the­cognitive­factors­which­are­involved­in­a­mathematics­task­can­be­a­source­ of­the­problem,­so­it­may­be­just­one­factor­that­is­the­cause­or­it­could­be­the­interaction­ of­several­factors­and­then­may­well­include­anxiety,­attitude­and­other­factors­from­the­ affective­domain. If­ we­ understand­ some­ of­the­development­ of­ mathematical­ ideas­we­ are­better­ able­ to­ diagnose­ where­ difficulties­ lie­ for­ then­ we­ can­ track­ back­ until­ we­ find­ the­ root­ of­ the­ problem.­ For­ example,­ for­ the­ development­ of­ multiplication­ skills­ and­ concepts­ a­ sequence­could­be: 7×6, 12×8, 34×45, s+s+s+s=4s, q+q+ q+r+r=3q+2r, 5y+2y=7y, 4y+3w+3y+2w=7y+5w, a(x+y)=ax+ay, (a+x)(b+y)=ab+ay+bx+xy with ­somewhere­in­the­later­stages­of­the­sequence. It­can­be­valuable­to­consider­a­sequence­backwards­as­well­as­forwards.­Some­may­not­ see­7×6­as­a­true­member­of­the­sequence,­but­if­your­strategy­to­access­7×6­is­5×6­plus­2×6­ then­it­is­very­much­the­first­member­of­the­sequence.­The­common­themes­in­the­sequence­ are multiplication as repeated addition and partial products. 7×6­ is­ 6+6+6+6+6+6+6­ which­ is­ grouped­ as­ 6+6+6+6+6­ (5×6)­ and­ 6+6­ (2×6) 12×8­can­be­seen­as­10×8­plus­2×8, based­on­8+8+8+8+8+8+8+8+8+8+8+8 34×45­is­often­computed­from­two­partial­products­30×45­and­4×45 s+s+s+s­is­algebra­for,­for­example­7+7+7+7, giving­4s­and­its­equivalent­4×7 q+q+q+r+r­becomes­3q+2r 5y+2y­is­the­algebra­version­of­5×6+2×6­and­becomes­7y 4y+3w+3y+2w groups like terms as 7y+5w a(x+y)­requires­that­both×and­y are multiplied by a­to­give­ax+ay which is another­algebra­version­of­7×6­as­6­(5+2)­and­also­a­reminder­of­the­commutative­property,­that­is­7×6=6×7 (a+x)(b+y)­is­the­algebra­version­of­34×45­as­(30+4)(40+5)­and­the­understanding­of­this­could­well­have­begun­at­7×6,­linking­multiplication­and­addition and grouping additions to make partial products.

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(All­the­above­examples­can­have­an­associated­simple­area­diagram­to­emphasise­the­ common­theme,­for­example­Figure­5.1.) In­the­‘Framework­for­the­National­Numeracy­Strategy:­Reception­to­Year­6’­there­ are­two­pages­assigned­to­‘Laying­the­foundations­for­algebra’­addressing­the­contribution of skills such as 3+□=10 and­the­need­to­understand­the­commutative,­associative­and­distributive­laws.

Times table facts
Some­people­find­learning­and­recalling­these­121­facts­a­virtually­impossible­task.­ If­they­persevere­in­trying­to­rote­learn­them­then­anxiety­increases­while­self­confidence­decreases.­The­times­table­facts­are­important­facts­which­make­a­very­large­ contribution­to­numeracy.­If­it­is­possible­to­learn­them­then­they­should­be­learned.­ Their­use­pervades­maths­curricula­as­is­illustrated­below­for­the­single­fact­3×7=21:­ 3×7=21 3×17 38×47 30×70 300×700

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The Trouble with Maths

Figure 5.1 Area models for multiplication and­for­division:

and­for­multiplication­and­division­in­two­steps: 45×21=45×3×7 756÷21=756÷3=252÷7=36­

Developmental perspectives and­for­fractions:

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and­decimals: 0.3×0.7=0.21 0.03×0.07=0.0021 and­percentages:

and­money: 3×7p=21p 3×£7=£21 and­measures:

and­negative­numbers: −3×−7=+21 and­shape­and­space: Area=1×b=3­m×7­m=21­m2 and­algebra: a+a+a=3a b+b+b+b+b+b+b=7b 3a×7b=21ab x2+4x−21=(x+7)(x−3)­x2+10x+21=(x+7)(x+3)

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and­word­problems: Mike buys three pens at 7p each. How­many­days­in­three­weeks?

How to teach times table facts to students who cannot rote learn them
The­following­suggestions­use­developmental­methods­which­are­based­on­the­grasshopper­ skill­of­breaking­down­and­building­up­numbers.­The­strategies­are­sufficiently­consistent­ for­most­inchworms­to­adapt­to­them­and­they­can­only­increase­awareness­of­flexible­ways­ to learn maths.

The principles
­Use­the­easy­facts­(1×,­2×,­5×,­10×)­to­work­out­the­harder­facts,­that­is,­build­on­what­ is­known; ­use­two­easy­steps­when­one­step­is­too­hard; ­and­there­are­only­21­harder­facts. First­put­the­problem­into­perspective.­Learning,­or­more­accurately­forgetting­these­facts­is­an­ issue.­Newspapers­love­it:­‘Back­to­basics…everyone­will­learn­their­tables’­(and­presumably­ move­onwards­and­upwards­thereafter).­Adults­with­selective­memories­say­‘We­all­learned­ them.­We­ sat­ and­ chanted­ them­ till­ we­ did.’­All­ this­ mythical­ nonsense­ piles­ on­ the­ pressure­for­those­who­don’t­achieve­success­in­this­particular­task.­A­teacher­may­well­have­the­ double­task­of­teaching­the­multiplication­facts­and­restoring­the­learner’s­self-esteem­so­that­ he­believes­that­he­can­succeed.­So­let’s­put­the­numbers­into­perspective… A­table­square­for­the­0×­to­10×­facts­has­121­facts­for­multiplication­(and­121­for­division).­A­blank­square­(Figure­5.2)­looks­daunting,­but­if­the­facts­for­0,­1,­2,­5­and­10­are­ filled­in­then­there­are­only­36­facts­left­(Figure­5.3).­Six­of­these­are­the­squares­(32,­42,­62,­ 72,­82,­92).­The­remaining­30­may­be­halved­to­fifteen­due­to­the­commutative­property­of­ ab=ba.­So­there­are­21­remaining­facts­beyond­the­‘easy’­ones. 0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Developmental perspectives
8 9 10

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Figure 5.2 The­blank­table­square

Figure 5.3­The­almost­complete­table­square,­with­the­‘easy’­number­facts­shaded

(For­ full­ details­ of­ the­ methods­ described­below­and­mature­graphics­ try­the­ CD-ROM­ ‘What­to­do­when­you­can’t­Learn­the­Times­Tables’,­Appendix­1.) What­is­left­may­be­derived­from­the­easy­facts: ♦­­ 9×­ derived­ from­ 10×­ using­ a­ predictable­ pattern­ (which­ also­ teaches­ estimation­ and­ adjustment). ♦­­ 4×­derived­by­doubling­the­2×­facts­(teaching­cumulative­multiplication,­such­as­30×­as­ 3×­followed­by­10×). ♦­­ 3×­ derived­ by­ partial­ products­ 2×­ plus­ 1×­ (teaching­ partial­ products­ and­ thus­ ‘long’­ multiplication). ♦­­ 6×­derived­by­partial­products­5×­plus­1×. ♦­­ 7×­derived­by­partial­products­5×­plus­2×. ♦­­ 8×­actually­only­8×8­is­left,­so­just­keep­doubling­till­you­reach­64!­(or­more­sensibly­ use­8­as­23)


The pattern is that 9n=10n−n­which­can­be­demonstrated­with­Cuisenaire­rods­(9­and­10)­ arranged­as­area,­for­example­see­Figure­5.4.

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The Trouble with Maths Six­lots­of­nine­are­six­less­than­six­lots­of­ten. 6×9=­60−6=54­(and­to­check,­add­the­digits­5+4=9)

Twenty-three lots of nine are twenty-three lots of ten minus twenty three. 23×9=230−23=207­(and­to­check­add­the­digits­2+0+7=9) The­digits­of­the­answer­will­always­add­to­9­(useful­as­a­check­and­for­division­to­know­ if­nine­is­a­factor).

Figure 5.4­6×10­compared­to­6×9 This­procedure­also­teaches­estimation­and­how­to­refine­an­estimation.­For­the­refinement,­ the­question,­‘Is­the­answer­bigger­or­smaller?’­is­once­again­apposite.


Simply­double­twice,­for­example: 4×7­start­with­2×7=14 then­double­again­2×14=28 As­with­the­ten­strategy­for­9,­the­double­double­strategy­for­4­works­with­numbers­beyond­ the­table­square­collection. The­developmental­uses­of­this­property­are­illustrated­below,­starting­with­the­algebraic­ generalisation,­illustrating­again­the­‘What­else­are­you­teaching?’­facet­of­this­approach.

Developmental perspectives If­y=ab then xy=x×a×b=xab For­example,­
4×6 34×6 31×20 67×300 71×0.2 248÷4 2×15=30 2×6=12 34×3=102 31×2=62 67×3=201 71×2=142 248÷2=124 15=5×3 124÷2=62­(and­÷8­just­takes­one­more­step) 30=2×3×5 12×2=24 102×2=204 62×10=620 201×100=20100

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28×2=56

The­use­of­two­steps­is­sometimes­not­needed,­but­sometimes­unavoidable­for­mathematical­ mortals.

3×, 6× and 7×
Use­partial­products­(see­Figure­5.5).

Figure 5.5 Grouping repeated additions into partial products

so­3×8=2×8­plus­1×8=16+8=24 and­6×6=5×6­plus­1×6=30+6=36 and­7×8=5×8­plus­2×8=40+16=56 (and­did­you­know­that­56=7×8­has­5678­in­order?)

This­strategy­has­introduced­the­procedure­for­‘long’­multiplications,­for­example­23×51­ becomes­20×51­plus­3×51=1020+153=1173.

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The Trouble with Maths

This,­the­distributive­law,­can­be­generalised­via­algebra­and­some­of­its­developmental­ aspects summarised as If­y=a+b then xy=x(a+b)=ax+bx For­example, 3×5=5(2+1)=5×2+5×1=10+5 6×8=8(5+1)=5×8+1×8=40+8 12×13=13(10+2)=10×13+2×13=130+26=156 17×9=17(10−1)=17×10−17×1=170−17=153 42×99=42(100−1)=4200−42=4158 15%­of­440=(10%+5%)­of­440­44+22–66 75%­of­440=(50%+25%)­of­440­220+110=330 52×81=81(50+2)=81×50+81×2=4050+162=4212 0.55×68=68(0.5+0.05)=34+3.4=37.4

The area model
Just­a­reminder­that­these­multiplications­can­be­shown­by­an­area­model.­Figure­5.1,­page­79.

Multiplication facts later in the curriculum (or life)
Multiplication­facts­are­just­a­set­of­facts­which­are­stored­in­the­memory.­If­they­are­accessed­ by strategies such as those described in this chapter then the recall of a multiplication fact may­also­be­a­skill,­which­also­has­to­be­remembered.­If­a­fact­is­not­used­regularly­then­ it­will­be­less­prominent­in­the­memory.­If­a­skill­is­not­practised­regularly­then­it­will­be­ less­efficient. So­it­could­be­that­a­lot­of­time­is­invested­by­learner­and­teacher­in­accessing­these­ facts­and­that­two­or­three­years­later,­the­need­for­these­facts­is­less­perhaps­because­a­ calculator­is­used,­or­perhaps­because­8×7­and­its­friends­are­less­a­part­of­the­mathematics­ c ­ urriculum.­So­it­should­not­be­a­surprise­to­either­the­learner­or­the­teacher­if­the­recall­and­ the­skill­have­declined­in­speed­or­accuracy­or­both. This­note­of­caution­applies,­obviously,­to­many­other­areas­of­mathematics­and­is­a­ most­important­reason­to­use­a­spiral­structure­for­the­mathematics­curriculum,­and­a­spiral­ with­a­small­pitch­to­ensure­frequent­returns­to­all­topics.

Multiplication facts and examinations
Examinations­always­put­extra­pressure­on­insecure­learners.­For­many­such­learners­extra­ time­ may­ be­ granted­ for­ the­ examination.­ One­ use­ of­ extra­ time­ is­ to­ write­ down­ key­ information­at­the­start­of­the­examination­before­anxiety­kicks­in­at­full­intensity.­Learners­can­be­shown­how­to­draw­up­a­tables­square­quite­quickly­and­efficiently,­drawing­on­ the­linking­strategies­described­above.­It­will­be­a­great­help­if­they­are­allowed­to­take­

Developmental perspectives

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squared­paper­into­the­examination,­then­all­they­have­to­do­is­fill­in­the­‘easy’­facts,­0×,­ 1×,­2×,­10×,­5×­(checking­back­to­10×­and­the­odd/­even­pattern),­4×­from­2×,­9×­from­ 10×,­3×­by­adding­2×­and­1×­and­there­are­then­only­nine­spaces­left­which­can­be­filled­ in­as­and­when­required,­again­using­the­linking­strategies­(and­maybe­the­5678­sequence­ for­7×8=56­which­clears­away­another­two­gaps).­This­use­of­easy­facts­and­easy­strategies­ leaves­only­5­distinct­facts.

Figure 5.6­Multiplication­and­division­using­the­‘easy’­numbers

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The Trouble with Maths

The easy multiplication facts, long multiplication and long division
Traditional­ long­ multiplication­ is­ multiplication­ using­ partial­ products.­ For­ example,­ 782×43­would­be­done­as­782×40­plus­782×3.­Similarly­traditional­long­division­is­done­ by­ subtraction­ of­ partial­ products,­ for­ example­6919÷37­will­ start­ with­ a­ subtraction­ of­ 3700­(37×100)­then­subtraction­of­2960­(37×­80)­and­finally­259­(37×7),­to­give­an­answer­ of­187.­In­both­these­examples­the­learner­has­no­choice­of­partial­product.­The­method­ dictates­which­ones­to­use.­In­the­division­example,­these­are­100×,­80×­and­7×.­This­may­ be­a­problem­if­the­learner­has­weak­and­possibly­inaccurate­recall­of­8×­and­7×­facts. Alternative­structuring­of­multiplication­and­division­by­partial­products­using­the­‘easy’­ numbers is shown in Figure­5.6 opposite. These methods relate multiplication to repeated addition­and­division­to­repeated­addition­and­subtraction.

Number bonds for 10
10 0 9 1 8 2 7 3 6 4 4 6 3 7 2 8 1 9 0 10

These­are­truly­key­facts.­They­can­be­presented­in­a­range­of­images,­from­rods­to­fingers­ to­coins­(Figure­5.7)­but­if­they­can­be­learned­they­will­pay­back­the­effort­used­many­ times.­At­exam­times,­when­anxious­pupils­may­forget­even­their­most­carefully­remembered­facts,­it­takes­only­a­moment­to­recreate­the­figure­above.­Note­that­the­anchor­fact­ 5+5­is­emphasised­and­used­as­a­check. Simple­card­games­can­be­used­to­practise­these­facts,­such­as­pelmanism.­The­facts­ should­be­remembered­as­addition­facts,­for­example­6+4=10,­but­also­as­missing­addends,­ for­example,­6+□=10,­which­is­one­ of­ the­foundations­for­algebra­and­also­leads­to­the­ subtraction­fact,­10−6=4.

Extensions and development of the number bonds for 10
These­eleven­facts­can­be­developed­into­many­more­facts.­By­anchoring­any­new­facts­ back­to­the­number­bonds­for­ten,­the­learner­has­a­check­and­once­again,­number­facts­are­ being inter-related.

Number bonds for 9 and 11
♦­The­number­bonds­for­9­use­the­relationship­that­9­is­1­less­than­10.­Thus,­for­example­ 5+5=10­is­adjusted­to­5+4=9­and­4+5=9. ♦­The­number­bonds­for­11­use­the­relationship­that­11­is­1­more­than­10.­Thus,­for­example­ 5+5=10­is­adjusted­to­5+6=11­and­6+5=11. ♦­Even­in­this­simple­exercise­the­language­‘less­than’­and­‘more­than’­is­revised.­Relating­ 11­and­9­to­10­is­reinforcing­estimation­skills­and­acknowledging­that­9­is­both­5+4­and­ 4+5­revises­the­commutative­property­of­numbers.

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Figure 5.7­Image­of­number­bonds­for­10

Number bonds for 100, 1000, 10,000 and 1
This­introduces­a­simple­extension­of­the­pattern­in­terms­of­100,­1000­and­upwards.­The­ (decimal)­number­bonds­for­1­may­be­a­greater­step­for­some­children.­In­each­extension­ the­ use­ of­ visual­ images­ may­ help,­ though,­ as­ ever,­ these­ may­ have­ to­ be­ the­ personal­ choice­of­the­individual­learner­(see­Figure­5.8). The­ extension­ from­ 7+3­ to­ 70+30­ is­ fairly­ straightforward.­ The­ extension­ to­ 75+25­ requires­a­revisit­to­10­as­9+1.

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The­extension­to­0.3+0.7­could­be­modelled­with­10p­coins,­after­establishing­that­10p­ is­0.1­of­£1­and­20p­is­0.2­of­£1­(calculators­‘remove’­the­end­0­from­0.10­and­0.20­to­make­ them­0.1­and­0.2).

Estimation
The­understanding­of­10­and­its­neighbouring­numbers­helps­set­the­foundations­for­estimation­skills.­So,­knowing­that­9­is­close­to­10,­8­is­close­but­less­close­than­9,­11­is­close,­ 12­is­close­but­less­close­than­11­can­be­extended­to­numbers­around­90,­900,­0.9,­0.09,­and­ so­on.­Visual­images­could­be­base­ten­materials­and­money,­with­money­more­abstract­as­ in­asking­what­is­the­nearest­whole­pound­value­to­£13.99?­Money,­of­course,­takes­us­into­ everyday­maths.

Figure 5.8­Number­bonds­for­100­with­base­10­blocks

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Adding by casting out 10s
A­ column­ of­ numbers­ can­ be­ added­ by­ casting­ out­ combinations­ which­ make­ 10.­ For­ example
3 2+3+5=10 1+9=10 48 422 casting­out­the­2,­3,­5,­1­and­9­leaves­only­8+4,­which­could­be­quickly­counted­on.­Three­ (10s)­are­‘carried’­over­to­the­tens­column­

The­ procedure­ can­ be­ repeated­ for­ the­ tens­ column,­ casting­ out­ 8+7+5=20,­ 3+3+4=10,­ leaving­9+3=12.­Adding­up­these­tens­gives­42­tens,­that­is­420. To­work­out­an­average­(mean)­learners­have­to­add­a­group­of­numbers.­This­method­ may­enable­them­to­do­that­accurately,­so­that­the­addition­sub-skill­of­working­out­an­average­is­circumvented.

Subtraction

Number­bonds­for­10­and­100­are­especially­useful­once­again­when­subtracting­by­counting­ on­through­tens,­hundreds­and­thousands. It­is­also­useful­to­remember­the­number­bonds­in­‘subtraction’­format,­for­example­as­ with 4+□=10 Remember:­revision­of­basic­facts­can­be­done­in­many­topic­settings,­for­example­with­ angles.­Number­sums­for­90°­and­180°­allow­learners­to­practise­addition­and­subtraction­ skills­in­a­new­context.

The addition square
Using­the­same­principle­as­for­the­multiplication­facts,­the­addition­facts­square­can­be­ used to demonstrate progress through the task and the impact of learning key facts and inter-relating­ them­ to­ new­ facts.­ Once­ again­ the­ starting­ challenge­ is­ 121­ facts,­ which­ reduces as easy facts and links are mastered.

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The Trouble with Maths Number of facts left to learn
121 100 64 49 36 31 21 16 10 3+5 5+7 4+8 5+8 6+8 (which­relates­to­7+7) (which­relates­to­4+4) (which­relates­to­6+6)

Facts
adding on zero 0 adding­on­1­and­2­(finger­counting) adding­on­10­(place­value­pattern) adding­on­9­(add­on­10,­subtract­1) number­bonds­for­10 number­bonds­for­10±1 doubles doubles±1 5+3 7+5 8+4 8+5 8+6

Levels of learning
Returning­to­the­introductory­paragraph­of­this­chapter­and­the­psychological­interpretation­of­developmental­mathematics,­a­number­of­psychologists­from­Piaget­to­Gagne­have­ looked­at­levels­or­hierarchies­of­learning.­This­complements­the­discussions­above­on­the­ developmental­nature­of­mathematics,­which­has­considered­development­from­a­maths­ content­perspective.­Gagne­described­four­levels­of­learning.1

Associative (rote) learning
Associative­learning­is­establishing­a­memorised­response­to­the­presentation­of­a­stimulus.­It­focuses­on­memorisation­and­mastery.­For­example,­pupils­learn­the­six­times­table­ and­can­respond­‘42’­automatically­when­asked­‘What­is­7×6­?’­or­a­teacher­demonstrates­ ‘decomposition’­and­pupils­then­practise­ten­examples­of­decomposing.

Concept learning
Concept­learning­occurs­when­children­attempt­to­identify­characteristics­that­determine­ inclusion­in­or­exclusion­from­a­set­or­class.­It­focuses­on­categorising,­classifying,­ordering­and­labelling.­For­example,­children­learn­that­½,­can­all­be­classified­as­‘fractions’­or­ pupils know that both the drawings below contain three items

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Principle learning
Principle­learning­occurs­when­children­attempt­to­relate­ideas.­For­example,­pupils­use­the­ distributive­property­(7×5=5×5+2×5)­in­new­situations­such­as: 5×34=5×30+5×4

Problem solving
Problem­solving­occurs­when­children­employ­principles­to­achieve­a­goal.­It­focuses­on­ applying,­verifying­and­proving.­Pupils­must­both­select­and­apply­certain­ principles­ in­ order­to­arrive­at­a­solution.­They­integrate­skills,­concepts­and­principles­into­a­cognitive­ structure.­For­example,­in­solving­a­word­problem­such­as: Mike­and­Sam­decide­to­share­a­Coke­and­a­packet­of­crisps.­Cokes­cost­ 45p­and­crisps­cost­35p.­How­much­does­each­boy­pay?

To sum up
Mathematics­ is­ a­ very­ developmental­ subject.­ Facts­ develop,­ procedures­ develop­ and­ c ­ oncepts­ develop.­ The­ foundations­ are­ set­ with­ the­ early­ experiences.­ Concepts­ start­ to­ build­ with­ these­ early­ experiences­ and­ equally­ misconceptions­ may­ start­ to­ build­ in­ these­early­times,­too.­So,­from­a­pre-emptive­perspective,­it­is­important­to­minimise­the­ misconceptions by being aware of where they may occur and where the current work will lead­mathematically.­From­the­intervention­perspective­it­is­important­to­be­able­to­look­ back­and­be­aware­of­where­the­foundations­for­the­current­work­were­set,­where­the­gaps­ are­and­the­implications­of­those­‘holes’­for­the­learner. So­taking­a­developmental­perspective­means­being­able­to­look­forwards­and­backwards­ at­the­learner­and­each­‘new’­maths­topic.

Chapter­6­ The language of maths
I’ve­given­a­separate,­albeit­short­chapter­to­this­topic­because­it­causes­so­many­children­ difficulty. In­the­early­stages­difficulties­are­largely­a­consequence­of­the­peculiarities­and­irregularities­ of­many­maths­words­in­the­English­language,­for­example­the­use­of­the­same­words­and­ phrases­in­everyday­life­as­well­as­for­maths­can­be­a­source­of­confusion.­Later­it­is­a­consequence­of­the­way­word­problems­are­written­and­constructed.­So­the­problems­and­confusions­ are­both­with­the­vocabulary­of­maths­and­with­the­language­(semantics)­of­maths. As­an­example­of­problems­with­the­vocabulary­in­the­early­stages­of­maths,­consider­the­ next­nine­two­digit­numbers­after­10.­They­start­with­eleven­and­twelve­which­are­exceptions,­ one-off­words,­then­they­take­the­digit­order­and­reverse­it­as­in­13­as­thirteen,­then­fourteen,­ fifteen,­sixteen,­seventeen,­eighteen­and­nineteen.­Thirteen­and­fifteen­compound­the­eccentricity­of­the­teen­numbers­by­not­being­threeteen­and­fiveteen,­and­of­course­all­of­them­end­in­teen­ rather than ten. The twenties and beyond then fall into a pattern where the words tally with the digit­order,­although­thirty,­forty,­fifty,­sixty,­seventy,­eighty­and­ninety­as­words­are­irregular­in­ the­sense­that­they­are­not­three­ten,­(threety­would­be­a­step­in­the­consistent­direction)­four­ten­ and­so­on­as­happens­with­one­hundred,­two­hundred,­three­hundred­and­so­on. As­an­example­of­a­language­comprehension­difficulty­we­have­word­problems­such­as,­ ‘Mark­has­two­more­toys­than­James.­Mark­has­ten­toys.­How­many­toys­does­James­have?’­ The­key­vocabulary­which­normally­hints­at­the­operation­‘+’­is­‘more’,­one­of­several­words­ we­can­use­to­infer­addition,­but­here­the­question­requires­a­subtraction,­10−2.­So,­having­ taught­the­child­that­the­vocabulary­for­+­can­be­said­as­‘add,­more,­plus,­and’­he­then­meets­ ‘more’­used­in­the­language­of­a­maths­question­where­the­interpretation­has­to­be­‘subtract’. So,­ the­ main­ difficulties­ and­ confusions­ in­ the­ words­ of­ maths­ come­ from­ aspects­ i ­nvolving­ vocabulary­ and­ then­ in­ the­ interpretation­ and­comprehension­ of­ the­ language­ used to write mathematics word problems.

The teen numbers (and eleven and twelve)
As­mentioned­above,­the­teen­numbers­are­probably­the­first­inconsistency­in­the­language­ of­maths­that­children­meet.­The­numbers­from­11­to­19­do­not­have­names­which­fit­the­ pattern­ of­ later­ numbers.­ For­ example,­ compare­ thirteen­ with­twenty-three,­thirty-three,­ forty-three­and­so­on­to­ninety-three.­Thirteen­is­said­as­unit-ten,­23,­33­and­so­on­are­said­ as­ten-unit,­that­is­in­the­same­sequence­as­the­digits.­Whilst­we­often­take­pains­to­encourage­ children­ to­ look­ for­ the­ pattern,­ we­ should­ warn­ them­ of­ this­ particular­ exception.­ Basically­they­have­to­learn­the­first­nineteen­numbers­as­exceptions­to­the­rule­before­they­ can start to look for a pattern. Fortunately most children simply absorb the information by repetition.­The­teen­numbers­occur­frequently­in­everyday­life. One­of­the,­not­surprising,­consequences­of­the­order­of­the­components­of­teen­words­is­ that­pupils­may­transpose­numbers.­For­example­they­may­write­51­for­fifteen.­It­may­help­ to­use­manipulatives­such­as­base­ten­blocks­or­coins­to­reinforce­the­correct­order­of­digits­ or­arrow­cards­(Figure­6.1)­or­claim­that­the­teen­numbers­are­as­difficult­as­teenagers.

The language of maths

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Figure 6.1­Place­value­arrow­cards

The ‘dual’ vocabulary of maths
The­ vocabulary­ of­ mathematics­ is­ full­ of­ examples­ of­ inconsistencies,­ and­ as­ has­ been­ said­before,­insecure­learners­do­not­like­or­cope­well­with­inconsistencies.­The­colloquial­ nature­of­some­maths­vocabulary,­that­is­words­used­in­mathematics­which­are­used­with­ different­meanings­in­everyday­non-mathematical­language,­is­a­good­example­of­pupils­ having­to­adjust­to­inconsistencies,­in­this­case­in­the­meaning­of­a­familiar­word.­Note­the­ interchanging­use­of­the­words­maths­and­mathematics­(and­sometimes­arithmetic). Children­have­to­learn­that­some­words­and­phrases­they­have­been­using­in­everyday­ language­have­a­specific­ meaning­when­used­in­a­maths­context,­for­example,­from­the­ National­Numeracy­Strategy,­in­Reception,­‘sort,­match­and­count’­and­in­Year­5,­‘operation­ and­capacity’.­Most­of­the­examples­below­are­taken­from­the­English­National­Numeracy­ Strategy.
acute­(angle) altogether angle anti ascending/­descending­order acute­(pain) the­Emperor’s­New­Clothes­à­la­Danny­Kaye what’s­your­angle? auntie could be a literal interpretation writing numbers downwards

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The Trouble with Maths
behind with my work (left)­behind behind­(buttocks)

behind the chair

borrow­(in­subtraction) bracket­(­) by­as­in­6­m­by­8­m cancel­(fraction) capacity­(volume) carry­(addition) chord­(circle) clockwise compass­(circle) count­(1,­2,­3…) count­on­(in­numbers) degree­(°) difference­between­two­numbers­(−) digit­(3) divide­(÷) double­(×2) even­numbers expand­(brackets) expression­(xy+3) face­(on­a­shape) factor­(15=5×3) formula (d=st) function (f{x}) goes into half with­‘half­as­a­precise­concept

borrow­(lend) bracket­(for­shelf) by­the­river ‘bye­bye’ cancel­(ticket) capacity­(potential) carry­(a­bag) chord­(music) streetwise compass­(NESW) Count­Dracula count­on­(me) degree­(BSc) difference in appearance digit­(finger) divide­and­rule the­path­divides ‘you­must­have­a­double’ the­odds­are­even even­him! expand­(balloon) expression­(on­a­face) your face factor­5­sun­screen Formula One function­(room) enters half­a­pizza­with­‘half’­as­an­eestimate heavy­metal which­means­what? our index­(book) interval­(theatre) key­(symbol)

heavy­(weight) horizontal­and­vertical hour index­(x3) interval­(data) key­(calculator)

The language of maths
key­(idea) key­(lock) quay left­(right) light­(weight) long­(length) makes­(equals) mass­(in­kg) match­(compare) mean­(average) mixed­number multiple­of­5 negative­(−7) net­(flat­pack) odd numbers operation­(+,­−,­×,­÷) order left behind light­(bulb) long­(time) makes­(a­cake) mass­(in­church) match­(strike­a) mean­(nasty) aren’t­most­numbers­mixed? multiple injuries negative­(critical) net­(fishing) odd person odd you should say that operation­(hospital) last orders religious order obey orders place­value plane value­of­a­place­(in­the­sun) plane­(747) plane­(wood) plain pi pound­(£) pound­(lb) power prime­(number) prism product­(6×7=42) proper/­improper range reduced to… reflex­(angle) relationship between numbers pie (dog)­pound pound­(pummel) (world)­power power­(strength) prime­(location) prison product­(manufactured) yes Range­(Rover) range­(shooting) reduced to tears reflex­(doctor­and­rubber­hammer) relationship between people

89

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The Trouble with Maths
remainders­(bargains) remove­(literally) remove­(take­away,­but­not­subtract) wrong angle roughly­(playing) round the garden round the block round­(circular)

remainder remove­(the­brackets) right angle roughly­(close) round­(up­or­down)

rule­(metre) scale­(1:10) 60­seconds share­(÷) show your working sign­(as­in­÷) simplify­(algebra­and­fractions) solution­(solve) solve­(the­equation) sort­(arrange) substitute­(in­algebra) sum table­(data) take­away­(subtract) tall­(height) term (ax) thick line

rule­(obey) scale­(weighing) second place Cher­(!) share­(stock­exchange) show­you’re­working sign­(road) simplify­(make­easier) solution­(dissolve) solve­(the­murder­mystery) sort­(you­out!) substitute­(soccer) some table­(and­chairs) take­away­(food) tall­(story) term­(school) thick glue thick third­(3rd) Sunday Times old times good times

third times

total translation Triangular­number­(value) units­(tens,­hundreds) week weight

total darkness translation­(language) triangular­number­(shape­4) industrial units weak wait

The language of maths

91

So,­do­not­assume­that­the­learner­will­automatically­adjust­to­the­new,­maths­meaning.­ They may be distracted by their original understanding of the word. They may be misled and­diverted­from­the­idea­you­are­trying­to­purvey.

The four operations
Further­inconsistencies­arise­with­the­basic­operations,­+,­−,­×­and­÷.­Even­the­word­‘operation’­ is­more­usually­associated­with­hospitals­than­with­maths­lessons.­ Perhaps­because­adding,­ subtracting,­multiplying­and,­to­a­lesser­extent,­dividing­are­‘everyday’­maths­operations,­they­ have­attracted­a­varied­vocabulary.­So­we­can­infer+by­‘plus,­add,­more,­increase,­sum,­total,­ and’.­The­learner­has­to­cope­with­a­choice­of­several­words­for­the­same­maths­operation.­ Some­pupils,­especially­those­with­special­needs,­like­consistency,­so­if­they­have­internalised­ ‘plus’­as­their­word­for­+,­then­they­may­not­accept­‘and’. These­words­have­a­second­problem­associated­with­them.­As­outlined­above,­they­are­ not­exclusive­to­maths­and­may­have­more­than­one­meaning­in­maths,­for­example­‘plus’­ can­mean­‘positive’­or­a­bonus­as­in­‘That’s­a­plus.’­This­particular­example­is­also­clouded­ by­the­use­of­−8­to­mean­‘minus­or­negative­8’­while­we­do­not­write­the­+­sign­for­‘positive­ or­plus’­8­when­using­integers. These­are­well­recognised­confusions.­For­example­Anne­Henderson­and­Elaine­Miles­ have­both­examined­this­language­aspect­of­maths,­but­the­flexibility­of­vocabulary­can­be­ something­to­celebrate,­too,­and­pupils­could­be­asked­‘Can­you­think­of­another­word­we­ can­use­for­this?’

Decimals
This is a similarity problem for some learners. The learner needs good auditory discrimination­to­hear­the­difference­between­ten­and­tenth,­hundred­and­hundredth,­thousand­and­ thousandth.­The­ sounds­ are­ similar,­ but­ the­ numbers­ they­ label­ are­ very­ different.­This­ could­be­the­one­time­that­the­‘slower­and­louder’­intervention­technique­actually­might­ be­appropriate!

Little words, especially ‘not’
Some­of­the­learners­who­have­weaker­reading­skills­miss­the­little­words­when­reading,­ such­as­‘and’­or­‘not’.­Missing­‘not’­is­a­drastic­error!­It­may­help­to­use­a­highlighter­pen­ for­the­little­words,­so­that­they­are­less­likely­to­be­overlooked.

Homophones
Another­ source­ of­ potential­ confusion­ and­ ineffective­ communication­ are­ homophones:­ words­that­sound­the­same­as­another,­different­word.­For­example,­in­this­mental­arithmetic­ problem Aziz­ate­four­of­his­eight­apples.­How­many­were­left? are­‘ate’­and­‘eight’­and­‘four’,­which­could­be­for­as­in­‘Aziz­ate­for­England!’.

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The Trouble with Maths Other­homophones­include:

one two by complementary key plane prism sine sum weight

won to buy complimentary quay plain prison sign some wait too

Writing word problems
Pupils­usually­meet­word­problems­where­they­have­to­translate­words­to­symbol­sentences­ or­equations.­It­is­very­useful­for­them­to­practise­the­opposite­translation,­that­is­symbols­ to words so that they can learn how a word problem can be composed. So,­for­example,­they­could­be­asked­to­create­a­word­problem­for­8−3.­The­key­words­for­ subtract­are­less,­left,­minus,­take­away,­subtract,­difference.1­A­very­basic­statement­would­be, ‘What­is­8­minus­3?’ This­can­be­re-worded­to, ‘What­is­3­less­than­8?’­or ‘What­is­left­if­I­take­3­from­8?’­or ‘Take­3­away­from­8’­or ‘Subtract­3­from­8’­or ‘8­take­away­3’­or ‘What­is­the­difference­between­8­and­3?’­(Often­misinterpreted.) But­then­children­can­be­encouraged­to­add­in­more­vocabulary­and­language­variables­
♦ ♦ ♦ Basic Wrong­order­(nonm ­ athematical) Wrong­order­(mathematical) What­is­8­minus­3? Take­3­away­from­8.­(This­can­create­difficulty­for­insecure­ learners.) Subtract­3­from­8.

The language of maths
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Objects Big words Two key words Superfluous­data Words for numbers No familiar key word Wrong key word Two­stage­and­superfluous­ information

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Sam­has­8­toys.­Mike­borrows­3­toys­from­Sam.­How­many­ toys­does­Sam­have­left? Samantha­has­8­chocolate digestive biscuits.­She­eats­3.­ How­many­are­left? Jay­has­lost­some­coins­and­has­8­left.­He­loses­3­more.­How­ many­coins­does­he­have­now? Kev­has­8­coins.­Mike has 6 coins.­Kev­loses­3­coins.­How­ many­has­he­left? Tia has eight­cans­of­cola.­She­drinks­three.­How­many­has­ she­left? Jon­juggles­8­balls.­He­drops­3.­How­many­is­he­juggling­ now? Zak­has­eight­cakes.­He­gives­three­cakes­to­some­friends.­ How­many­more­cakes­can­he­give­to­his­friends? Jon­has­twenty­pairs­of­socks.­Six­pairs­are­blue.­Four­pairs­ are­white.­Two­red­pairs­have­holes­in­them.­The­other­pairs­ are­green.­All­his­socks­fit­size­11­feet.­If­Jon­gets­three­ green­pairs­wet,­how­many­pairs­of­green­socks­are­dry?

Pupils­ can­ be­ guided­ towards­ increasing­ complexity­ and­ creativity,­ hopefully­ understanding how word problems are constructed. In­addition­to­coping­with­the­flexibility­of­vocabulary­for­the­four­signs,­+,­−,­×,­÷,­ pupils­will­meet­questions­where­the­words­are­deliberately­used­to­have­an­opposite­meaning and again we are into semantics. They need a strategy that goes beyond just highlighting the key word and relating it to the usual operation. For­example,­the­pupils’­task­could­be­to­write­a­word­problem­where­a­word­such­as­ ‘more’­is­used­first­to­infer­addition­and­then­second­to­infer­subtraction.­This­is­often­a­ matter of just changing the order of the other words. 1­Jon­has­three­toys.­Sam­has­two­more­toys­than­Jon.­How­many­toys­does­Sam­have?

3+2=5
2­Sam­has­three­toys.­Sam­has­two­more­toys­than­Jon.­How­many­toys­does­Jon­have?­

3−2=1
And­using­a­different­order­for­‘less’: 3­Jon­has­three­toys.­Sam­has­two­less­toys­that­Jon.­How­many­toys­does­Sam­have?

3−2=1
4­Sam­has­three­toys.­Sam­has­two­less­toys­than­Jon.­How­many­toys­does­Jon­have?

3+2=5

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The Trouble with Maths

Interpreting word problems
1 ­Pictures­ Because­language­is­so variable­and­word­problem writers are­so­creative­(in­a­ ­ ­ ­ stilted­sort­of­a­way),­one­of­the­best­strategies­is­to­illustrate­the­problem­with­simple­ drawings.
Jon­ Jon…3 toys Who has more toys? Sam Sam…3 toys Who has more toys? Sam­ Sam…Jon’s toys (3) and 2 more makes 5 Sam Jon­ Sam has two more toys than Jon, so Jon has 2 less Sam

The­illustrations­should­be­backed­by­the­key­question,­‘Is­the­answer­bigger­or­ smaller?’­now­slightly­rephrased­as,­‘Who­has­more­toys­(Jon­or­Sam)?’ 2 Reword the question­As­in­‘Who­has­more­toys?’ 3­­ Selecting the operation(s)­As­in­‘Is­this­add,­subtract,­multiply­or­divide?’ 4 Throwing in a guesstimate and evaluating the outcome­Does­it­make­sense? Then­there­are­the­questions­that­not­only­require­the­student­to­decide­on­the­operation,­but­also­require­them­to­apply­commonsense.­Many­students­do­not­relate­maths­ questions­to­the­same­reality­as­a­teacher,­so­in­the­example­below,­the­question­setter­ is­anticipating­32÷5­followed­by­rounding­up­6.4­to­7.­A­12­year­old­pupil­wrote­her­ answer­as­‘32’.­One­could­make­an­argument­in­support­of­that­answer.­So­the­commonsense­that­was­required­was­as­expected­by­the­question­setter,­not­the­commonsense applied by the student.
♦ Sophisticated­maths­ If­cars­take­5­people,­how­many­cars­would­be­needed­to­take­a­group­ content of­32­friends­to­a­concert?

Different shapes, different words: the vocabulary of shape and space
Some­of­the­vocabulary­around­shape­and­space­topics­is­quite­exclusive,­and­hence­ p ­ erceived­as­alienating.­For­example,­there­are­a­number­of­words­to­describe­different­ four­sided­shapes.­Do­these­help­pupils­to­understand­what­makes­a­shape­different?­ For­example, ­arrange ­these­words ­ n a l­ogical sequence­and­ then­justify­your­ deci sion. i ­ ­

The language of maths QUADRILATERAL,­ SQUARE,­ TRAPEZIUM,­ RECTANGLE,­ PARALLELOGRAM,­KITE,­RHOMBUS Now do the same for triangles. ISOSCELES,­ EQUILATERAL,­ SCALENE,­ RIGHT­ANGLED,­ACUTE­ ANGLED,­OBTUSE­ANGLED

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Links
Some­words­can­be­linked­to­meanings­that­are­familiar,­thus­using­the­everyday/­­maths­ links­as­a­help­with­the­maths­meaning.­I­have­left­space­for­your­own­and­your­pupils’­link­ words and phrases.
centi century centipede centurian Circumference­fence­circling­a­field­(see­also­perimeter) Complementary­(angles)­complete­the­straight­line Concave­going­in­to­a­cave Cosine (also sine and tangent) There­are­some­well­known­‘poems’­built­around­these­and­ o ­ pposite,­adjacent­and­hypotenuse.­It­would­seem­that­the­more­inclined­to­innuendo,­and­the­less­ subtle­the­content,­the­better­the­memory! Decagon decimal decade decimate Equi­equal Mega megastar milli­millennium­millimetre­(small) Mode­model,­modern Octagon octopus Percentage­per=divide­cent=hundred Perimeter­fence­(and­the­per­does­not­mean­divide)

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The Trouble with Maths

Quadrilateral­quad­bike Speed (and velocity)­can­be­linked­via­the­units­miles­per­hour­or­kilometres­per­hour—per­ means­divide,­both­units­have­a­distance­unit­divided­by­a­time­unit,­so­speed­is­distance÷time.

The instruction words
These­need­to­be­taught,­demonstrated­and­explained.­Pupils­need­to­understand­what­ they­ imply­mathematically.­They­include:­
calculate compare convert correct estimate evaluate expand explain express factorise find invert investigate prove round simplify solve (as­in­‘to­2­decimal­places’­and­not­as­‘absolutely­correct’)

Conclusion
Communication­via­language­is­not­as­simple­as­it­might­seem.­For­example,­some­words­ used­in­maths­come­with­a­previously­learned­alternative­meaning.­The­inconsistencies­of­ vocabulary­can­confuse­mathematically.­As­with­many­of­the­aspects­of­maths,­assumptions­ are­ dangerous.­ With­ verbal­ communications­ and­ instructions,­ the­ assumption­ that­ what­ you­say­is­what­the­learner­hears­may­only­be­true­at­the­literal­level­rather­than­at­the­ u ­ nderstanding­level.

Chapter­7­ Anxiety and attributions
In­many­senses­this­is­a­chapter­that­brings­together­all­the­other­chapters.­If­everything­else­ about­the­learning­is­considered,­for­example,­acknowledging­weak­short­term­memory,­ providing­appropriate­worksheets,­anxiety,­attitude­and­attribution­can­still­generate­failure.­Failure­can­be­specific­to­a­topic,­a­lesson­or­even­part­of­a­lesson,­but­unaddressed,­ unrecognised­failure­at­any­stage­in­maths­has­serious­consequences­for­future­learning. Maths seems to be the­subject­for­creating­anxiety.­Books­have­been­written­about­maths­ anxiety.­I­have­known­adults­who­have­been­driven­close­to­depression­by­an­unavoidable­ maths­ task.­ Even­ the­ memories­ of­ maths­ lessons­ can­ generate­ anxiety.­A­ Danish­ friend­ remembers her maths lessons in school… I­am­sitting­in­my­room­looking­at­the­open­maths­book,­getting­ready­to­ do­my­homework.­All­I­can­see­are­the­numbers­on­the­paper,­numbers­that­ frighten me and make me sad. I­keep­sharpening­my­ pencils­again­and­again,­constantly­writing­and­ erasing my answers making the pages in my maths book almost unreadable. Most­of­the­pages­are­full­of­my­teacher’s­red­and­blue­notes.­Everything­I­ have­written­has­been­wrong. The­teacher’s­comments­are­filling­as­much­space­as­are­my­attempts­to­ please­him­and­live­up­to­his­far­too­high­expectations.­I­know­that­tomorrow­I­will­again­have­to­face­humiliation­in­the­classroom. He­will­look­at­our­homework­and­ask­me­questions­he­knows­I­cannot­ answer.­I­will­try­to­make­myself­invisible­again,­but­he­will­find­me,­asking­ me­another­impossible­question.­Everyone­will­look­at­me­and­he­will­say­ loudly,­‘Let’s­ask­someone­who­will­know­the­answer.’ It­is­not­ what­he­is­saying­that­hurts­me,­but­it­is­his­harsh­voice,­his­ h ­ ostile­ body­ language­ and­ angry­ expressions,­ his­ cold­ staring­ eyes,­ his­ angry­stamping­on­the­floor,­his­way­of­saying­my­name,­his­tight­angry­ lips,­the­hard­finger­poking­my­back­while­he­yells­out­loud,­blaming­me­ for not being able to do mathematics. It’s­a­scenario­one­hopes­would­be­rare­today,­but­maths­anxiety­doesn’t­always­need­so­ much­extra­help­(!)­from­a­teacher,­the­subject­itself­is­enough­for­many­learners.­Within­ this­story­there­are­several­important­clues­as­to­the­influence­of­maths­anxiety.­It­illustrates­ an­ interesting­ concept­ from­ Seligman,­ an­American­ psychologist,­ the­ concept­ of­ ‘Attributional­Style’. Let’s­take­a­closer­look­at­this­scenario. All­I­can­see­are­the­numbers­on­the­page,­numbers­that­frighten­me­and­ make me sad.

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The­visual­impact­of­a­page­of­numbers­can­be­almost­terrifying­for­some­learners.­They­ know­that­numbers­relate­to­failure­and­a­lot­of­numbers­relate­to­a­lot­of­failure.­(I­feel­ much­the­same­about­many­of­the­forms­I­have­to­fill­in­as­a­Headteacher.­Many­people­ feel­that­way­about­their­tax­return.)­The­numbers­also­make­her­sad­and­that­is­a­deeper­ emotion,­more­permanent. I­keep­sharpening­my­pencils­again­and­again. Busy­work­that­delays­starting­work­on­the­maths.­(I­do­the­same­with­those­endless­forms,­ but­with­me­it’s­making­coffee­after­coffee). constantly writing and erasing my answers The­learner­is­not­committing­to­a­final­answer.­Sometimes­they­will­not­commit­to­any­ answer­at­all,­that­is­they­just­will­not­write­anything. making the pages in my maths book almost unreadable. Another­way­of­avoiding­producing­work­that­can­be­marked­as­wrong,­but­risking­further­ critical comments from a teacher. Most­of­the­pages­are­full­of­my­teacher’s­red­and­blue­notes. The­teacher­is­giving­feedback­that­confirms­the­learner’s­sense­of­inadequacy.­I­helped­ organise­a­conference­for­teenage­dyslexic­learners­once.­One­of­their­recommendations­ for­teachers­was­that­they­marked­neatly,­discretely­and­with­a­dark­pen­(that­is­not­red).­ This­negative­feedback­does­not­encourage­pupils­to­take­the­risks­necessary­to­become­ learners. Everything­I­have­written­has­been­wrong. The­learner­feels­that­the­problem­is­pervasive.­Everything­I­have­written….­This­leads­to­ a sense of helplessness. The­ teacher’s­ comments­ are­filling­as­much­space­as­are­ my­attempts­to­ please­him­and­live­up­to­his­far­too­high­expectations. Once­again­the­feedback­is­reinforcing­the­learner’s­sense­of­inadequacy.­This­comment­ also­introduces­‘expectations’.­Setting­expectations­at­just­the­right­level,­not­too­low,­not­ too­high,­and­constantly­adjusting­them­is­a­very­demanding­skill.­Learners­are­surrounded­ by­ expectations,­ from­ governments­ through­ to­ peers.­ (One­ of­ the­ current­ words­ of­ UK­ education­is­‘targets’,­which­is­a­word­that­seems­to­have­taken­on­a­meaning­not­dissimilar­ to­ expectations.­ It’s­ not­ the­ word­ that­ is­ at­ fault,­ it­ is­ the­ interpretation­ used­ and­ the­ o ­ versimplification­of­its­application­to­situations­that­are­totally­inappropriate.­Then­there­ is­a­tendency­to­underestimate­the­impact­of­a­badly­interpreted­idea.) I­ know­ that­ tomorrow­ I­ will­ again­ have­ to­ face­ humiliation­ in­ the­ classroom.

Anxiety and attributions The learner has a sense of pessimism and permanence.

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The remaining two paragraphs graphically describe a person who is being taught by a teacher­who­should­not­be­teaching.­Every­interaction­described­reinforces,­powerfully,­the­ helplessness of the learner. There is nothing to lead her out of her attributional style. The maths is no longer the issue. The learner will start to form beliefs which then construct an attributional style that impacts­on­all­future­attempts­to­learn.­For­example: I’m­no­good­at­maths.­I­never­will­be. I­can’t­do­fractions.­I­can’t­do­any­maths. I­hate­fractions.­I­hate­all­maths. I­don’t­read­well.­I’m­hopeless­at­word­problems. People who like maths are weird. I­don’t­like­maths.­I­don’t­know­anyone­who­likes­maths. Only­really­clever­people­are­good­at­maths­(therefore­I­am­not­clever).

Anxiety
Anxiety­is­not­always­a­bad­thing.­It­is­said­that­facilitative­anxiety­motivates­and­alters­ behaviour­positively­whereas­debilitative­anxiety­inhibits­or­alters­behaviour­negatively,­ depending­on­the­degree­of­anxiety­and­the­make-up­of­the­individual.­However­it­is­usually­debilitative­anxiety­that­we­meet­in­maths.

Factors contributing to maths anxiety
It­ has­ been­ suggested­ that­ several­ factors­ may­ contribute­ to­ anxiety­ in­ maths,­ for­ e ­ xample: ♦­ ­A­poor­understanding­of­maths. ♦­­ The­abstract­nature­of­maths. ♦­­ Inappropriate­instruction­(instruction­that­does­not­differentiate­for­the­range­of­ l ­earners­in­a­group). ♦­­ Badly­designed­work­tasks,­for­example,­content­beyond­the­learner’s­capabilities­or­ messy,­overcrowded­worksheets. ♦­­ A­curriculum­that­does­not­take­account­of­the­range­of­learners­at­whom­it­is­targeted. ♦­­ Constant­under-achievement. ♦­­ Teachers’­attitudes. ♦­­ Parental­attitudes. ♦­­ The­pressure­of­having­to­do­maths­quickly. ♦­­ The­extreme­judgemental­nature­of­maths,­that­is,­answers­are­almost­always­judged­as­ ‘right’­or­‘wrong’.

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The ‘no answer’
In­ the­ 1990s­ I­ did­ a­ study­ on­ the­ errors­ that­ dyslexic­ secondary­ school­ pupils­ made­ in­ maths.­A­good­example­was­12.3+5,­where­the­most­common­error­was­to­add­the­.3­and­ the­5­to­give­an­answer­of­12.8.­The­percentage­rate­of­this­error­was­almost­identical­for­ the­dyslexic­pupils­and­the­non-dyslexic­pupils.­The­same­was­true­for­all­computational­ errors in this no time limit test. The error that just stood out as different was the error of the no­attempt.­The­pupil­simply­does­not­attempt­the­question.­The­answer­space­is­left­blank.­ Dyslexic­pupils­exhibited­this­reaction­far,­far­more­than­the­non-dyslexic­pupils. The­reason­was­explained­to­me­by­a­dyslexic­pupil­with­a­degree­in­maths:­‘If­I­know­ I­am­going­to­fail­to­answer­the­question­correctly,­I­don’t­try.­Then­no­one­can­say­to­me,­ “Never­mind,­you­did­your­best.”­If­I­do­my­best­I­want­to­succeed,­not­fail.’ Look­for­the­no­answers,­the­blank­spaces­in­work.­They­are­almost­as­diagnostic­as­the­ written­or­verbalised­errors.­An­optimistic­interpretation­may­mean­the­learner­is­insecure­ in­that­topic­and­it­may­be­that­all­that­is­needed­is­a­little­review­or­reassurance.­Of­course­ it­could­also­mean­that­the­learner­has­a­total­blank­on­that­topic,­but­at­least­you­are­taking­ a­more­refined­diagnostic­approach.

Risk taking
Most­learning­involves­risk.­A­baby­taking­its­first­steps­is­taking­a­risk.­Some­people­are­ natural­risk­takers­across­all­aspects­of­their­lives.­Others­have­areas­where­they­are­natural­ risk­takers­but­other­areas­where­they­are­cautious­to­the­‘no-attempt’­level.­For­example­ I­will­take­the­risk­of­lecturing­to­a­large­audience,­but­I­am­firmly­in­the­no-attempt­camp­ for­any­roller­coaster­that­does­360°­loops. It­will­be­the­classroom­ethos­that­encourages­or­discourages­risk­taking­in­maths.­The­ teacher­ that­ dramatically­ gives­ a­ large­ red­ ink­ cross­ across­ an­ incorrect­ question­ is­ not­ encouraging­future­risk­taking.­He­has­just­upped­the­risk­stakes­for­the­learner.­The­teacher­ who­says­‘Close,­just­not­quite­right…but­close…if­you­do­this…change­this…check­that­ fact…just­read­this­bit­again­and­tell­me­what­you­think­it­means,’­or­similar­phrases,­is­ encouraging risk taking. The pupil who just sits there and is supremely reluctant to start work may well be an ultimate,­but­hopefully­not­terminal,­risk­avoider.

Risk taking and thinking style
A­classroom­study­I­was­involved­in,­working­in­three­European­countries­with­11–13­year­ old­pupils­with­specific­learning­difficulties­and­non-spld­controls,­looked­at­their­thinking­ styles­in­maths.­The­relevant­finding­for­this­chapter­is­that­the­spld­group­made­very­much­ more use of the formulaic inchworm style than their non-spld peers. We hypothesised that the­reasons­for­this­were­that­their­conception­of­the­inchworm­style­was­that,­even­though­ it­often­made­demands­they­could­not­handle,­such­as­sequential­memory,­it­seemed­safer.­ Supporting­this­is­the­fact­that­the­holistic­and­flexible­grasshopper­methods­just­offered­too­ much choice and thus unacceptable insecurity.

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The­National­Numeracy­Strategy­is­encouraging­pupils­to­generate­different­methods.­ This­seems­to­be­an­international­trend­in­maths­curricula.­But,­as­ever,­there­are­implications­in­how­it­is­done.­Most­importantly­is­an­acceptance­(active,­not­passive)­by­teachers­ that­this­can­happen­and­a­classroom­ethos­that­encourages­flexibility­without­frightening­ those­pupils­for­whom­flexibility­is­never­going­to­be­an­option.­I­do­not­know­what­percentage­this­may­be,­I­guess­around­5­per­cent,­but­inclusion­encourages­us­to­consider­all­ children,­not­just­the­67­per­cent­that­are­in­the­middle­band­of­the­normal­distribution.

Expectations
Pupils­are­surrounded­by­many­different­sources­of­expectations.­Some­of­these­expectations­may­be­conflicting,­for­example­those­of­a­peer­group­versus­those­of­a­teacher.­Many­ pupils­are­adept­at­constantly­adjusting­to­these­surrounding­and­conflicting­expectations.­ However­there­will­be­times­when­certain­expectations­take­on­a­dominant­role.­Examinations­are­a­prime­example­(see­Figure­7.1).

Figure 7.1 Expectations Pupils­are­sometimes­subject­to­expectations­based­on­other­family­members.­These­may­ be­verbalised­by­teachers.­‘Your­sister­was­just­superb­at­maths,’­or­‘Your­brother­was­useless­at­maths.’­The­pupil­failing­in­maths­may­be­all­too­aware­of­their­successful­(and­even­ worse,­younger)­sibling. There­ will­ be­ cultural­ expectations.­A­ few­ years­ ago­ there­ was­ less­ expectation­ for­ females­to­do­well­in­maths.­A­group­of­boys­however­may­have­a­culture­of­not­trying­in­ maths.­This­may­be­partly­to­avoid­failure­whilst­preserving­an­image,­or­it­may­be­just­ rebellion­or­a­result­of­the­fact­the­group­does­not­have­an­acceptable­image­of­pupils­who­ excel­in­maths. In­the­current­educational­culture­there­is­the­fashion­of­setting­targets,­which­are­really­ just­formally­presented­expectations.­I­have­had­concerns­about­this­trend­to­set­targets­for­ individual­pupils,­mainly­because­this­is­such­a­very­skilled­task­and­subject­to­so­many­ uncontrollable­variables­that­(as­a­physicist)­the­accuracy­of­any­target­is­dubious­at­best.­ Perhaps­the­Government’s­target­should­be­that­all­children­should­be­above­average.

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My­starting­analysis­is­that­if­the­target­is­too­easy,­some­learners­will­simply­cruise,­or­ worse,­stop­when­they­feel­they­have­achieved­the­target.­If­the­target­is­too­high­and­unachievable­then­it­demotivates.­There­are­so­many­factors­to­consider­and­the­learner­does­not­provide­ a­stable­base.­If­he’s­tired,­had­a­row­with­his­girlfriend,­his­football­team­has­lost­or­he’s­busy­ memorising­the­lyrics­of­a­chart­song,­maths­may­not­be­the­priority­at­that­time.­Wrapping­up­ the­whole­process­in­mushy­acronyms­(for­example,­SMART)­does­not­act­as­a­substitute­for­ appropriate training nor reduce the hazards associated with the process. However,­I­do­feel­that­expectations­are­the­key­to­success.­It’s­just­that­the­bureaucrats­ have­hijacked­the­idea.­Expectations­are­linked,­among­other­things,­to­attributional­style.­ Teachers­need­positive,­encouraging,­nurturing­attributions­and­they­need­to­communicate­ them­to­their­learners­in­a­way­that­permeates­all­of­their­lessons.­Expectations­are­fluid­and­ adjustable.­They­often­need­on-going­fine­tuning­if­they­are­to­be­achieved­and­exceeded.­ So,­when­you­write­a­target­or­an­expectation,­let­the­child­and­the­circumstances­dictate­ the­outcome­and­then­manage­the­consequences­of­that­outcome. So­ expectations­ or­ targets­ can­ be­ set­ at­ a­ whole­ school­ level,­ a­ year­ group­ level,­ a­ classroom­level­and­an­individual­level.­Statistically,­each­will­be­different­in­format­and­ expected­outcomes,­but­they­should­be­complementary.

Beliefs and maths
There­are­many­beliefs­around­maths.­These­tend­ to­be­rooted­in­ early­experiences,­for­ example­ in­ early­ experiences­ of­ subtraction,­ children­ may­ be­ told­ ‘You­ take­ the­ little­ n ­ umber­from­the­big­number’­which­is­a­belief­with­a­limited­future.­Some­examples­of­ beliefs­are: ♦­­ Mathematics­ problems­ have­ only­ one­ answer­ (but­ the­ possibility­ of­ more­ than­ one­ answer­creates­a­sense­of­uncertainty­for­some­learners). ♦­­ In­ maths­ word­ problems,­ the­ relative­ size­ of­ numbers­ is­ more­ important­ than­ the­ r ­ elationships­between­the­quantities­they­represent.­(So,­if­the­numbers­are­relatively­ close­in­value­they­are­added­or­subtracted.­If­they­are­relatively­far­apart­in­value­then­ they­are­multiplied­or­divided.) ♦­­ Mathematics­is­a­collection­of­facts,­rules,­procedures­and­formulas­(which­is­sometimes­ the­way­it­is­taught­and­sometimes­the­way­it­is­perceived). ♦­­ You­have­to­be­really­brainy­to­do­maths­(and­thus­‘not­normal’). ♦­­ Some­ learners­ see­ beliefs­ as­ inviolate,­ others­ see­ them­ as­ a­ challenge.­As­ ever,­ the­ i ­ndividual­does­not­have­to­match­the­‘average’.

Anxiety, self confidence and attributional style: intervention and prevention
Addressing­anxiety,­self­confidence­and­a­negative­attributional­style­is­not­likely­to­be­a­ quick­process.­The­chances­are­that­the­problem­has­built­up­over­a­long­time­and­that­it­will­ only­be­reduced­over­a­long­time.­There­are­some­basic­classroom­strategies/­philosophies­ for­promoting­pupils’­self­confidence­in­learning­maths­and­thus­guide­their­attributional­ style­to­be­more­optimistic­and­positive:

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­ ­ ell­ pupils­ that­ effort­ is­ important­ (learned-helpless­ pupils­ believe­ there­ is­ little­ T r ­ elationship­between­effort­and­success)­and­then­make­sure­that­you­reinforce­this­in­ comments,­marking­and­any­feedback­to­the­pupil. ­­ ­ ell­ pupils­that­their­own­improvement­is­more­important­than­doing­better­than­other­ T pupils. ­­ ­ ake­sure­pupils­experience­genuine­success­in­maths­and­avoid­patronising­praise. M ­­ ­ ive­challenging­tasks­that­show­that­being­wrong­is­a­part­of­the­learning­process,­ G but control the impact of the mistakes by direct and personal encouragement. Trial and­adjust­questions­are­a­relatively­secure­way­of­doing­this.­Some­coursework­can­ teach­this­lesson.­Again­some­security­and­intervention­may­be­needed. ­­ ­ romote­pupil’s­self­confidence­in­learning­maths­by­giving­positive­and­constructive­ P feedback. ­­ ­ reate­a­classroom­ethos­which­encourages­involvement,­by: C ­­ ­ reating­an­ethos­of­meaningful­praise­(I­prefer­lots­of­‘little­praises’­to­fewer­‘big­ c praises’;­and creating an ethos that encourages learners to take a risk. R ­ emind­pupils­that­learning­involves­risk­and­make­sure­that­the­consequences­of­ t ­aking­a­risk­are­not­negative.

­­

An­ interesting­ thought:­ Do­ we­ teach­ algebra­ so­ that­ each­ new­ generation­ can­ share­ a­ c ­ ommon­experience­in­maths,­that­is­‘I­can’t­do­algebra!’­(though­I­guess­the­same­could­ be­said­of­fractions).

Attributional style
Building­ a­ positive­ attributional­ style­ appeals­ to­ me­ as­ a­ more­ robust­ target­ than­ just­ b ­ uilding­self­esteem­or­self­confidence.­It­seems­to­set­firmer­foundations­and­have­a­more­ lasting­influence. A­poor­attributional­style­is­the­result­of­constant­negative­feedback,­perhaps­internal­ as­ well­ as­ external,­ something­ that­ is­ more­ than­ likely­ for­ a­ weak­ maths­ student.­ The­ n ­ egative­feedback­comes­from­many­sources:­the­teacher,­in­what­he­says­and­how­he­says­ it,­in­what­he­doesn’t­say,­how­he­marks­and­appraises­work;­peers­and­the­learner’s­status­ within­the­peer­group;­parents­reactions­to­reports;­and­the­learner’s­own­frustrations­and­ failures,­real­or­imagined. Seligman’s­ interpretation­ of­ how­ people­ attribute­ their­ successes­ and­ failures­ is­ so­ a ­ pposite­for­maths­learning.­The­three­aspects­of­attribution­are:
Pervasive Permanent Personal ‘I­can’t­do­this­sum,­I­can’t­do­any­maths.’ ‘I­couldn’t­learn­the­times­table­facts­last­night.­I’ll­never­be­able­to­learn­them.’ ‘It’s­all­my­fault,­I’m­just­thick.’

It­takes­time­and­that­constant­drip,­drip­of­negative­feedback­to­make­attributions­become­ negative,­so­it­should­be­no­surprise­that­it­takes­time­and­a­lot­of­positive­drips­to­turn­ those attributions around.

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To sum up
This could be the most important topic in this book. Maybe more so with maths than with other­subjects,­the­learner­has­to­believe­that­he­can­do­it­or­at­the­least­make­an­attempt­that­ will­be­genuinely­valued.­Self­concept,­self­esteem,­optimism­and­pessimism­are­concepts­ which­we­often­discuss,­but­do­we,­as­teachers­keep­them­uppermost­in­our­minds­at­all­ times.­Sports­managers­pay­big­money­to­get­their­teams­motivated­and­believing­that­they­ will­win­because­they­know­how­important­those­beliefs­are­to­success,­however­skilled­ the team.

Chapter­8­ The inconsistencies of maths
Another general factor to consider for uncertain learners is inconsistency. This may be a­change­of­teacher,­a­new­topic,­a­different­room­or­inconsistencies­in­the­subject.­This­ short­chapter­tries­to­help­teachers­and­support­assistants­gain­an­extra­understanding­of­ this facet of maths and how it may confuse insecure pupils. We try to encourage pupils to look­for­patterns­and­this­is­generally­sound­practice,­but­then­we­must­be­aware­of­the­ e ­ xceptions­and­the­confusions­that­may­arise­as­a­consequence. When­I­first­started­teaching­mathematics­I­would­say­to­my­students,­‘Maths­is­much­ better­than­spelling­because­in­maths­a­rule­is­a­rule,­no­exceptions!’­But­if­you­teach­pupils­ who­have­problems­in­learning­maths­you­learn­to­make­no­assumptions­and­to­question­ everything­you­might­have­taken­for­granted­even,­for­example,­the­‘simple’­process­of­ counting to twenty. I­began­to­recognise­two­important­elements­in­teaching­maths­to­my­pupils.­One­was­ that­maths­has­far­more­inconsistencies­than­I­realised1 and the other was that students who find­learning­maths­difficult­need­and­rely­on­consistency.­If­there­are­inconsistencies­then­ we­as­teachers­have­to­be­aware­of­them­and­help­our­students­to­manage­them. Then­ I­ thought­ about­ the­ interaction­ of­ pupils’­ confusions­ arising­ from­ these­ inconsistencies and some research from eighty years ago. Back­ in­ the­ 1920s­ two­ Americans,­ Buswell­ and­ Judd2 wrote a monograph about t ­eaching­arithmetic.­I­have­always­felt­that­one­of­their­observations­is­vitally­important­for­ l ­earners­(and­teachers).­Basically­Buswell­and­Judd­said­that­when­you­learn­a­new­topic­ in­arithmetic,­if­your­first­experience­in­practising­and­applying­this­new­topic­is­incorrect,­ that­inaccuracy­becomes­a­dominant­memory.­So,­for­example,­if­despite­careful­teaching,­ the pupil adds that procedural inaccuracy becomes what he remembers when faced­with­similar­questions­in­future. So­ the­ inconsistencies­ of­ maths­ may­ lead­ to­ inaccurate­ first­ experiences­ and­ we­ as­ t ­eachers­have­to­be­aware­of­this­and­try­to­pre-empt­the­confusion­or­at­least­check­pupils’­ initial­practises­quickly­before­any­misunderstanding­becomes­embedded­in­our­learners’­ minds. We­need­to­monitor­and­utilise­the­power­of­the­first­learning­experience. Some­of­the­inconsistencies­which­can­create­confusion­for­learners­are­listed­below.­Being­ aware­of­these­may­also­aid­diagnosis­(Chapter­9).­Confusion­over­inconsistencies­may­be­ the root of other problems. The­inconsistencies­which­may­lead­to­future­confusions­in­maths­start­in­very­early­ numeracy,­for­example­and,­as­already­mentioned,­in­counting­to­twenty. ♦­­ We­write­numbers­as­1,­2,­3,­4,­5,­6,­7,­8,­9­which­are­getting­bigger­as­we­write­from­left­ to­right,­then­we­write­11,­12,­13,­14,­15,­16,­17,­18,­19­where­the­bigger­(value)­digit­is­ now­on­the­left,­even­though­it­has­been­smaller­in­the­earlier­learning­experience.

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♦­­ The­words­for­the­teen­numbers­defy­the­convention­used­for­other­two­digit­numbers­ by­referring­to­the­unit­digit­first,­thus­thirteen­compares­badly­with­twenty­three,­thirty­ three and so on. ♦­­ Whilst­we­become­regular­in­language­structure­for­numbers­in­the­hundreds­and­above­ using,­for­example,­five­hundred,­five­thousand­and­five­million,­we­use­fifty,­which­is­ not­only­not­fivety,­but­is­not­five­ten.­(Maybe­this­has­something­to­do­with­the­history­ of­the­language­of­maths­and­the­lower­frequency­of­use­of­the­higher­numbers­giving­ less­chance­for­them­to­become­colloquial.) ♦­­ Children­are­likely­to­meet­‘third’­and­‘fourth’­first­(!)­when­used­to­denote­order.­Later­ the same words refer to fractions. ♦­­ We­ have­ a­ whole­ range­ of­ words­ to­ infer­ addition,­ subtraction,­ multiplication­ and­ d ­ ivision.­ For­ example­ ‘more,­ plus,­ and,­ add’­ infer­ addition.­ So­ we­ can­ teach­ this­ fl ­ exibility­in­language­and­create­classic­maths­word­problems­such­as: Mark­has­eight­pens.­James­has­two­more­pens­than­Mark.­How­many­pens­ does­James­have? Then­we­use­‘more’­to­mean­‘subtract’­as­in: Mark­has­eight­pens.­Mark­has­two­more­pens­than­James.­How­many­pens­ does­James­have? ♦­­ We­‘carry’­in­addition­sums­and­‘decompose’­in­subtraction­sums,­yet­both­are­trading­ actions,­trading­ten­ones­for­one­ten­and­trading­one­ten­for­ten­ones.­(And­decomposition­ is­one­of­those­words­that­has­a­meaning­outside­mathematics.) ♦­­ In­early­experiences­of­subtraction,­the­small­is­subtracted­from­the­big.­This­does­not­ remain a reliable concept. ♦­­ Multiplying­may­be­taught­as­a­process­that­makes­things­bigger,­yet­multiplying­by­0.6­ and­so­forth­makes­things­smaller.­(Similar­confusing­things­happen­with­division.) ♦­­ We­(normally)­add,­subtract­and­multiply­in­writing­from­units,­through­tens­to­hundreds­and­on,­that­is­from­right­to­left,­but­we­divide­from­left­to­right­and­thus­from­ thousands,­to­hundreds,­tens­and­units.­We­may­also­add­and­subtract­mentally­starting­ from­highest­place­value. ♦­­ For­numbers­and­algebra, a times b­equals­b times a (ab=ba)­for­example­3×4=4×3 a plus b­equals­b plus a (a+b=b+a)­for­example­3+4=4+3 but a divided by b­does­not­equal­b divided by a (a/b≠b/a) for­example­ a minus b­does­not­equal­b minus a (a−b≠b−a) for­example­2−3≠3−2

The inconsistencies of maths 107 ♦­­ We­ expect­ absolute­ accuracy­ in­ numerical­ computations­ and­ then­ expect­ students­ to­ abandon this strict regime when learning to estimate. ♦­­ We­teach­place­value­and­say­3456­as­‘three­thousand,­four­hundred­and­fifty­six’­but­ pupils’­first­experience­of­a­four­digit­number­is­likely­to­be­a­year,­for­example,­1980,­ which­we­say­as­‘nineteen­eighty’­or­1066­which­we­say­as­‘ten­sixty­six’. ♦­­ In­fractions­the­most­familiar­(and­therefore­the­most­useful,­potentially,­for­teaching)­ are­the­two­inconsistently­named­fractions,­half­and­quarter.­A­third­is­OK­as­is­a­fifth,­ sixth­and­so­on. ♦­­ In­fractions­big­becomes­small.­For­example­1/­9­­is­smaller­than­1/­2­ ♦­­ Again,­in­fractions­we­modify­the­use­of­the­addition­sign­so,­for­example­in

only­the­‘top’­numbers­are­added. Then we change again so that in multiplications such as

both­‘top’­and­‘bottom’­numbers­are­multiplied. ♦­­ In­whole­numbers­the­sequence­of­words­for­the­place­values­going­from­left­to­right­of­ the­decimal­point­is­units,­tens,­hundreds,­thousands.­For­decimals,­the­sequence­from­ right­to­left­of­the­decimal­point­is­is­tenths,­hundredths,­thousandths,­which­is­a­very­ subtle­difference­in­sounds,­but­a­big­difference­in­concept. ♦­­ With­angles­we­tend­to­measure­anti-clockwise,­but­with­time­we­work­clockwise. ♦­­ There­are­90°­in­a­right­angle­(would­100°­cause­fewer­problems?),­and­what­about­a­ campaign­to­change­the­12­hours­for­a­half­day­to­10­(just­joking,­don’t­tell­the­EC). ♦­­ Time­works­with­12­and­60­instead­of­10­and­100­and­is­cyclical,­that­is­we­count­up­to­ 12­(sometimes­24­to­add­more­confusion)­and­60­and­then­start­at­1­again.­We­do­this­ with­days­(in­7s)­and­months­(in­12s)­too­and­weeks­are­in­52s. ♦­­ With­time­we­count­on­from­the­hour­until­half­past,­then­we­count­down­to­the­next­ hour.­So­4:30­is­‘four­thirty’,­but­4:50­is­‘ten­to­five’­(4:50­having­neither­a­five­nor­a­ ten). ♦­­ Even­7:10­can­be­verbalised­as­‘seven­ten’­which­has­the­words­in­the­same­order­as­the­ numbers­or­as­‘ten­past­seven’­which­has­the­words­in­reverse­order. ♦­­ The­basic­unit­of­length­is­the­metre,­m.­The­basic­unit­of­volume­is­the­litre,­1.­The­ basic­unit­of­mass­is­the­kilogram,­kg,­not­the­gram,­g. ♦­­ In­measurement­‘m’­means­metre,­mile­and­milli­(but­not­mega­and­micro). ♦­­ Children­are­often­told­that­multiplying­a­number­by­1­does­not­change­the­number,­yet­ in­fractions,­for­example

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is the same value as

but certainly does not look the same.

♦­­ In­algebra­we­use­x­to­mean­‘any­number’.­Then­we­give­pupils­2x+8=20,­and­ask­them­ to­find­a­particular­number­value­for­x. ♦­­ And­in­arithmetic­×­has­always­meant­multiply,­now­in­algebra­it­doesn’t­and­further­ than this in algebra we omit any symbol for multiply. ♦­­ ‘Remove­the­brackets’­as­in­(y+3)­(y−5)­is­not­meant­literally. ♦­­ In­calculus­the­dy­(and­dx)­in­dy/dx does not mean d times y and d times x. ♦­­ In­trigonometry­sin−1 does not mean ♦­­ In­algebra­we­keep­the­symbols­+­and­−­but­lose­×­and­÷. This­list­is­just­a­few­examples.­As­time­goes­by­and­I­teach­each­new­class,­I­learn­new­ things­and­I­continue­to­add­to­my­list­of­inconsistencies.­My­students­continue­to­teach­me­ about understanding maths. Teaching is always about learning. When­he­was­a­young­man­the­Nobel­Prize­winning­scientist­Richard­Feynman­invented­ his­own­symbols­for­trigonometry,­calculus­and­other­areas­of­maths,­which­were­to­him­ far­more­consistent­than­the­traditional­symbols­(for­example­in­dx/­dy he was tempted to cancel­the­d’s).­Unfortunately­reality­intervened­and­he­realised­that­to­communicate­with­ other­mathematicians­he­had­to­use­the­same­symbols­as­them.­So­I­guess­reality­will­have­ to­rule­here,­too­and­we­will­have­to­accept­and­work­with­the­inconsistencies. Just­to­complete­the­chapter­I­have­reproduced­an­article,­obviously­written­very­tongue­ in­cheek,­that­was­published­originally­in­Mathematics Teaching, a journal of the Association­of­Teachers­of­Mathematics­(ATM),­number­175,­June­2001,­pp.­12–13.­It­is­reprinted­ with ATM permission.

It was just a matter of time
Old­Dr­Algy­B’rah­faced­the­Lower­Third­maths­class­for­lesson­10­on­Friday­ afternoon. ‘Now,­today,­or­perhaps­it­was­yesterday,­when­I­said­it­would­be­tomorrow.­ In­fact­sometime­recently­I­said­that­it­was­about­time­I­spent­some­time­teaching­ you time. Time­is­easy­to­understand­and­to­help­I’ve­brought­in­a­real­clock.­This­is­the­ clock­face.­You’ll­see­that­it­doesn’t­have­eyes­or­a­nose­but­it­does­have­hands.­ Unlike­you­there­are­three­hands­to­one­face.­The­first­hand­is­the­hour­hand,­the­ second­ hand­ is­ the­ minute­ hand­ and­ the­ third­ hand­ is­ the­ second­ hand.­ Is­ that­ clear?

The inconsistencies of maths 109 The­little­hand­is­the­hour­hand­and­the­big­hand­is­the­minute­hand.­That’s­ minute­not­minute,­otherwise­it­wouldn’t­be­big­would­it? There­are­numbers­round­the­clock­face.­They­start­with­1,­which­is­not­the­ number­at­the­top­and­go­round­to­12­which­is­at­the­top.­This­is­because­there­are­ 24­hours­in­a­day.­So­there­are­24­hours­in­a­day­and­we­put­12­of­them­on­a­clock­ and use them twice. See­all­these­little­marks.­They­are­the­marks­for­minutes­which­can­also­be­ used­for­seconds­and­there­are­60­of­those,­so­1­means­1­if­it’s­hours­and­5­if­it’s­ minutes­and­5­if­it’s­seconds­and­2­means­10­minutes­when­it’s­not­hours­and­10­ seconds­when­it’s­not­minutes.­So­there­are­60­minutes­in­an­hour­and­60­seconds­ in­a­minute­and­we­only­use­them­once,­not­twice­like­hours. When­the­big­hand­is­pointing­at­12­and­the­little­hand­is­pointing­at­4­it­is­four­ o’clock.­No­it­isn’t­really­4­o’clock­now,­sit­down,­and­no,­Seamus,­o’clock­is­not­ an­Irish­name. The­hands­go­round­and­round­and­round.­It­is­all­very­logical.­It­takes­the­hour­ hand­half­a­day­to­go­round.­It­takes­the­minute­hand­an­hour­to­go­round­and­it­ takes the second hand a minute to go round. And when the hour hand has been round­twice­it’s­tomorrow­and­today­becomes­yesterday. Now,­when­we­start­to­go­past­o’clock,­we­get­to­times­like­5­past­1,­which­ we­write­as­1.05.­This­means­the­little­hand­starts­to­move­away­from­the­1­and­ the­minute­hand­moves­away­from­the­12.­The­little­hand­heads­for­2­and­the­big,­ minute­hand­moves­away­from­the­12,­which­also­means­zero,­but­it­doesn’t­say­ it,­and­heads­for­the­1­which­also­means­5.­This­goes­until­30­past­1,­which­is­also­ half­past­1,­which­is­also­1.30,­but­the­.­is­not­a­decimal­and­30­is­not­the­decimal­ .30­ which­ is­ ­ but­ now­ it’s­ ­ not­ .50­ so­ we­ have­ to­ remember­ that­ can be w ­ ritten­as­.30,­but­if­you­do­that­with­decimal­numbers­I­will­mark­it­wrong.­Then­ we­say­25­to­2,­which­is­not­tutu­or­to­to­or­two­two­and­20­to­2­and­quarter­to­2­ and­10­to­2.­Of­course­20­to­2­could­be­one­third­to­2,­but­that­would­be­difficult­ so­we­don’t­say­that,­because­we­want­time­to­be­easy.­And­of­course­20­to­2­could­ be­one­forty,­which­is­not­the­same­as­forty­one­backwards,­because­we­always­say­ the­hour­first­except­when­we­say­it­second­after­the­minutes.­And­the­to­is­not­two­ or­10­to­2­would­be­1022­which­is­forty­four­years­before­the­Battle­of­Hastings. So­we­count­in­minutes­after­the­hour,­but­only­until­30­minutes­after­the­hour,­ then­we­count­down­to­the­next­hour,­even­though­the­minute­hand­is­now­moving­up,­except­when­we­use­times­like­1.35.­This­means­we­change­the­hour­we­ are­ talking­ about­ at­ half­ past­ the­ first­ hour­ and­ use­ the­ next­ hour­ half­ an­ hour­ before­ we­ reach­ the­next­ hour.­ Once­you­think­about­that­ it­ all­ becomes­ clear,­ doesn’t­it? Now­you­have­all­that­clear­we­can­move­on­to­the­24­hour­clock­which­is­used­ for­trains,­buses­and­aeroplanes,­all­examples­where­you­really­need­to­know­time­ to­be­on­time.­We­still­use­the­12­hour­clock­face­I’ve­shown­you­but­when­we­go­ round­the­second­time­with­the­hour­hand­we­now­have­to­remember­that­for­the­ 24­hour­clock­1­means­13,­2­is­14,­3­is­15­and­so­on.­So­the­1­on­the­clock­face­ can­mean­1­for­hours,­13­for­hours,­5­for­minutes­and­5­for­seconds.­When­we­get­ past­6­numbers­like­9­can­mean­9,­21,­45­or­ ­and­7­can­mean­7,­19,­35­or­25.­And­

110

The Trouble with Maths don’t­forget­that­10+5=­3­with­the­12­hour­clock­and­10+5=15­with­the­24­hour­ clock­and­23+­8=07­with­the­24­hour­clock­and­I­know­we­haven’t­written­0­in­ front of a whole number before. On­the­24­hour­clock­after­times­like­fifteen­fifty­nine­we­go­to­sixteen­hundred,­which­is­really­fifteen­sixty,­but­after­59­we­go­back­to­zero­again­and­call­ it­hundred.­This­means­we­have­to­remember­that­20.40­is­not­the­same­as­20.40­ in­decimals­but­is­the­same­as­8.40­and­20­to­9.­That’s­clear­to­me,­so­it­should­be­ clear to you. I­just­can’t­understand­why­you­can’t­do­time.­No­I­don’t­mean­“do­time”­as­in­ “doing­time”­Bodger.’ And­we­expect­young­children­to­understand­time!

Learners who are insecure or uncertain do not handle inconsistencies well. Time is full of inconsistencies, in the vocabulary used and in the way numbers are used.

Chapter­9­ Assessment and diagnosis
Assessment and diagnosis
There­are­some­good­arguments­for­making­this­the­first­chapter.­Obviously­one­could­ask­ ‘How­can­you­remediate­before­you­diagnose?’­Well.­I’ve­put­this­chapter­almost­at­the­ end of the book on the basis that it is not possible to diagnose until you understand the problems. Let­me­define­how­I­see­assessment­and­diagnosis. Assessment­ is­ about­ measuring­ the­ student’s­ achievements,­ skills­ and­ d ­ eficits. Diagnosis­is­about­understanding­why­a­student­is­not­learning­or­why­he­is­ underachieving­and­should­also­lead­to­advice­on­how­to­teach­him. Assessment and diagnosis should always be interlinked and both should be ongoing. Both can­be­used­to­identify­problems­and­possibly­lead­to­ideas­for­addressing­the­problems,­ but,­more­importantly­in­my­opinion,­both­can­be­used­to­pre-empt­many­problems.­As­far­ as­is­possible­we­need­to­get­teaching­right­first­time­to­capture­the­powerful­influence­of­ the­first­learning­experience.

Assessment
Assessment­ may­ be­ via­ a­ standardised­ test­ or­ a­ national­ test­ (for­ example­ GCSE)­ or­ a­ school-based­ test.­ That­ is­ to­ say,­ an­ assessment­ is­ often­ one­ outcome­ from­ specifically­ chosen­ maths­ tasks,­ usually­ in­ the­ form­ of­ a­ test­ or­ examination­ which­ are­ specifically­ designed­to­measure­the­current­achievement­levels­of­the­student.­This­is­often­measured­ in comparison with other pupils. A standardised test is a test which has been trialled on a suitably large sample of typical subjects­and­then­the­scores­are­examined,­items­are­modified­or­exchanged,­until­the­test­ results­are­statistically­satisfactory.­Usually­this­means­they­fit­a­normal­(bell­shaped)­distribution.­A­teacher­using­the­test­can­then­compare­his­pupils’­results­with­the­standardised­ results.­This­should­give­a­measure­as­to­how­far­ahead­or­behind­a­pupil’s­performance­ is­compared­to­his­peers.­Standardised­tests­are­usually­used­to­measure­progress­(but­see­ later)­or­the­current­state­of­pupils’­learning­and­achievement. In­ summary,­ then,­ what­ standardised­ testing­ does­ is­ to­ give­ a­ ‘maths­ age’­ either­ as­ a­one-off­or­for­monitoring­progress.­Some­standardised­tests­also­encourage­diagnostic­ interpretation,­though­this­will­inevitably­be­much­less­than­would­be­obtained­from­an­ individual­assessment. I­feel­that­it­should­be­obligatory­that­testing­should­have­an­outcome­that­is­beneficial­to­ the­learner,­whether­it­is­in­identifying­blocks­to­learning,­directing­additional­intervention­

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to­the­learner­or­directing­extra­resources­to­the­learner.­Then­just­how­the­information/­ results­of­the­test­are­given­(or­not)­to­the­learner­may­take­him­forward­or­set­him­back. The­following­Checklist­may­help­you­select­a­standardised­test.

Checklist for standardised tests
♦­­ Is­it­a­test­which­is­restricted­in­use­to­psychologists?­(For­example­the­WOND,­the­ Weschler­Objectives­Numerical­Dimensions­may­only­be­used­by­psychologists.) ♦­­ How­much­does­it­cost­(a)­initially­and­(b)­for­extra­test­sheets­and­score­sheets? ♦­­ What­ does­ it­ look­ like?­ (For­ example,­ are­ the­ items­ too­ close­ together?­ Is­ the­ type­ clear?) ♦­­ How­ long­ does­ it­ take?­ (There­ will­ be­ a­ compromise­between­ a­ test­ being­ thorough­ enough­to­give­a­valid­measurement­and­being­too­daunting­usually­by­demanding­too­ long a concentration time from the subject and often consuming too much teaching time.) ♦­­ What­is­the­target­age­range?­(A­small­age­range­may­make­comparisons­more­accurate,­ but­may­handicap­long­term­monitoring.) ♦­­ Can­it­be­read­to­pupils?­(You’re­testing­maths­not­reading.­However,­reading­the­test­to­ the­student­may­invalidate­the­use­of­the­standardised­results.) ♦­­ How­many­items­for­a­one­year­gain­of­maths­age?­(One­year’s­progress­could­be­just­ two­items,­but­usually­is­about­five.) ♦­­ How­often­do­you­wish­to­assess­progress?­Does­the­test­have­a­parallel­form?­(These­ questions­follow­on­from­the­previous­question.) ♦­­ Does­it­match­your­maths­curriculum?­(Are­you­testing­what­your­students­have­been­ taught?) ♦­­ Do­the­individual­items­test­what­they­are­intended­to­test?­(For­example­33×251­may­ test­long­multiplication,­whereas­79×683­may­only­expose­inadequate­recall­of­times­ tables­facts.) ♦­­ Can­ you­ extract­ any­ diagnostic­ information?­ (The­ answer­ to­ this­ question­ is­ usually­ ‘Yes’,­even­if­the­information­only­starts­your­diagnosis.) ♦­­ What­are­the­details­of­the­standardising­sample?­(How­large?­What­is­the­make-up?­ Any­special­needs?­etc.) ♦­­ Is­there­a­balanced­mix­of­thinking/­cognitive­styles­of­the­questions? Remember­that­testing­is­not­an­exact­science,­particularly­when­interpreting­the­test­results­ from­ one­ individual.­ Pupil’s­ attitudes­ and­ performances­ may­ be­ labile.­You­ could­ have­ set­the­test­on­a­bad­day­for­a­pupil.­Also­an­average­score­for­a­group­may­mask­many­ i ­ndividual­variations.­(Averages­do­worry­me!) Having­chosen­your­test,­using­it­will­confirm,­or­disprove­your­choice.­Sometimes­use­ with­pupils­will­be­the­only­way­to­make­the­final­decision.­Of­course,­syllabus­changes­ may­make­your­choice­redundant,­but­this­may­not­be­so,­for­example,­despite­the­radical­ approach­of­the­National­Numeracy­Strategy­the­actual­maths­content­is­much­as­it­ever­ was.­This­is­usually­the­situation­(with­the­possible­exception­of­the­somewhat­bizarre­foray­ into­‘new’­maths­some­years­ago­which­destroyed­what­remained­of­parental­confidence­in­ trying­to­help­children­with­maths).

Assessment and diagnosis

113

I­was­privileged­to­hear­Alan­Kaufman­a­world­expert­on­testing,­speak­at­a­conference­ in­Sweden­in­2002.­I­asked­if­I­could­use­the­following­quote­from­his­talk,­which­I­think­ summarises­what­a­tester­should­always­have­in­mind, ‘Be­better­than­the­test­you­use.’

How often should standardised tests be used?
There­ are­ tests­ which­ are­ designed­ to­ be­ pre-­ and­ post—(intervention­ or­ teaching­ programme)­tests.­The­time­span­is­then­defined.­The­frequency­with­which­other­tests­are­used­ should­depend­partly­on­the­number­of­items­that­create­a­twelve­month­gain.­Some­tests­ are­time­consuming­and­this­ may­affect­ frequency­of­use.1 Basically using standardised testing­once­a­year­is­sensible,­but­there­is­a­but.

When to use a standardised test
But­ in­ order­ to­ compare­ gains­made­over­ twelve­months,­ you­may­ have­ to­test­twice­a­ year. The summer break is a great opportunity for maths skills and knowledge to slip back and­thus­for­test­scores­to­decay.­Maths­is­a­set­of­skills­and,­like­any­skill,­performance­ will­deteriorate­in­the­absence­of­practise.­Therefore,­any­testing­done­at­the­start­of­the­ academic year is likely to show lower performance scores from tests done at the end of the academic year. Testing­at­the­end­of­the­academic­year­should­show­the­maximum­score­for­any­individual,­but­it­will­be­too­late­to­be­of­diagnostic­value­in­terms­of­guiding­intervention. A­ good­ compromise­ may­ be­ to­ test­ at­ the­ start­ of­ the­ academic­ year,­ when­ the­ test­ should­provide­good­diagnostic­information,­both­for­individuals­and­for­the­class­group,­ by highlighting weaker areas which can then be addressed before new work is introduced. The­areas­which­have­declined­over­the­summer­break­may­well­be­areas­where­learning­ is­fragile­and­thus­in­need­of­top-up­revision.­By­analysing­as­a­group­and­as­individuals,­intervention­can­be­delivered­more­effectively­and­efficiently.­For­example,­if,­say­60­ per­cent­of­the­group­show­a­weakness­in­a­particular­topic­then­a­group­intervention­is­ efficient.­If­only­5­per­cent­of­the­group­show­a­problem­in­a­particular­task,­then­more­ individualised­intervention­is­appropriate. And­then­test­half­way­through­the­year­which­will­show­mid-year­progress­(though­ remember­just­how­discriminating­your­test­really­is)­and­show­if­the­deficits­have­been­ rectified.­Test­scores­over­equivalent­twelve­month­periods­may­then­be­compared­as­measures of progress.

Summary
Test at the start of the academic year. ●­­Analyse­the­results­to­show­areas­of­weakness­in­the­class­group­and­in­individuals.­ Plan­interventions. ­Test­mid-year­to­indicate­the­progress­of­individuals­and­the­group.

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●­­Analyse­the­results­for­the­group­and­for­individuals­to­show­patterns­of­strength­ and weakness. ­Compare­results­for­twelve­month­intervals­to­show­progress­from­mid-year­to­midyear and start of year to start of year. Remember­that­testing­is­not­an­exact­science,­particularly­when­interpreting­the­test­ results­from­one­individual.­Pupil’s­attitudes­and­performances­may­be­labile.­You­could­ have­set­the­test­on­a­bad­day­for­a­pupil.­Also­an­average­score­for­a­group­may­mask­ many­individual­variations.­Remember­that­a­class­does­not­have­enough­pupils­to­allow­ for­statistical­significance,­for­example,­to­be­a­normal­distribution. Remember,­beware­the­average.

Diagnosis
Diagnosis­ is­ usually­ the­ outcome­ from­ examining­ the­ work­ and/­or­ working­ with­ an­ i ­ndividual.­It­relies­on­empathetic­observation­skills,­a­good­understanding­of­maths­and­an­ even­better­understanding­of­the­learner. It­ is­ possible­ to­ extract­ diagnostic­ information­ from­ almost­ any­ maths­ work,­ but­ the­ amount and accuracy of your diagnosis will increase dramatically if you are able to see the­learner­working­and­can­ask­questions­as­he­works.­Sometimes­errors­are­obvious­(for­ example­32.6−4=32.2).­Sometimes­they­are­impossible­to­identify­unless­you­can­ask­the­ key­diagnostic­question,­‘Tell­me­how­you­did­that,’­or­encourage­the­student,­‘Can­you­ talk­me­through­your­method?’ I­ am­ a­ great­ believer­ in­ informal diagnosis.­ Informal­ diagnosis­ does­ not­ necessarily­ mean sitting down with the learner for an hour or more going through a lot of worksheets­and­tests­on­maths.­It­could­be­an­ongoing­process­with­information­coming­from­ o ­ ccasional­questions,­possibly­prompted­by­marked­work,­slowly­building­the­picture,­but­ also­influencing­and­changing­that­picture­with­interventions­following­on­from­the­diagnosis.­As­a­(lapsed)­chemist­I­recall­my­understanding­of­the­Heisenberg­principle­which­ stated­that­whatever­you­measure,­in­doing­the­measurement­you­change­what­you­measure­ (and­sometimes­in­this­particular­setting­change­can­be­a­good­thing). So­you­can­extract­diagnostic­information­from­pre-set­tests­such­as­the­Key­Stage­tests­ or­a­standardised­test,­but­this­will­obviously­be­restricted­to­information­around­the­content­of­the­test.­You­may­wish­to­have­information­that­is­not­covered­by­the­test­and­that­ will be addressed a little later in this chapter.

Why do you test? Some reasons for testing
When­teachers­ask­me­‘What­test­do­you­recommend?’­I­ask­‘What­do­you­want­to­find?’­ and­maybe­‘Why­are­you­testing?’­(I­realise­the­answer­to­the­second­question­may­well­be­ ‘Because­X­told­me­to.’) There are a number of reasons why we test. ♦­ ­A­teacher­may­wish­to­monitor­the­progress­of­his­or­her­group­and/­or­identify­those­ who­need­extra­help­and/­or­collect­data­with­which­to­stream­groups.

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♦­­ Parents­may­wish­to­know­how­their­child’s­achievements­compare­with­those­of­his­ peers. ♦­­ There­may­be­a­need­to­measure­rates­of­progress. ♦­­ To­evaluate­the­maths­programme. ♦­­ There­may­be­some­mandatory­requirement­to­test. ♦­­ The­test­may­be­used­to­assess­the­ability­of­the­pupil­to­progress­to­higher­levels­of­ study or to a new school. ♦­­ To­provide­information­for­an­educational­statement­of­special­needs­(which­may­be­the­ same­as­the­previous­item). ♦­­ The­ test­ may­ be­ used­ to­ award­ a­ certificate­ recording­ a­ level­ of­ achievement­ (for­ e ­ xample,­GCSE­or­National­Curriculum­Key­Stage­4). ♦­­ It­ may­ be­ used­ for­ diagnostic­ reasons­ (for­ example,­ to­ find­ the­ student’s­ strengths,­ w ­ eaknesses,­knowledge­base­and­learning­style). ♦­­ To­provide­information­which­will­guide­the­teaching­of­the­student.

Some basic questions: the overview
What­do­you­want­to­know?­Why­do­you­want­to­know­it?­
♦ How­big­is­the­problem? ♦ What­can’t­he­do? ♦ What­can­he­do? ♦ What­doesn’t­he­know? ♦ What­does­he­know? ♦ How­does­he­learn? ♦ How­can­I­teach­him? ♦ What­does­he­bring? A mathematics age. For­example,­procedures,­language,­recall,­speed. Recall­facts,­compensatory­strategies,­concepts. Basic­facts,­procedures,­concepts. Basic­facts,­procedures,­concepts. Cognitive­style,­learning­style,­use­of­materials. Cognitive­style,­learning­style,­use­of­materials. Attitude,­anxiety,­beliefs,­history.

♦ Where­do­I­start­the­intervention? The­key­question,­but­usually­further­back­than­you­think.

Basic information and informal testing
What are the fundamental skills and knowledge learners need to start arithmetic and thus move­on­to­numeracy­and­mathematics?­I­would­be­a­brave­man­if­I­tried­to­provide­the­ definitive­ answer­ to­ that­ question,­ but­ there­ are­ some­ basic­ topics­ that­ must­ be­ keys­ to­ progress.­These­include­awareness­of­number­values,­a­knowledge­of­basic­facts­and­the­ four­operations­and­an­ability­to­take­number­manipulations­beyond­counting.­Obviously­ the­age­of­the­person­will­have­some­influence­on­what­is­asked­and­how­it­is­asked.­The­ questions­might­cover: ♦­ recognition­of­groups­of­dots,­regularly­and­randomly­arranged; ♦­­ counting/­adding­tasks­and­number­bonds­(particularly­for­10); ♦­­ a­short­term­memory­test,­for­example­digit­span; ♦­­ multiplication­facts;

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♦­­ place­value; ♦­­ mathematical­vocabulary; ♦­­ the­four­operations­(+,­−,­×,­÷)­and­error­patterns; ♦­­ money­(possibly­plus­decimals­and­fractions—but­be­aware­of­anxiety); ♦­­ word­problems; ♦­­ thinking­style; ♦­­ attitude­and­anxiety. Informal­diagnostic­testing­should: ♦­­ follow­clues­from­the­standardised­testing; ♦­­ focus­in­on­specific­problems,­e.g.­recall­of­facts­or­reading­problems; ♦­­ relate­to­the­subject’s­needs­in­maths; ♦­ ‘follow’­the­pupil/­subject­(so­maybe­not­all­factors­have­to­be­investigated); ♦­­ look­for­and­identify­error­patterns; ♦­­ lead­to­suggestions­for­remediation­specific­to­the­person; ♦­­ be­low­stress; ♦­­ involve­a­mix­of­direct­questions­(‘How­are­you­getting­on­with­learning­the­times­ tables?’,­‘Would­you­explain­your­work­for­that­problem,­please?’)­and­‘doing’­maths­ (use­mini-worksheets­or­flash­cards); ♦­­ be­aware­of­the­non-verbal­factors.

Seating for testing
You­need­to­sit­where­you­can­see­the­subject­and­you­need­to­be­familiar­with­the­tests­you­ use­so­that­you­can­observe­the­subject­as­he­works­in­order­to­pick­up­all­the­non-verbal­ clues­such­as­finger­counting,­sub-vocalising­and­anxiety.­(See­Figure­9.1.)

Some informal tests using simple materials
These­make­good­warm­up­questions­for­an­individual­diagnosis­as­they­are­relatively­low­ stress.

Figure 9.1­Seating­for­the­assessment

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♦­­ Throw­about­thirty­or­forty­penny­coins­(or­matches)­on­a­table­and­ask­the­subject­to­ estimate the number. Then ask him to count the coins. The­estimation­exercise­gives­you­some­idea­about­the­subject’s­sense­of­ number. The counting checks one-to-one correspondence. Also it is of interest to see how­the­subject­counts.­Does­he­simply­count­or­does­he­arrange­or­pile­the­ coins­in­fives­or­tens­or­use­some­grouping­of­numbers? ♦­­ Give­the­subject­about­twenty-three­penny­coins­and­three­or­four­10p­coins.­Ask­him­ to­give­you­9p.­If­he­gives­you­nine­1p­coins­ask­for­another­9p­and­then­again.­He­does­ not­have­enough­penny­coins­for­the­third­9p­so­does­he­offer­a­10p­and­ask­for­change?­ Does­he­ask­you­to­change­a­10p­coin­for­ten­one­pence­coins?­Does­he­say­he­can’t­ because­he­doesn’t­have­nine­one­pence­coins.­You­are­exploring­his­sense­of­units­and­ tens­in­terms­of­a­familiar­material,­money­and­thus­the­foundation­of­place­value. ♦­­ Give­the­subject­ten­1p­coins.­Split­them­as­5­and­5­(in­a­line).­Write­5+5­=10­on­paper.­ Ask­the­pupil­to­write­other­pairs­of­numbers­which­add­to­10.­Tell­him­he­may­use­the­ coins to help if he wishes. You­are­observing­if­he­does­need­the­coins­or­whether­he­can­just­work­with­ the­written­digits.­(And­you­can­question­him­to­make­sure­he­is­not­just­ using­the­coins­to­humour­you.)­You­are­also­observing­how­he­organises­ this­‘number­bonds­for­10’­task.­Is­he­random?­Does­he­just­do­half­(that­is­ 6+4­and­not­4+6)?­The­exercise­extracts­information­about­these­key­facts­ in­a­somewhat­less­stressful­manner­and­in­a­way­that­gives­some­hint­as­to­ underlying­understanding­of­the­pattern­involved. ♦­­ Give­the­subject­twenty-four­1p­coins.­Ask­him­to­share­them­equally­between­two­ people,­then­four­people. How­is­the­sharing­done?­One­by­one?­Does­he­count­the­total,­divide­by­ two­mentally­and­then­count­out­twelve?­Does­he­group­the­coins­in­fives­or­ tens?­When­you­ask­him­to­share­between­four­people,­does­he­start­again­ with­the­twenty-four­or­does­he­half­the­groups­of­twelve? ♦­­ Ask­the­subject,­‘What­is­a­half­of­fifty?’­Sometime­later­show­him­a­card­on­which­is­ written ­and,­without­reading­out­the­card­ask­him­‘What­is­the­answer?’­It’s­a­ crude­test­of­the­difference­in­understanding­spoken­maths­and­written,­symbolic­maths.­ You­can­adjust­the­question­for­younger­children.

Recognising groups of dots
This­is­to­check­if­the­subject­has­any­sense­of­the­size,­names­and­the­values­of­numbers.­ Most­adults­can­recognise­(without­counting)­five,­six­or­seven­randomly­arranged­objects.­

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Younger­children­less.­A­series­of­cards­on­which­dots­are­printed­should­be­available­for­ use,­for­example­the­eight­cards­in­Figure­9.2.­Cards­A­to­E­could­be­used­for­checking­ recognition­or­counting.­E­and­F­could­be­used­to­ask­if­the­subject­can­tell­which­card­has­ more­dots.­Cards­E­and­G­could­be­used­to­check­if­counting­skills­are­affected­by­random­ arrangements­of­dots.­Card­H­could­be­used­to­check­if­patterns­are­recognised­(2×4).

Figure 9.2­Dot­recognition­and­counting

Counting and adding tasks
Ask­the­subject­to­count­out­twenty-two­coins.­Check­for­one-to-one­correspondence­and­ grouping­(as­a­means­of­checking). Show­the­subject­cards­with­simple­addition­sums:

Assessment and diagnosis
4+3=? 3+8=? 5+5=10

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to­check­for­accuracy­and­method.­Does­he­start­to­count­at­4­instead­of­5?­Does­he­ ‘just­know’,­does­he­relate­this­to­3+3­or­4+4? to­check­if­he­adds­8­onto­3­or­3­onto­8,­that­is­does­he­overview­before­counting­and­ appraise­the­task? and­ask­if­he­can­write­some­other­pairs­(two)­of­numbers­that­add­up­to­ten.­Check­ for­any­systematic­approach­and­whether­he­appreciates­the­link­between­3+7­and­ 7+3.­If­the­subject­is­hesitant­with­the­written­task,­give­him­ten­coins­to­help­work­ out the answers. This will tell you if the subject knows these essential facts and how he accesses them. to­see­if­he­inter-relates­the­ten­bonds­to­other­facts.­You­could­also­try­7+8=? to check if the subject knows how to approach number bonds when written in a d ­ ifferent­format.­Does­he­relate­4+7­to­4+6=10?

5+6=? 4+□=11

It­is­possible­to­check­recall­of­addition­and­subtraction­facts­informally­by­simply­asking­ the­answers­to­a­few­random­questions.­It­is­worth­asking­how­they­knew­the­answer­(recall­ or­strategy).­It­will­be­interesting­to­compare­recall­of­addition­facts­with­recall­of­subtraction­facts­(which­may­indicate­the­level­of­confidence­with­which­these­facts­are­known).­ Watch­for­subtle­counting­techniques­such­as­counting­objects­in­the­room­(eye­movements­ give­this­away)­or­almost­imperceptible­movements­of­fingers­resting­on­their­leg.­Less­ subtle­are­the­pupils­who­tap­their­nose­or­chin­as­they­count,­which­truly­is­an­early­stage­ of approaching and using number. An­alternative­or­supplementary­approach­is­to­ask­some­ specific­facts­under­ instant­ recall­conditions­and­then­later­with­12­second­intervals­to­find­an­answer­in­order­to­see­ if the facts just cannot be accessed at all or if the subject has a process that takes him to an­answer.­These­processes­often­indicate­good­facility­with­numbers,­though­this­is­less­ likely­if­the­strategy­is­finger­counting.

Short term memory
There­are­standardised­tests­for­short­term­memory,­but­you­just­need­to­have­an­idea­of­ how­many­items­the­subject­can­handle­rather­than­comparing­him­with­his­peers.­So­ask­ him­to­repeat­the­digits­that­you­say,­and­then­say,­at­one­second­intervals,­two­digits­(for­ example­7­4),­three­digits,­four­digits,­five­digits,­six­digits­(for­example­3­8­7­1­3­5).­If­he­ fails­at­any­point­give­another­set­of­digits,­if­he­fails­again­abandon­the­test. It­may­be­worth­doing­an­extension­by­saying­digits­and­asking­the­subject­to­repeat­ them­in­reverse­order,­for­example,­you­say­5­1­8­and­he­says­815.­This­gives­you­an­indication­of­how­many­items­of­data­the­subject­can­deal­with­at­one­time.­So,­if­he­is­limited­to­ three,­then­numbers­in­the­thousands­may­be­too­much­for­his­memory­to­deal­with.­As­an­ example­of­this,­a­colleague­was­working­with­a­14­year­old­student,­asking­him­to­extend­ the­sequence­abcdeabcdeabc…­His­analysis­was,­‘abc, dea, bcd, eab…­I­can’t­see­any­pattern.’­It­was­a­five­unit­task­for­a­student­with­a­three­unit­memory.

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Testing recall of multiplication facts
For­the­multiplication­facts,­I­like­to­ask­‘Which­of­the­times­tables­do­you­think­you­ know­well?’­Then­ask­a­couple­of­random­facts­to­check­if­the­answer­is­obtained­by­ recall­or­by­using­a­linking­strategy­(for­example­counting­on­fingers­in­twos­to­achieve­ the­ answer­ to­ 7×2­ or­ in­ 5s­ to­ answer­ 7×5).­ If­ recall­ is­ not­ good,­ for­ example­ if­ the­ subject­cannot­recall­3×8­or­6×6,­try­offering­2×8­=16­or­5×6=30­as­starting­points­to­ explore­his­use­of­links. As­with­addition­and­subtraction­facts,­an­alternative­approach­is­to­ask­some­specific­ facts­ under­ instant­ recall­ conditions­ and­ then­ later­ with­ 12­ seconds­ to­ find­ an­ answer in order to see if the facts just cannot be accessed at all or if the subject has a process that takes him to an answer. These processes often indicate good facility with numbers.

Place value
Use­a­series­of­place­value­cards­(see­Figure­9.3)­to­ask­what­specific­digits­represent,­ ‘What­is­the­value­of­this­number­in­this­place?’­Try­asking­what­happens­to­a­place­ value­when­the­number­is­multiplied­or­divided­by­10,­100­or­1000­to­check­deeper­ understanding.

Mathematical vocabulary
(See­ pp.­ 95–7.)­ What­ you­ ask­ will­ be­ very­ much­ dependent­ on­ the­ age­ and­ current­ achievement­ level­ of­ the­ subject­ and,­ also,­ of­ course­ on­ his­ reading­ level.­This­ will­ demand a good degree of empathy if the subject is not to be embarrassed. At­a­basic­level­you­can­ask­what­word­could­be­used­for­each­sign:­+,­−,­×,­÷,­=,­ and­then­what­other­words­he­knows­for­each­sign,­to­investigate­how­much­flexibility­ he­has­in­basic­maths­vocabulary.­Then,­showing­a­word,­you­should­ask­for­the­reverse­ translation­as­in­‘Which­maths­symbol­does­this­word­normally­mean?’­You­could­have­ a­set­of­cards,­each­with­a­maths­sign,­so­that­he­can­point­to­the­symbol. In­Chapter­6­there­is­a­list­of­instruction­words­which­you­could­use­to­investigate­ the­learner’s­understanding­of­key­vocabulary.

The four operations: +, −, × and ÷
This­ could­ be­ a­ huge­ section,­so­ you­will­need­ to­ target­a­level­of­ question­based­ on­ a­ simple­screening­test­(such­as­Figure­9.4)­or­the­results­from­the­standardised­test­used­at­ the start of the diagnosis. Then it is a matter of setting up a set of criterion referenced tests such as in Appendix­5­to­target­the­specific­level­of­the­subject­and­the­demands­of­the­ maths he will be facing.

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Figure 9.3­Place­value­cards

Look­for­errors­and­the­questions­which­are­not­attempted.­Make­your­own­interpretations,­ but­back­them­with,­‘Tell­me­how­you­did­this­question.’

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Errors
A­quick­and­accurate­performance­with­the­four­operations­(+,­−,­×,­÷)­is­an­essential­part­ of­early­mathematics­and­is­one­of­the­basic­life­skills.­Children­who­are­not­able­to­perform­ accurately­and­swiftly­on­these­questions­are­likely­to­be­judged­(not­always­correctly)­as­ having­poor­potential­in­mathematics.­Two­of­the­factors­affecting­speed­are­quick­access­ to­basic­facts­and­facility­with­the­algorithms­used­to­solve­each­question.­Failure­in­either­ or­both­of­these­two­areas­will­create­slow­and­often­inaccurate­work.­However,­an­ability­ ­ to­estimate­and­evaluate­answers­may­offer­some­compensation­and­give­some­support­to­ confidence­and­accuracy. name .............................
16 +27 19.09+10.91= 67 −32 37.6−4= 6 ×5 60 ×5 33 ×20 6040÷10=64 72 −48 813 −668 21.003−2.114= 44 ×21 202 ×25 308 12.3+5= +897 63+2.1= 601 −346

date ...........................

Figure 9.4­Screening­test­for­basic­numeracy­skills Mathematics­anxiety­can­be­a­contributing­factor­here,­with­children­often­tending­not­ to­try­questions­which­they­feel­they­are­unable­to­complete­successfully.­The­‘no­answer’­ questions­should­also­be­part­of­the­analysis. The­ screening­ test­ (Figure­ 9.4)­ can­ be­ used­ as­ an­ initial­ test­ of­ speed­ of­ working,­ accuracy and errors. The test is used here to illustrate how diagnostic information can be extracted­from­almost­any­maths­tests­and­how­some­common­errors­can­be­identified.­The­ twenty-one­questions­in­the­screening­test­should­be­completed­within­8­minutes­for­11­to­ 13­year­old­pupils.­Longer­times­should­be­considered­to­indicate­a­slow­rate­of­work­which­ is­likely­to­handicap­the­subject,­especially­if­a­school­pupil.­Standardised­tests,­such­as­ the­WRAT­(Wide­Range­Achievement­Test)­are­also­affected­by­speed­and­can­be­used­to­ provide­further­information. The­test­has­not­been­statistically­standardised­to­provide­a­mathematics­‘age’.­There­are­ other­tests­in­existence­which­do­this­such­as­the­WISC,­the­Basic­Number­Screening­Test,­ the­Mathematics­Competency­Test­(for­test­suppliers­see­Appendix­2).­The­tester­should­ be­looking­for­an­overall­impression­of­accuracy,­errors­and­at­the­type­of­question­which­ is­ answered­ incorrectly­ and­ not­ attempted­ as­ well­ as­ the­ questions­ which­ are­ answered­ accurately.

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Surprisingly,­ one­ of­ the­ most­ telling­ reactions­ to­ a­ mathematics­ question­ is­ the­ ‘no­ attempt’.­A­learner­who­deliberately­does­not­try­to­solve­a­question­is­showing­a­lack­of­ confidence,­anxiety,­a­desire­not­to­be­wrong­(‘better­not­to­try’)­and­probably­a­real­or­ self-perceived­lack­of­skill.­Examine­the­questions­which­are­not­attempted.­There­may­ be­a­pattern,­for­example,­questions­involving­zeros­or­decimals.­Again­the­pattern­will­be­ used­when­planning­a­remedial­programme.­A’no­answer’­may­well­affect­the­time­taken­ to­finish­attempting­the­test. Consideration­of­the­subject’s­error­patterns­is­a­most­important­part­of­the­information­ gathered­from­a­diagnosis.­Error­patterns­often­indicate­the­misunderstandings­and­incorrect­procedures­used­by­the­subject.­Intervention­can­then­be­accurately­and­appropriately­ targeted.­Each­item­in­the­screening­test­has­been­considered­separately,­but­inter-related­ errors­and­the­overall­pattern­should­also­be­considered.­Some­items­have­been­included­ to­interact­and­confirm­patterns.­For­ example,­12.3+5­and­37.6−4­test­similar­skills­and­ c ­ oncepts.­Some­items­are­part­of­a­progression,­especially­in­the­multiplication­section. The­Criterion­referenced­tests­used­in­Appendix­5­can­be­used­to­provide­further­evidence­ of­error­patterns­highlighted­in­the­screening­test­(or­any­standardised­test). Although­ error­ patterns­ are­ discussed­ for­ each­ item,­ experience­ suggests­ that­ some­ s ­ ubjects­ will­ make­ errors­ that­ have­ not­ been­ listed­ here.­ Sometimes­ an­ error­ will­ be­ i ­nexplicable,­even­if­you­are­in­a­position­to­ask­the­subject­to­explain.­However,­the­most­ likely­errors­are­listed.­The­error­types­are­based­on­Engelhardt’s­classification:2 Basic fact error Defective­algorithm Grouping error Inappropriate­inversion Incorrect­operation Incomplete­algorithm Zero error

Error analysis
Some­errors­may­occur­in­every­item­and­are­not­therefore­listed­each­time­in­the­following­ analysis.­These­errors­are: basic fact errors wrong operation no attempt transposals All­errors­are­noteworthy,­but­special­attention­should­also­be­given­to­the­items­which­are­ not­attempted.­If­possible,­ask­the­subject­why­the­item­was­not­tried. A possible error path is suggested for each wrong answer. There may be another e ­ xplanation.

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The Trouble with Maths

Addition items
1 16 +27 43 (This­is­a­warm­up­item­and­is­unlikely­to­generate­an­error.­The­basic­errors­described,­ however,­could­occur­in­any­other­item.) 44 Basic­fact­error,­for­example,­computing­7+6­as­14. 61 Transposal­error,­adding­7­and­6­as­13,­but­writing­1­in­the­units­column­and­ ‘carrying’­the­3­into­the­tens­column. 313 Failure­to­‘carry’­the­10­into­the­tens­column. 2 302 +897 1199 1109 3 12.8 62.3 20 4 Zero­error.­Incorrect­addition­of­0+9=0­in­the­tens­column. Decimal­point­error.­The­5­unit­is­added­to­the­3­tenths. Place­value­error.­The­5­unit­is­added­to­the­1­from­the­tens­place. Concept­error.­The­numbers­are­added­as­12+3+5.­(This­could­also­be­a­vision/­ reading­problem.) The decimal point is omitted. 12.3+5=17.3

19.09+10.91=30.00 3000 The item also generates zero errors and carrying errors. The item was included to test o ­ rganisation­of­work,­particularly­the­‘carrying’­procedure.

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63+2.1=65.1 This­item­is­a­variation­on­item­(3),­and­errors­made­for­the­two­items­should­be­compared. 84 8.4 66 Decimal­point­error—2.1­is­added­as­21. Decimal­point­error—63­is­added­as­6.3. Concept­error.­The­numbers­are­added­as­63+2+1.

Subtraction items
1 67 −32 35 Basic­fact,­and­transposal­errors. It­is­also­possible­that,­despite­lining­off­the­four­sections­of­this­test­that­the­subject­may­ perseverate­and­continue­to­add.

Assessment and diagnosis
2 72 −48 24 36 3 813 −668 145 255 205 4 601 −346 255 305 365 265 345 5 Inappropriate­inversion­and­zero­error.­The­1­is­subtracted­from­the­6.­Also­a­ zero­error.­In­the­tens­column­0­minus­4­is­written­as­0. Inappropriate­inversion.­The­3­is­subtracted­from­the­8­and­the­1­is­subtracted­ from­the­6. Inappropriate­inversion.­The­2­is­subtracted­from­the­8.

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Zero­error.­The­1­is­deleted­for­renaming­into­the­units­column,­leaving­a­zero­in­ the­tens­column.­0−6­is­written­as­0­(or­possibly­6,­giving­265).

Inappropriate­inversion­and­zero­error.­The­1­is­subtracted­from­the­6­and­the­4­is­ subtracted­from­the­0,­which­has­been­interpreted­as­10. Inappropriate­inversion­in­the­units­column.­Renaming­in­the­tens­column­to­give­ 10−4,­leaving­5−3=2­in­the­hundreds­column. Inappropriate­inversions.­The­1­is­subtracted­from­the­6­and­the­0­is­subtracted­ from the 4. Decimal­point­error.­The­4­units­were­subtracted­from­the­6­tenths. Decimal­point­error.­The­4­was­subtracted­from­the­6­tenths­and­the­7­units.

37.6−4=33.6 37.2 33.2

6

21.003−2.114=18.889 This­item­was­included­to­test­organisation­of­presentation­and­multiple­use­of­the­‘renaming/­borrowing’­procedure­for­subtraction.­It­can­give­rise­to­a­wide­range­of­errors,­including­zero­errors.­It­is­sufficiently­complex­to­create­organisation­problems,­with­errors­due­to­ the subject simply losing their way in the middle of the problem. 19.111 Inappropriate­inversion­for­the­decimal­numbers.

Multiplication items
1 6 ×5 30 25­or­35­Basic­fact­error.

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The Trouble with Maths
60 ×5 300 305 30 250 Defective­algorithm­and­zero­error:­0×5=5­and­6×5=30. Place­value­error Basic fact error.

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33 ×20 660 600 630 63 60 66 Incomplete­algorithm. Defective­algorithm­and­zero­error.­The­subject­writes­down­a­0,­followed­by­ 0×3=3­and­2×3=6 Defective­algorithm:­0×3=3­and­2×3=6. Incomplete­algorithm­and­zero­error. Incomplete­algorithm.

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44 ×21 924 As­items­become­more­complex,­the­range­of­possible­errors­increases­enormously.­The­ most­frequent­errors­are­listed. 84 8844 132 Defective­algorithm:­1×4=4­and­2×4=8. Grouping­error:­1×44=44­and­2×44=88. Defective­algorithm:­1×44=44­which­is­added­to­88­(from­2×44).

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202 ×25 5050 4010 410 100 4050 Defective­algorithm:­2×5=10­and­0×2=0­and­2×2=4. Defective­algorithm:­2×5=10­and­2×2=4. Defective­algorithm:­2×25=50­which­is­added­to­2×25=50. Defective­algorithm:­2×25=50­and­20×2=40.

Division items
1 154r1 ­19r1. Defective­algorithm:­ and

Assessment and diagnosis
18r1 14r1 2 64 3 32 4 111 5 20 Incomplete­algorithm. Obtained­by­missing­out­the­middle­0­when­trying­short­division. ­ or­133r3 Defective­algorithm.­No­carried­numbers­used. Obtained either by 0­when­trying­short­division. and Basic fact error. Defective­algorithm:­ ing­19).

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the­remaining­10­is­not­carried­on­to­the­9­(mak-

­or­by­missing­out­the­‘middle’­

It­is­a­relatively­simple­task­to­set­your­own­error­analysis­tests,­building­up­a­resource­of­ short and appropriate diagnostic tests for different stages of the curriculum.

Money
One­ of­ the­ behaviours­ teachers­ often­ notice­ is­ the­ way­ pupils­ can­ succeed­ when­ decimals­have­a­£­sign­in­front­of­them.­ So,­for­example,­if­a­pupil­ is­ faced­ with­ 14.4+5­ he­may­well­answer­14.9,­but­this­is­unlikely­to­be­the­answer­when­the­question­is­ £14.40+£5. Also­money­is­truly­life­maths,­so­competence­in­this­area­is­a­very­desirable­outcome of education. This­section­of­the­informal­diagnosis­could­use­coins­and­notes­(real­ones­are­best)­ as­ well­ as­ oral­ and­ written­ problems.­A­money­ sense­of­value­could­be­ checked­by­ questions­such­as­‘What­is­an­approximate,­easier­value­for­£21.99?’

Word problems
There­is­an­increasingly­complex­set­of­word­problems­in­Chapter­6 which could act as a­model­for­drawing­up­progressively­more­challenging­word­problems.­You­may­only­ need­to­ask,­‘Which­operation­would­you­use­to­solve­this­question?’,­but­beware­of­ the­use­of­alternative­methods­and­thus­not­the­obvious­operation,­for­example­counting on instead of subtraction. As­with­the­vocabulary­questions­be­empathetic­enough­to­recognise­reading­problems and not embarrass the subject.

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Thinking style
Not­all­pupils­respond­to­the­same­methods­of­ problem­ solving­and­many­ may­ also­ respond­to­different­styles­of­teaching­and­explanations.­An­extreme­grasshopper­or­ inchworm­may­well­be­at­risk­of­failure­in­maths,­so­knowing­a­learner’s­preferred­ thinking­style­can­be­very­critical­and­essential­information.­This­topic­is­dealt­with­ in Chapter­4.

Attitude, anxiety and the affective domain
It­would­not­be­surprising­if­many­clues­for­behaviours­in­this­domain­have­not­already­ been­gathered.­A­few­simple­questions­may­boost­these­observations,­such­as, ‘Do­you­like­maths?’ ‘Do­you­think­you­are­OK­at­doing­maths?’ ‘Which­bits­of­maths­do­you­like­best/­worst?’ ‘Which­bits­do­you­think­need­some­help?’ Look out for answers which suggest permanent­attributes,­such­as­‘I’m­never­going­to­ be­good­at­maths,’­and­pervasive,­such­as,­‘I­can’t­do­fractions,­I­can’t­do­any­maths,’­ and personal,­such­as,­‘I’m­just­hopeless­at­maths,­none­of­my­family­can­do­maths.’ There­is­a­maths­anxiety­scale,­compiled­in­the­USA­in­1972­by­Shuinn.3

Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
The­work­within­this­chapter­can­be­the­source­of­information­for­constructing­IEP’s.­ There are further resources in Appendix­5.

Always diagnosing
Any­ work­ set­ should­ have­ the­ potential­ to­ be­ diagnostic.­ Sadly­ this­ is­ not­ always­ so. Look at Figure­9.5­which­was­a­worksheet­set­for­my­13­year­old­daughter,­who­ has­a­learning­disability­and­at­that­time­was­functioning­at­Level­2.­There­are­many­ criticisms­one­could­level­at­this­worksheet,­but­let’s­focus­on­the­number­content.­It­ progresses­quickly­into­very­challenging­decimal­work,­moves­to­a­two­step­question­ by­the­third­question­and­is­more­likely­to­generate­the­‘no­answer’­than­any­diagnosable­errors.­It­is­just­not­developmental­enough­to­do­a­job. Complete­each­triangle­so­the­centre­number­is­the­sum­of­the­corner­number

Assessment and diagnosis

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Figure 9.5­A­non-diagnostic­worksheet­for­a­Level­2­pupil

To sum up
All­work­done­by­students­provides­diagnostic­information,­so­in­that­sense­diagnosis­is­ ongoing,­each­new­piece­of­work­modifying­the­picture.­If­this­appears­to­be­too­much­of­a­ task­for­a­large­class­of­children,­then­carefully­constructed­short­tests­can­offer­reasonable­ information­on­individuals­and­from­the­results­for­the­whole­group­a­useful­diagnosis­of­ your­efforts­as­teacher­or,­if­you­need­to­rationalise,­then­a­judgement­on­the­curriculum!

Chapter­10­ The nasties…long division and fractions
To­illustrate­some­ideas­for­teaching­maths­topics­I­have­picked­long­division­and­fractions.­ I­would­guess­that­the­two­leading­contenders­for­the­most­anxiety­inducing,­no-attempt­ causing,­high­error­rate­topics­in­numeracy­are­these­two­topics,­long­division­and­fractions.­I­could­speculate­as­to­why­this­is­so…

Long division
Long­division­by­the­traditional­method­(Figure­10.1)­makes­several­demands.­Let’s­do­a­ task analysis. Pupils­need: ♦­­ multiplication­facts­for­many­numbers ♦­­ estimation­skills ♦­­ sequencing­skills ♦­­ organisation­of­work­on­paper ♦­­ subtraction­skills ♦­­ understanding­(Try­to­explain­long­division­in­terms­of­what­is­happening­ m ­ athematically!)

Figure 10.1­‘Traditional’­long­division

However­ if­ it­ has­ to­ be­ taught,­ try­ to­ decide­ which­ of­ the­ above­ factors­ is­ the­ most­ p ­ roblematic­for­the­pupil.­As­(almost)­ever,­ask­the­pupil­to­talk­it­through.

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If­it­is­the­ability­to­work­out­the­multiples,­for­example­in­1139÷17,­the­pupil­will­ need­to­know­6×17­and­7×17.­This­could­be­overcome­by­the­setting­up­of­a­table­of­ multiples.­Set­up­the­multiples­in­bold­font­first.
1×17=17 2×17=34 3×17=51 4×17=68 5×17=85 6×17=102 7×17=119 8×17=136 9×17=153 10×17=170 4×17­is­twice­2×17 5×17­is­half­of­10×17 6×17­is­5×17­plus­17 7×17­is­5×17­plus­2×17­(85+34) 8×17­is­2×4×17 9×17­is­10×17­minus­17.­Add­the­digits—they should­add­up­to­9­(1+5+3=9) Encourage­the­use­of­inter-relationships.­This reduces­the­chance­of­cumulative­errors.

This­table­will­then­support­the­traditional­algorithm­(procedure). If­it­is­subtraction­skills­that­are­a­problem,­then­use­the­interchange­of­operations,­ so 1139÷17­becomes­y×17=1139,­that­is ‘What­do­I­have­to­multiply­17­by­to­get­1139?’ Encourage­ initial­ estimating­ by­ looking­ at­ the­ values­ of­ the­ numbers­ and­ exploring­ possibilities,­for­example,­try­17×10=170,­which­is­much­too­small­so­move­to­17×100­ which­is­1700,­which­is­too­big,­but­not­that­far­away,­so­the­answer­should­lie­between­ 50­and­100. Start­with­50 50×17=850 this is not enough so add on another 10­lots­of­17­(170) 850+170=1020 another­10­lots­of­17­will­go­beyond­the­target­1139­to­1190,­so­try 5×17=85 1020+85=1105 add on 2­more­17s­to­reach­1139 Ad d up all the added n×17’s­50+10+5+2=67

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The Trouble with Maths

If­this­is­set­up­without­the­explanations,­it­looks­like:
50×17=850 10×17=170 1020 10×17=170 1190 (too­big) (back­one­step) 60×17=1020 5×17=85 1105 2×17=34 67×17=1139

If­subtraction­skills­are­not­a­problem,­but­the­actual­sequence­of­the­traditional­division­ procedure­is­the­problem,­either­in­terms­of­memory­or­spatial­organisation,­then­a­table­of­ key­value­multipliers­can­be­set­up­first:
1×17=17 2×17=34 4×17=68 5×17=85 10×17=170 then­follow­the­pattern­based­on­20×17=10×2×17,­etc. 20×17=340 40×17=680 50×17=850 100×17=1700

Now­divide­by­subtracting­in­(chunks)­multiples­of­17
1139 50×17 10×17 5×17 2×17 67 −850 289 −170 119 −85 34 −34 0

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The­subtraction­method­above­is­close­to­the­traditional­algorithm­for­long­division,­but­ makes­less­spatial­demands,­is­more­logical­and­links­division­to­repeated­subtraction­(or­ subtraction­in­chunks­or­partial­products). These methods also teach further understanding of numbers and number operations. Remember­that­there­is­never­a­universal­method.­Teaching­is­about­responding­to­the­ learner.

Adding and subtracting fractions
Let’s­start­with­a­method­that­does­not­teach­anything­else­except­how­to­add­and­subtract­ fractions.

A functional approach to be used only as a last ditch strategy
When­explanations­of­the­finer­points­of­fractions­are­failing­and­deep­meaningful­understanding­is­a­distant­goal­and­GCSEs­are­two­terms­away­I­go­for­the­instrumental­approach­ (and­thus­abandoning­developmental­principles­and­teaching­for­understanding).­The­methods­are­extreme­inchworm. The­method­involves­classifying­addition­and­subtraction­of­fractions­into­Types­1,­2­ and­3.­The­focus­is­on­the­denominator,­the­bottom­number­of­each­fraction,­asking­the­ questions:
Are­they­the­same? Is­one­a­factor­(or­a­multiple)­of­the­other? Are­they­mathematically­unrelated? Yes. Yes. Yes. Type­1 Type 2 Type­3

(Note:­Type­2­can­be­treated­as­a­Type­3,­but­the­answer­will­have­to­be­simplified.)

Type 1: ‘Some bottom line’

If­the­numbers­on­the­bottom­line­(denominators,­but­how­many­pupils­are­going­to­remember­that­word)­are­the­same,­then­you­add­(or­subtract)­the­top­numbers­and­the­bottom­ numbers­stay­the­same,­hence­reinforcing­‘same­bottom­line’. Type 2: ‘Goesinto’

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The Trouble with Maths

Look­at­the­bottom­numbers—2­goes­into­4;­and­on­the­right­5­goes­into­20.­Both­examples­ are Type 2.­Thus­the­pupil­needs­to­be­able­to­know­that­one­denominator­is­divisible­by­the­ other.­If­not­move­to­Type­3. So…if­the­bottom­numbers­of­the­fractions­are­divisible,­do­the­division: For­example,­4÷2=2­and­20÷5=4 This­gives­the­‘Goesinto­number’­and­the­fraction­with­the­smaller­value­bottom­number­ is­multiplied­by­the­‘Goesinto­number’

This now becomes a Type­1.

The familiar

­example­acts­as­a­reminder­of­the­Type 2 method.

Type 3: ‘Doesn’t Gointo’ In­Type­3­fractions­the­two­denominators­(bottom­numbers)­are­not­multiples­or­factors­ of­each­other,­for­example:

Appraisal of the bottom numbers shows that… ♦­3­does­not­‘go­into’­5­and­5­does­not­‘go­into’­3 ♦­10­does­not­‘go­into’­9­and­9­does­not­‘go­into’­10 So­these­are­Type­3­fraction­problems­(see­Figure­10.2).

Figure 10.2 The criss-cross-times method for fractions

The nasties…long division and fractions

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The­procedure­is­simple­and­involves­multiplying­(twice)­diagonally­across­the+­or­−sign­ (criss-cross)­and­then­multiplying­the­denominators­(times). The Types 1,­ 2 and 3­ methods­ are­ purely­ mechanical,­ but­ do­ focus­ attention­ on­ the­ denominators. Type­3­has­the­benefit­of­a­mnemonic­(criss-cross-times).­The­labels­also­act­ as­reminders­to­focus­initially­on­the­bottom­number,­the­denominator.

Adding and subtracting fractions: a little more understanding
There­are­a­number­of­misconceptions­that­handicap­pupils’­understanding­of­this­topic.­If­ the­misconceptions­are­actively­and­positively­acknowledged­then­the­embedded­problems­ they create may be pre-empted. ♦­ ­There­is­a­language­and­symbol­factor­in­fractions.­I­asked­a­highly­intelligent­pupil­ ‘What­is­half­of­fifty?’­The­almost­instant­answer­was­‘Twenty-five.’­A­little­while­later­ I­presented­the­student­with­a­sheet­of­paper­on­which­I­had­written

She­could­not­provide­an­answer,­so­I­asked,­‘Is­the­answer­bigger­or­smaller­than­50?’­ and­she­said­‘Yes.’­(See­also­Chapter­1.) ♦­­ There­is­a­move­away­from­previous­experience­where×meant­getting­a­bigger­answer.­ A­new­interpretation­of­multiplication­is­needed.­I­am­always­impressed­by­the­fact­that­ multiplications such as give­an­answer­that­is­smaller­than­either­fraction.­The­rule­ is­that­when­a­multiplication­is­by­a­fraction­which­has­a­value­of­less­than­1­the­answer­ is­smaller,­so­for­ ­both­fractions­are­less­than­1­so­the­answer­must­be­smaller­ than both and ♦­­ Another­misconception­(again­language)­is­that­a­fraction­is­a­single­entity­to­be­treated­ like­any­other­number.­Compare­the­vocabulary:
sixth,­six tenth,­ten two­sevenths,­twenty­seven

The­vocabulary­is­too­similar­to­suggest­there­is­any­radical­difference. ♦­Add­and­subtract­has­always­applied­to­the­numbers­on­each­side­of­the­sign­+­or­−,­so 4+6−10­and­16−9=7 The­misconception­is­that­this­continues­to­be­the­case­with­fractions,­that­is,­add­means­ add­and­subtract­means­subtract,­so­mistakes­are­made,­such­as

136

The Trouble with Maths

For­fractions­the­+­and­−­symbols­now­only­apply­selectively,­that­is­to­the­top numbers­(numerators). ♦­­ A­particular­value­fraction­may­take­many­forms.­The­most­common­example­is­half,­ For an hour half is ­For­a­pound­or­a­dollar­or­a­Euro­half­is­ For a kilogram half is . For a year it is For eggs it is For a day it is For a mile it is ­And­so­on.­Whilst­pupils­usually­accept­this­for­a­half,­it­may­be­difficult­for­them­ to­transfer­that­belief­or­concept­or­understanding­to­other­fractions,­such­as­a­third­or­ a­seventh. ♦­­ This­is­a­good­example­of­the­maths­being­easy­until­it­has­to­be­written­down­(as­my­ friend­and­colleague­Richard­Ashcroft­says).­Asking­‘What­is­a­book­plus­a­book?’­is­ likely­to­elicit­the­answer,­‘Two­books.’­followed­by­‘What­is­a­ninth­plus­a­ninth?’­ which­then­is­likely­to­elicit­the­answer­‘Two­ninths’,­but­ presented as written symbols is likely to result in

Building the foundations
The­first­foundation­is­to­understand­ why­a­ fraction­is­written­the­way­it­is,­that­is­two­ numbers,­one­on­top­of­the­other­and­separated­by­a­line.­A­fraction­could­be­visualised­as­ incorporating­a­hidden­division­sign­(Figure­10.3).

Figure 10.3­The­hidden­division­sign

The golden rule of adding or subtracting fractions is that you can only start the addition or­subtraction­process­when­the­fractions­have­been­adjusted­to­have­the­same­name­(or­ cannot be computated until the denominator­or­bottom­number).­So,­for­example­ is renamed to be then

So­students­need­to­be­able­to­rename­fractions,­understand­what­this­means­and­why­we­ do it. This is the second foundation.

The nasties…long division and fractions

137

Renaming­implies­that­there­already­is­a­name.­The­name­of­ ­is­‘a­half’.­The­name­of­ is ‘a­seventh’.­The­name­of­ ­is­‘fifth’­and­there­are­two­of­them,­hence­‘two­fifths’.­So­the­name­ comes­from­the­denominator,­the­bottom­number,­the­number­at­the­bottom­of­the­fraction,­the­ number­below­the­dividing­line. As­much­time­as­is­needed­should­be­spent­on­developing­the­concept­and­skill­of­renaming.­ Renaming­does­what­it­says­it­does,­it­takes­a­fraction,­for­example­one­fifth,­ ­­and­gives­it­a­ new­name,­for­example­two­tenths,­ ­It­does­not­give­it­a­new­value.­The­new-named­fraction­ must­be­an­equivalent,­same­value,­fraction.­It­remains­the­same­value­because­it­is­multiplied­ by­another­fraction­whose­value­is­one­(1),­for­example­ ­Examples­can­be­taken­from­everyday­experiences­such­as­half­ an­hour­as­ ­half­a­pound­(£)­as­ The renaming­fraction­always­has­the­same­number­as­numerator­and­denominator­(top­number­and­ bottom­number)­because­it­has­a­value­of­1. Tactile­materials­such­as­Cuisenaire­rods,­poker­chips­or­stacker­counters­(from­Crossbow­ Games,­see­Appendix­p.­152)­are­good­to­show­the­equivalence­of­fractions.­Folding­squares­ or circles of paper can also illustrate the concept. The written symbols should always be shown alongside­these­concrete­experiences. Maybe­it­is­worth­using­colours,­one­colour­for­the­numerator­and­a­different­one­for­the­ denominator­just­to­add­focus­to­the­fraction­as­having­two­number­components.­Or­writing­ a­big­division­sign­÷­on­the­board­to­remind­learners­that­a­fraction­is­a­number­divided­by­ another number. A­problem­could­occur­if­learners­have­automatic­recall­of­only­a­few­number­facts.­This­ will­handicap­the­extent­of­their­ability­to­rename­fractions,­so­this­process­will­require­a­ lot­of­carefully­structured­practice,­with­the­focus­on­the­process­rather­than­on­knowing­ all the basic facts. A­known­or­at­least,­a­familiar­example­should­be­used­as­a­first­model,­such­as: ♦­ ­to­be­renamed­to­have­the­same­denominator­as­ ♦­ ­or­to­be­renamed­to­have­the­same­denominator­as­ ­(using­the­familiar­model­of­a­ clock­again). The­overview/­start­up­questions­which­should­be­asked­are:

♦­Do­both­fractions­have­to­be­renamed?­Not­if­one­denominator­is­a­multiple­of­the­other­ denominator. Four is a multiple of 2 so only the half has to be renamed. ♦­What­number­is­used­to­change­the­chosen­fraction,­the­half? This­number­will­be­found­by­dividing­the­larger­denominator­(4)­by­the­smaller­denominator­ (2)­which­should­give­a­whole­number­(2)­and­thereby­avoiding­creating­a­fraction­within­a­ fraction!­In­this­example­the­renaming­factor­is­therefore­2. The top and bottom­ numbers­ of­ the­ fraction­ which­ has­ to­ be­ renamed­ have­ to­ be­ m ­ ultiplied­by­this­factor.­In­this­example

138

The Trouble with Maths

Thus­the­fraction­remains­the­same­value,­it­is­still­a­half,­but­is­renamed­from­being­called­ one half to being called two quarters. If­ both­ fractions­ have­ to­ be­ renamed,­ for­ example­ with­ ­ to­ have­ a­ common­ (meaning­the­same)­denominator­(meaning­bottom­number).

♦­­ Both­fractions­have­to­be­renamed. ♦­­ The­simplest,­but­not­necessarily­the­most­numerically­elegant,­is­to­take­the­two­ denominators­(bottom­numbers)­as­factors­of­the­new­denominator­and­multiply­them.­ So­the­new­denominator­becomes­3×4­and­4×3,­that­is­12. ♦­­ For­renaming,­the­numerator­(top­number)­and­denominator­both­have­to­be­ multiplied. So­is­ and multiplied by ­to­give­ is multiplied by ­to­give­

Since­both­fractions­are­now­renamed­and­written­as­twelfths­they­can­now­be­added:

The answer ­is­less­than­1­and­a­sketch­or­estimate­will­show­this­to­be­as­expected. A circle picture as in Figure­10.4 can be used for estimates and appraisals of fraction sums.­A­clock­is­a­good­model­(another­reason­to­use­an­analogue­watch)­for­ and­for­inter-relating­these­fractions­(Figure­10.5) The­process­of­‘mutual’­renaming­can­be­demonstrated­with­squares­of­paper.­For­example,­the­ cannot be added to the ­because­the­fractions,­the­parts­are­not­the­same­size­ (Figure­10.6).­The­first­fraction,­ ­was­created­by­dividing­the­square­into­three­parts­and­ using­two­of­them.­The­second­fraction,­ ­was­created­by­dividing­the­square­into­four­ parts and using one of them.

Figure 10.4

The nasties…long division and fractions

139

Figure 10.5 Fractions and clocks To­make­both­parts­the­same: ♦­­ the­one­divided­into­3­parts­initially­is­further­divided,­but­into­4­parts­(3×4­parts=12­ parts) ♦­­ the­one­divided­into­4­parts­initially­is­further­divided,­but­into­3­parts­(4×3­parts=12­ parts). It’s­another­example­of­the­commutative­property a×c=c×a and once again we return to the basic principles of numbers.

140

The Trouble with Maths

Figure 10.6­Renaming­fractions­to­make­them­have­the­same­name

The nasties…long division and fractions

141

Multiplication of fractions
The­use­of­the­paper­square­above­returns­to­the­two­dimensional­model­for­multiplication.­ If­you­wanted­to­demonstrate­ then a little paper folding could help. First­divide­the­paper­into­thirds­and­fold­back­to­show­ ­Turn­the­paper­through­90°­ and­fold­it­into­quarters­and­fold­back­to­show­ of the ­Unfold­to­show­the­resulting­area­ is ­(then­show­it­is­ and thus smaller than either ). Or­ do­ this­ on­ acetate­ for­ an­ overhead­ projector,­ using­ premarked­ squares­ to­ help­ a ­ ccuracy,­or­prepare­a­programme­for­Powerpoint.

To sum up
There­is­always­more­than­one­way­to­present­information­and­to­explain­a­maths­topic.­ This­chapter­illustrates,­for­adding­and­subtracting­fractions­the­extremes­of­a­purely­instrumental,­procedure­based­method­to­a­conceptual­model­based­on­the­area­theme­which­can­ be­used­so­widely­in­many­areas­of­basic­numeracy.­It­also­shows­how­methods­for­division­ can­be­adapted­to­match­more­closely­the­skills­and­deficits­of­the­learner.

Appendix­1­ Further reading
Ashlock,­R.B.­(1998)­Error Patterns in Computation­7th­edn.­New­York,­Simon­and­Schuster. Bley,­N.­and­Thornton,­C.­(2001)­Teaching Mathematics to Students with Learning Disabilities 4th edn.­Austin,­Texas:­ProEd. Butterworth,­B.­(1999)­The Mathematical Brain.­London,­Papermac. Chinn,­S.­(1998)­Sum Hope: Breaking the Numbers Barrier.­London,­Souvenir­Press. Chinn,­S.­(2003)­CD-ROM­Version­3­What to do When you Can’t Learn the Times Tables.­Mark,­ Somerset,­Markco­Publishers. Chinn,­S.J.­and­Ashcroft,­J.R.­(1998)­Mathematics for Dyslexics: A Teaching Handbook 2nd edn. London,­Whurr. Deboys,­M.­and­Pitt,­E.­(1979)­Lines of Development in Primary Mathematics.­Belfast,­Blackstaff­ Press. Devlin,­K.­(2000)­The Maths Gene.­London,­Weidenfeld­and­Nicolson. Donlan,­C.­(ed.)­(1998)­The Development of Mathematical Skills.­Hove,­Psychology­Press. French,­D.,­Connolly,­W.,­Gardner,­H.,­Hill,­J.,­Jones,­L.,­Marland,­H.­and­Perks,­P.­(1992)­Mental Methods in Mathematics.­Leicester,­Mathematical­Association. Geary,­D.­(1994)­Children’s Mathematical Development.­Washington,­DC,­American­Psychological­ Association. Grauberg,­E.­(1998)­Elementary Mathematics and Language Difficulties.­London,­Whurr. Henderson,­A.­(1998)­Maths for the Dyslexic.­London,­Fulton. Kay,­J.­and­Yeo,­D.­(2003)­Dyslexia and Mathematics.­London,­Fulton. Martin,­H.­(1996)­Multiple Intelligences in the Mathematics Classroom.­Arlington­Heights,­IL,­IRI/­ Skylight­Training. Miles,­T.­and­Miles,­E.­(eds)­(2003)­Dyslexia and Mathematics­2nd­edn.­London,­RoutledgeFalmer. Orton,­A.­(1999)­Patterns in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics.­London,­Cassell. Thompson,­I.­(1999)­Issues in Teaching Numeracy in Primary Schools.­Buckingham,­UK,­OUP. Yeo,­D.­(2002)­Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Mathematics.­London,­Whurr.

Appendix­2­ Checklists and resources
Checklist for choosing a textbook
♦­­ Is­the­level­of­maths­difficulty­suitable? ♦­­ Is­the­language­level­suitable? ♦­­ Is­the­language­clear,­unambiguous­and­concise? ♦­­ Are­there­diagrams­which­actually­aid­learning? ♦­­ Is­the­layout­of­the­page­clear­and­well­spaced? ♦­­ Is­there­some­‘real’­maths­content? ♦­­ Are­the­worked­examples­clearly,­simply,­concisely­and­flexibly­explained? ♦­­ Are­the­exercises/­questions­presented­clearly? ♦­­ Is­the­progression­in­difficulty­in­the­exercises/­questions­smooth­and­without­any­ quantum­leaps? ♦­­ Can­the­exercises­be­easily­modified­for­differentiation? ♦­­ Is­key­information­highlighted?

Checklist for modifying a worksheet to differentiate for a student
A­simple,­informal­diagnosis­of­the­student­will­lead­to­suggestions­for­differentiation.­For­ example­ reading­ accuracy­ and­ comprehension­ data­ will­ indicate­ the­ complexity­ of­ text­ which­the­student­can­access­(but­remember­that­maths­has­its­own­vocabulary­and­unique­ semantics). ♦­­ Are­the­items/­questions­accessible­to­a­poor­reader?­Check­by­looking­at­the­vocabulary­ and­language­levels. ♦­­ Are­new­and­key­words­explained­on­the­sheet­or­have­they­been­explained­when­the­ sheet­was­handed­out? ♦­­ Are­the­numbers­used,­in­at­least­the­first­few­questions,­accessible,­that­is­enough­1s,­ 2s,­5s­whenever­possible? ♦­­ Is­there­a­quantum­leap­somewhere­in­the­progression­of­difficulty? ♦­­ Are­questions­lined­off­to­make­them­more­distinct­and­less­easy­to­mix­up? ♦­­ Could­diagrams­be­added­to­help­the­student’s­comprehension? ♦­­ Are­there­any­examples­to­show­how­questions­can­be­done­and/­or­is­there­a­summary­ of­the­main­points­tested­in­the­questions? ♦­­ Have­ an­ appropriate­ number­ and­ range­ of­ questions­ been­ selected­ off­ the­ main­ w ­ orksheet? ♦­­ Can­ the­ layout­ be­ expanded­ so­ the­ student­ can­ answer­ on­ the­ worksheet­ (and­ thus­ e ­ liminate­copying­and­some­writing)? ♦­­ Is­it­possible­for­the­student­to­do­and­have­marked­the­first­two­examples­before­taking­ the­sheet­away­to­attempt­the­remaining­examples? ♦­Have­you­checked­for­pitfalls­and­pre-empted­them?­(Or­do­you­want­your­student­to­ fall???)

144 Appendix 2: Checklists and resources

TEST PUBLISHERS AND SUPPLIERS
Ann Arbor PO­Box­1,­Belford,­Northumberland,­NE70­7JX­ tel­01668­214460­fax­01668­214484­e-mail­enquiries@annarbor.co.uk Crossbow­Games­ Crossbow­Education,­web­site­http:/­/­www.crossboweducation.com/­ Dyslexia­Institute­ 133­Gresham­Rd,­Staines,­Middlesex,­TW18­2AJ­ tel­01784­463851­fax­01784­460747­e-mail­info@dyslexia-inst.org.uk Hodder­and­Stoughton­Educational­ Bookpoint­Ltd,­Hodder­and­Stoughton­Educational,­Direct­Services,­ 78­Milton­Park,­Abingdon,­Oxon,­OX14­4TD­ tel­01235­827720­fax­01235­400454­e-mail­orders@bookpoint.co.uk Markco Publishing Mark­College,­Mark,­Highbridge,­Somerset,­TA9­4NP­ tel­01278­641632­fax­01278­641426­e-mail­post@markcollege.somerset.sch.uk NFER-Nelson­Education­ Order­processing:­FREEPOST­LON­16517,­Swindon,­SN2­8BR­or­fax­0845­601­ 5358­Customer­Service­tel­0845­602­1937­e-mail­information@nfer-nelson.co.uk Pro-Ed­ 8700­Shoal­Creek­Boulevard,­Austin,­Texas,­TX­78758–9965,­USA­ tel­001­512­451­3246­fax­512­451­8542­web­site­http:/­/­www.proedinc.com/­ The­Psychological­Corporation­ TPC­Customer­Services,­Harcourt­Education,­Halley­Court,­Jordan­Hill,­Oxford, ­OX28EJ­ tel­01865­888188­fax­01865­314­348­e-mail­tpc@harcourteducation.co.uk

COLOURED OVERLAYS
I.O.O.­Marketing­Ltd,­City­University,­London­SE1­6DS­ tel­020­7378­0330­ e-mail admin@ioomarketing.co.uk

Appendix 2: Checklists and resources 145

SUPPLIERS OF SOFTWARE
AVP,­School­Hill­Centre,­Chepstow,­Monmouthshire,­NP16­5PH­ tel­01291­629­439­ e-mail info@avp.co.uk web site http:/­/­www.avp.co.uk/­ Granada­Learning,­Granada­Television,­Quay­Street,­Manchester,­M60­9EA­ tel­0161­827­2927­ e-mail info@granada-learning.com web site http:/­/­www.granada-learning.com/­ semercindex Iansyst,­Fen­House,­Fen­Road,­Cambridge,­CB4­1UN­ tel­01223­420­101­ e-mail sales@dyslexic.com web site http:/­/­iansyst.co.uk/­ web site http:/­/­www.dyslexic.com/­ REM,­Great­Western­House,­Langport,­Somerset,­TA10­9YU.­ tel­01458­254­700­ e-mail info@r-e-m.co.uk web site http:/­/­www.r-e-m.co.uk/­ White­Space,­41,­Mall­Road,­London­W6­9DG­ tel­020­8748­5927­ e-mail sales@wordshark.co.uk web site http:/­/­www.wordshark.co.uk/­

Evaluation questions for software
♦­­ Does­it­offer­what­you­want,­practice,­learning,­remedial­intervention,­extension­or­ production­(such­as­drawing­graphs­and­charts)? ♦­­ Is­it­just­a­book­on­screen? ♦­­ Is­the­design­cluttered? ♦­­ Is­there­mathematical­structure? ♦­­ Is­it­just­drill­and­kill? ♦­­ Does­it­irritate? ♦­­ Does­it­have­voice­output? ♦­­ How­does­it­motivate,­success­and/­or­entertainment? ♦­­ Is­it­age­specific­in­design? ♦­­ Does­it­address­more­than­one­way­of­learning? ♦­­ Is­it­good­value­for­money? ♦­­ Can­the­learner­use­it­independently? ♦­­ Does­it­have­a­record­keeping­system? ♦­­ Can­the­programme­be­individualised? ♦­­ Do­users­always­have­to­start­at­the­beginning­or­can­they­dip­in­at­any­point? ♦­­ Does­it­include­assessment­and/­or­diagnostic­features?

Appendix­3 Jog Your Memory cards for multiplication facts

Appendix 3: Jog Your Memory cards 147

148 Appendix 3: Jog Your Memory cards

Appendix 3: Jog Your Memory cards 149

Appendix­4­ Setting an inclusive maths department policy
General principles
All­work­must­be­modified­appropriately­to­enable­included­pupils­to­succeed­and­achieve­ the­maximum­levels­of­which­they­are­capable.­Proactive­intervention­could­be­seen­to­be­ at­three­broad­levels: 1­­ Simple­adjustments­to­lessons­which­include­giving­instructions­that­will­not­overload­ poor­ short­ term­ memory,­ repetition­ of­ instructions­ (aural)­ reinforced­ by­ board­ work­ (visual). 2­­ More­directed­intervention­which­might­include­seating­a­pupil­where­he­can­see­the­ board­clearly,­hear­and­see­the­teacher­properly,­basic­modifications­to­written­material,­ for­example­selecting­fewer­examples­for­the­pupil­to­complete,­checking­early­on­in­ individual­work­to­ensure­he­has­started­and­is­doing­the­work­correctly. 3­­ Individual­ intervention­ which­ may­ include­ a­ specially­ modified­ worksheet,­ using­ a­ bigger­font,­different­coloured­paper,­using­a­learning­support­assistant­who­has­been­ briefed­on­how­to­intervene­for­the­topic­being­taught. To­achieve­the­goal­of­maximising­the­success­of­the­included­special­needs­child­or­the­ uncertain­learner­(who­may­never­carry­a­label)­the­following­factors­will­be­acknowledged­ and­positive­adjustments­will­be­made­to­all­teaching.

Consistency
Insecure­learners­like­as­much­of­the­structure­and­arrangements­around­lessons­to­be­as­ consistent­as­is­possible.­For­example,­in­a­mental­arithmetic­session,­set­a­pattern­of­asking­the­child­a­question,­so­the­question­does­not­catch­him­unawares.­Perhaps­flag­up­the­ question,­ask­another­pupil­another­question­and­then­return­to­re-ask­the­question.­Perhaps­ ask­a­part­question.­Make­your­strategy­a­routine.

Multisensory and developmental work
There­are­several­reasons­why­work­needs­to­be­presented­in­a­multisensory­way­and­with­ a­developmental­structure. ♦­­ Some­pupils­always­need­to­start­with­the­concrete­and­can­then­move­to­the­symbolic­ and­on­to­the­abstract.­It­is­usually­better­if­the­materials­chosen­to­represent­the­concept­ have­consistency­(see­above),­for­example,­the­area­model. ♦­­ Some­pupils­are­visual­learners.

Appendix 4: Setting an inclusive maths department policy 151 ♦­­ Work­should­always­be­developmental­to­give­slower­learners­the­best­chance­of­reducing­ the­performance­gap.­This­includes­referring­the­current­topic­back­to­an­earlier­level­ and­checking­on­the­foundations­of­the­topic.­This­also­acts­as­revision­and­review.

Language factors
Although­it­may­seem­to­be­stating­the­obvious,­language­must­be­kept­clear­and­simple.­ This­is­not­just­the­‘louder­and­slower’­technique,­but­an­intellectual­appraisal­of­the­vocabulary­and­sentence­structures­used­in­instruction.­This­includes­dealing­with­new­vocabulary­and­any­dual­meaning­vocabulary,­such­as­‘take­away’­for­‘subtraction’.

Presentation issues, spoken and written
The­factors­that­the­learner­brings­to­presentation­by­the­teacher­are­short­term­memory,­ pragmatic language skills and reading skills. The teacher can accommodate these as far as is­possible­in­the­structure­of­the­lesson,­including­clear­and­uncluttered­board­work,­and­ straightforward clear language that sticks to the point.

Safe learning and risk
Learners­must­feel­safe­to­ask­questions­and­know­they­will­not­be­ridiculed­(even­mildly)­ and­feel­safe­to­make­a­start­on­questions,­even­though­their­initial­work­may­be­very­wide­ of the best procedure.

Pupil involvement and interactions
Insecure­learners­may­quietly­withdraw­mentally­from­lessons,­just­sitting­unobtrusively­at­ the­back­of­the­class.­They­need­to­be­drawn,­empathetically,­into­the­lesson.­Quiet­pupils­ deserve­as­much­attention­as­the­noisy­pupils.

Structured for revisions, reviews and recaps
The­curriculum­must­be­structured­for­revision.­Any­extension­of­a­previously­studied­topic­ must­be­preceded­by­a­review­of­the­work­so­far­and­then­summarised­at­the­end­of­the­ lesson.­(Remember­that­old­adage,­‘Tell­them­what­you­are­going­to­teach,­teach­it­and­tell­ them­what­you­have­just­taught.’)

Structured for success
Genuine­ success­ is­ a­ motivating­ influence.­Work­ should­ be­ structured­ and­ presented­ in­ small steps that encourage success and do not suddenly face learners with insurmountable hurdles­(but­don’t­forget­this­approach­may­need­to­be­modified­for­grasshoppers).­This­ requires­a­lot­of­checking­of­all­work­given­to­pupils.­Assuming­that­an­exercise­is­suitable­ without actually working it through is not acceptable.

152 Appendix 4: Setting an inclusive maths department policy

Relevant
Whenever­possible,­the­work­must­be­shown­to­be­relevant.­Building­in­relevance­is­a­good­ subject for departmental discussions.

Speed and pace
It­is­important­to­remember­that­the­speed­at­which­pupils­do­maths­may­be­yet­another­ example­of­normal­distribution.­It­would­be­educationally­immoral­to­ignore­either­extreme­ of that distribution. This applies to both mental arithmetic and written problems.

Empathetic teaching
This­could­be­the­only­consideration­in­that­it­summarises­all­the­others.­Empathy­implies­ an­understanding­of­the­learner­and­all­that­he­brings­to­a­lesson,­from­attitude­and­anxiety­ to­mathematical­memory­to­problem­solving­skills­and­pro-actively­acknowledging­those­ attributes in the way you teach.

Responsive
Many­ modern­ teaching­ schemes­ for­ numeracy­ encourage­ children­ to­ explore­ different­ methods­ of­ solving­ problems.­ This­ acknowledges­ that­ the­ most­ appropriate­ method­ for­ an­individual­pupil­may­be­individual­to­that­pupil.­Teaching­should­be­responsive­to­the­ learner­ and­ the­ way­ he­ learns­ and­ thinks,­ his­ attitude­ and­ interests,­ which­ implies­ that­ teachers­must­be­aware­of­the­way­each­learner­learns­and­what­he,­the­learner,­brings­to­ each lesson.

Learning and thinking styles
Following­on­from­responsive­teaching­is­a­need­to­be­aware­of­the­learning­styles­and­the­ thinking­styles­of­each­pupil­in­each­classroom,­in­particular­those­pupils­whose­thinking­ styles­are­at­the­extremes­of­the­continuum.

Marking, feedback and praise
Learners’­attributions­will­be­influenced­by­the­feedback­they­receive­in­lessons,­whether­ it­is­verbal­or­written­comments­used­in­marked­work.­Dramatic­use­of­red­pens­is­banned,­ indeed any red marking is banned. Try discrete marking in green.

Check new work early
Before an error pattern is internalised by the learner.

Appendix 4: Setting an inclusive maths department policy 153

Teach patterns
Do­not­assume­that­all­learners­will­automatically­‘discover’­the­pattern,­idea­or­concept­ that­you,­the­teacher­are­so­artfully­guiding­them­towards.­Sometimes­it­is­best­to­know­the­ final­destination­in­order­to­appreciate­the­route­taken. Finally, Do not assume… It­may­also­be­a­good­exercise­for­a­Mathematics­Department­to­set­up­its­own­key­principles­of­teaching­mathematics,­for­example:

BASIC PRINCIPLES OF TEACHING MATHEMATICS
Vocabulary Make sure that all­ vocabulary­ is­ understood­ and­ placed­ in­ a­ mathematical­context,­e.g.­ ‘take­away’­means­‘subtract’­in­mathematics.

Language
Mathematics­has­its­own­language.­It­is­not­just­the­ability­to­read­the­words,­but­the­ability­ to­comprehend­the­maths­meaning,­for­example,­‘Remove­the­brackets’­(y+3)­(y−5)­is­not­ meant­literally.­Ensure­the­pupil­is­focused­on­the­mathematical­meaning.

The big picture and details
Grasshoppers­will­appreciate­the­outline­of­the­whole­picture,­but­need­to­learn­to­notice­ detail­and­to­document­their­methods.­Inchworms­need­to­learn­to­overview­and­see­the­big­ picture.­Putting­the­concept­into­a­‘real’­situation­and­linking­the­maths­to­previous­experiences­benefits­both­thinking­styles.

Relate to other maths topics
Revise­and­build.­(This­includes­taking­every­opportunity­to­reinforce­number­skills.)

Easy numbers
Use­the­‘easy’­numbers­to­illustrate­the­first­worked­examples­and­in­the­first­practise­of­ independent­examples.­Focus­on­the­concept,­not­on­the­number­facts.

Quick check
Mark­the­first­two­practise­examples­before­allowing­further­progress­so­the­learner’s­error­ patterns do not become embedded in memory.

154 Appendix 4: Setting an inclusive maths department policy

Speed
Remember­that­some­pupils­take­longer­to­do­work,­so­select­fewer­examples­for­them,­but­ make­sure­these­still­cover­the­range­of­necessary­experience­(and­look­out­for­quantum­ leaps­that­occur­in­some­sets­of­questions,­where,­for­example,­questions­1,­2­and­3­are­ straightforward­and­then,­wham,­question­4­leaps­to­degree­level). Remember­also­that­some­pupils­retrieve­and­process­information­more­slowly,­so­make­ allowances for that.

Appendix­5­ Criterion referenced tests
These tests may be used for pre- and post-testing or for following up diagnostic clues from other­tests,­such­as­examinations­or­standardised­tests. Obviously,­it­is­easy­to­make­further­tests­or­to­modify­these,­but,­for­a­busy­teacher,­ here­are­a­few­‘I­made­earlier’. The­tests­can­be­used­to­give­a­simple­measure­of­progress­or­the­individual­items­can­ provide­more­information­by­showing­which­critieria­are­met­or­failed.­An­analysis­of­the­ errors­the­pupil­made­can­take­the­information­obtained­to­a­deeper­level.­Like­all­tests,­it­ depends what and how much the teacher needs to know. The­tests­can­also­be­used­to­set­up­a­maths­Individual­Education­Plan­(IEP)­by­identifying­targets­at­both­ the­very­ specific­micro­level­(improve­skills­for­adding­two­digit­ numbers­to­two­digit­numbers)­or­a­broader,­more­macro­level­(improve­whole­number­ addition­skills). Later­in­this­Appendix­there­are­some­tests­for­estimation­skills.­Again,­these­can­be­ used­as­they­are­or­modified­to­suit­a­particular­need.­Estimation­skills­often­give­a­better­ indicator­of­number­sense,­which­again­can­be­a­source­of­information­for­IEPs.

ADDITION—WHOLE NUMBER
There­are­two­parallel­tests,­which­may­be­used­for: ♦­­ Pre-­and­post-testing,­using­the­complete­tests; ♦­­ Providing­a­second­example­when­a­subject­gets­an­item­wrong.­The­second­example­ can­be­used­to­confirm­if­an­error­pattern­exists.­Single­examples­may­be­chosen; ♦­­ Progress­on­the­specified­criteria. The­addition­items­test: 1­ ­Single­digit­plus­single­digit,­total­under­20. 2 Two digit plus one digit with carrying. 3­­ Two­digit­plus­two­digit,­carrying­in­units­column. 4­­ Two­digit­plus­two­digit,­carrying­in­units­and­tens­columns. 5­­ Three­digit­plus­three­digit,­carrying­in­units­column,­zero­in­tens. 6­­ Four­digit­plus­four­digit,­carrying­in­units­column,­zero­in­hundreds­column.

These criteria enable the teacher to identify specific areas of achievement and weakness.
This­information­may­well­link­to­information­obtained­from­observations­of­other­tests­ and­work.­For­example,­an­extreme­reliance­on­procedure­may­well­link­with­a­dominant­ inchworm­thinking­style.­Errors­due­to­poor­basic­fact­knowledge­could­well­be­a­consequence­of­poor­retrieval­from­memory­of­basic­facts­or­may­show­that­the­fact­knowledge­ is insecure when used in problems rather than just straight recall.

156 Appendix 5: Criterion referenced tests
ADDITION—whole number name ............................ date ............................ 1a 3a 5a 7+6= 36 +47 209 +481 2a 4a 6a 17+8= 64 +78 3058 +5436

ADDITION—whole number name ............................ date ............................ 1b 6+8= 2b 24+7= 3b 58 4b 47 +35 +86 5b 677 +103 6b 4062 +3329

SUBTRACTION—WHOLE NUMBER
There­are­two­parallel­tests,­which­may­be­used­for: ♦­­ Pre-­and­post-testing,­using­the­complete­tests; ♦­­ Providing­a­second­example­when­a­subject­gets­an­item­wrong.­The­second­example­ can­be­used­to­confirm­if­an­error­pattern­exists.­Single­examples­may­be­chosen; ♦­­ Progress­on­the­specified­criteria. The­subtraction­items­test: 1­­ Two­digit­minus­single­digit,­no­borrowing/­decomposing/­trading. 2­­ Two­digit­minus­one­digit­with­borrowing/­decomposing/­trading. 3­­ Two­digit­plus­two­digit,­carrying­in­units­column. 4­­ Three­digit­minus­two­digit,­borrowing/­decomposing/­trading­in­units­and­tens­ columns. 5­­ Three­digit­minus­three­digit,­borrowing/­decomposing/­trading­in­units­column,­zero­in­ tens. 6­­ Four­digit­minus­four­digit,­borrowing/­decomposing/­trading­in­units­column,­zero­in­ tens and hundreds column.

These criteria enable the teacher to identify specific areas of achievement and weakness.
This­information­may­well­link­to­information­obtained­from­observations­of­other­tests­ and­work.­For­example,­an­extreme­reliance­on­procedure­may­well­link­with­a­dominant­ inchworm­thinking­style.­Errors­due­to­poor­basic­fact­knowledge­could­well­confirm­poor­ retrieval­skills­or­may­show­that­the­fact­knowledge­is­insecure­when­used­in­problems­ rather than just straight recall.

Appendix 5: Criterion referenced tests 157 Procedural errors may include problems with zero.
SUBTRACTION—whole number name ............................ date ............................ 1a 18−6= 2a 26−7= 3a 84 4a 142 −47 −66 5a 703 −226 6a 9001 −2049

SUBTRACTION—whole number name ............................ date ............................ 1b 19−4= 2b 24−8= 3b 76 4b 134 −28 −88 5b 605 −348 6b 8004 −1056

MULTIPLICATION—WHOLE NUMBER
There­are­two­parallel­tests,­which­may­be­used­for: ♦­ ­Pre-­and­post-testing,­using­the­complete­tests; ♦­­ Providing­a­second­example­when­a­subject­gets­an­item­wrong.­The­second­example­ can­be­used­to­confirm­if­an­error­pattern­exists.­Single­examples­may­be­chosen; ♦­­ Progress­on­the­specified­criteria. Note­that­‘easy’­times­table­facts­have­been­used.­This­section­is­testing­procedures,­not­ times table knowledge. The­multiplication­items­test: 1­ ­Single­digit­times­single­digit. 2 Two digit times single digit. 3­­ Two­partial­products­which­may­be­combined­to­answer­the­third­part. 4­­ Two­digit­times­two­digit,­digit­values­below­5. 5­­ Three­digit­times­two­digit,­two­digit­numbers­using­only­2­and­1. 6­­ Three­digit­times­three­digit,­low­numerals­used­in­both­numbers.­Zero­in­multiplier. (Note­that­‘difficult’­times­table­facts­have­not­been­used­so­that­multiplication­skills,­rather­ than­basic­fact­skills­are­the­focus­of­the­tests.)
MULTIPLICATION—whole number name ............................ date ........................... 1a 2×6= 2a 20×6= 3a 5×7= 10×7= 15×7= 4a 14×23= 5a 179×21= 6a 213×105=

158 Appendix 5: Criterion referenced tests
MULTIPLICATION—whole number name ............................ date ............................ 1b 2×8= 2b 20×8= 3b 5×8= 10×8= 15×8= 4b 13×24= 5b 268×22= 6b 123×102=

These criteria enable the teacher to identify specific areas of achievement and weakness.
This­information­may­well­link­to­information­obtained­from­observations­from­other­tests­ and­work.­For­example,­an­extreme­reliance­on­procedure­may­well­link­with­a­dominant­ inchworm­thinking­style.­Errors­due­to­poor­basic­fact­knowledge­could­well­confirm­slow­ and­inaccurate­retrieval­of­the­basic­facts­or­may­show­that­basic­fact­knowledge­is­insecure when used in problems rather than just straight recall. The student may not be able to organise­the­partial­products­on­paper,­failing­to­line­them­up­in­place­values,­or­forgetting­ to­multiply­by­10­as­well­as­2­when­multiplying­by­20.­This­may­be­due­to­a­lack­of­understanding of the procedure or poor organisation when writing numbers.

DIVISION—WHOLE NUMBER
There­are­two­parallel­tests­(see­p.­168),­which­may­be­used­for: ♦­­ Pre-­and­post-testing,­using­the­complete­tests; ♦­­ Providing­a­second­example­when­a­subject­gets­an­item­wrong.­The­second­example­ can­be­used­to­confirm­if­an­error­pattern­exists.­Single­examples­may­be­chosen; ♦­­ Progress­on­the­specified­criteria. Note­that­‘easy’­basic­division­facts­have­been­used.­This­section­is­testing­procedures,­not­ times­table­knowledge,­which­is­tested­in­Section­1. The­division­items­test: 1­­ Two­digit­divided­by­single­digit,­no­carrying. 2­­ Two­digit­divided­by­single­digit,­carrying. 3­­ Two­digit­divided­by­single­digit,­with­carrying­and­remainder­(decimal/­fraction). 4­­ Four­digit­number­divided­by­ten,­no­remainder. 5­­ Three­digit­divided­by­‘easy’­two­digit,­no­remainder. 6­­ Four­digit­divided­by­‘hard’­two­digit,­no­remainder.

These criteria enable the teacher to identify specific areas of achievement and weakness.
This­information­may­well­link­to­information­obtained­from­observations­of­other­tests­ and­work.­For­example,­an­extreme­reliance­on­procedure­may­well­link­with­a­dominant­ inchworm­thinking­style,­though­the­division­procedure­is­difficult­to­comprehend.­Poor­ basic­fact­knowledge­will­handicap­the­process.­The­least­problematic­consequence­of­this­ being slower work.

Appendix 5: Criterion referenced tests 159 Division­is­often­perceived­as­an­almost­mystical­process­and­may­well­be­done­purely­ as­a­rote­exercise.­It­is­likely­that­some­pupils­will­just­not­start­the­work­as­they­simply­ have­none­of­the­skills­needed­to­do­this­complex­procedure. It­may­be­informative­to­ask­the­pupil­for­an­estimated­answer,­or­if­they­can­see­a­link­ to­multiplication­(for­example­for­question­5b:­‘What­would­I­have­to­multiply­15­by­to­ get­765?’)
DIVISION—whole number name ............................ date ....................... 1a 3a 5a 16÷2 2a 4a 6a 58÷2

DIVISION—whole number name ............................ date ............................ 1b 35÷5 2b 72÷2= 3b 5b 4b 6b

ADDITION—DECIMAL
There­are­two­parallel­tests­(see­p.­169),­which­may­be­used­for: ♦­­ pre-­and­post-testing,­using­the­complete­tests; ♦­­ providing­a­second­example­when­a­subject­gets­an­item­wrong.­The­second­example­ can­be­used­to­confirm­if­an­error­pattern­exists.­Single­examples­may­be­chosen; ♦­­ progress­on­the­specified­criteria. The­addition­items­test: 1­­ Units,­tenths­plus­units,­tenths­with­carrying­in­tenths. 2­­ Units,­tenths,­hundredths­plus­units,­tenths,­hundredths­with­carrying­in­tenths­and­ hundredths. 3­­ Tens,­units,­tenths­plus­units,­no­carrying. 4­­ Tenths,­hundredths­plus­units. 5­­ Units,­tenths,­hundredths,­thousandths­plus­tens,­units,­tenths,­hundredths,­thousandths,­carrying­in­thousandths­and­hundredths. 6­­ Units,­tenths,­hundredths,­thousandths­plus­units,­tenths,­hundredths,­carrying­in­ hundredths and tenths.

These criteria enable the teacher to identify specific areas of achievement and weakness.
Errors­may­well­confirm­information­from­other­sources.­For­example,­lining­up­from­left­ or­right­without­acknowledging­the­decimal­point­may­show­perseverance­from­work­with­ whole­numbers­and­a­lack­of­awareness­of­the­significance­of­the­decimal­point­and­its­ relevance­to­place­values.

160 Appendix 5: Criterion referenced tests
ADDITION—decimal name ............................ la 2.3+4.8 3a 14.6+3 5a 13.001+2.899 date ............................ 2a 4.26+3.87 4a 0.72+4 6a 3.678+8.35

ADDITION—decimal name ............................ date ............................ 1b 5.9+3.4 2b 6.79+1.54 3b 15.2+4 4b 0.64+3 5b 1.798+12.002 6b 4.756+7.26

SUBTRACTION—DECIMAL
There­are­two­parallel­tests,­which­may­be­used­for: ♦­­ Pre-­and­post-testing,­using­the­complete­tests; ♦­­ Providing­a­second­example­when­a­subject­gets­an­item­wrong.­The­second­example­ can­be­used­to­confirm­if­an­error­pattern­exists.­Single­examples­may­be­chosen; ♦­­ Progress­on­the­specified­criteria. The­subtraction­items­test: 1­­ Tens,­units,­tenths­minus­units,­tenths­with­no­borrowing/­decomposing/­trading. 2­­ Tens,­ units,­ tenths,­ hundredths­ minus­ units,­ tenths,­ hundredths­ with­ borrowing/­­ d ­ ecomposing/­trading­in­tenths­column. 3­­ Tens,­units,­tenths­minus­units,­no­borrowing/­decomposing/­trading. 4­­ Unit­minus­tenths­with­borrowing/­decomposing/­trading. 5­­ Tens,­ units,­ tenths,­ hundredths,­ thousandths­ minus­ units,­ tenths,­ hundredths,­ thousandths,­borrowing/­decomposing/­trading­in­thousandths,­hundredths­and­tenths. 6­­ Tens,­units,­tenths,­hundredths,­thousandths­minus­units,­tenths,­hundredths,­borrowing/­ decomposing/­trading­in­hundredths,­tenths­and­units.

These criteria enable the teacher to identify specific areas of achievement and weakness.
Lining up from left or right without acknowledging the decimal point may show p ­ erseverance­from­work­with­whole­numbers­and­a­lack­of­awareness­of­the­significance­ of the decimal point. It­could­be­that­the­results­for­subtraction­are­poorer­than­those­for­addition­of­decimal­ numbers.­ Sometimes­ the­ extra­ step­ of­ a­ decimal­ point­ as­ well­ as­ a­ subtraction­ is­ an­ o ­ verload. There­could­be­more­‘no­answers’­showing­an­insecure­grasp­of­the­principles­of­decimal­ numbers.

Appendix 5: Criterion referenced tests 161
SUBTRACTION—decimal name ............................ date ....................... 1a 14.6−2.5 2a 24.26−3.44 3a 14.6−3 4a 5−0.8 5a 13.231−1. 444 6a 22.008−8.72 SUBTRACTION—decimal name ............................ date ............................ 1b 15.9−3.4 2b 15.29−1.54 3b 15.2−4 4b 8−0.6 5b 15.121−1.666 6b 24.006−7.24

FRACTIONS
There­are­two­parallel­tests,­which­may­be­used­for: ♦­­ Pre-­and­post-testing,­using­the­complete­tests; ♦­­ Providing­a­second­example­when­a­subject­gets­an­item­wrong.­The­second­example­ can­be­used­to­confirm­if­an­error­pattern­exists.­Single­examples­may­be­chosen; ♦­­ Progress­on­the­specified­criteria. The­fraction­items­test: 1­­ Addition­of­two­fractions­with­the­same­denominator. 2­­ Subtraction­of­two­fractions­with­the­same­denominator. 3­­ Addition­of­two­fractions­where­one­denominator­is­a­factor­of­the­other. 4­­ Subtraction­of­two­fractions­where­one­denominator­is­a­factor­of­the­other. 5­­ Addition­of­two­fractions­where­the­denominators­are­not­factors­or­multiples. 6­­ Subtraction­of­two­fractions­where­the­denominators­are­not­factors­or­multiples. 7 Multiplication of two fractions. 8­­ Multiplication­of­two­fractions.­(Ask­if­the­answer­will­be­same­value,­smaller,­ b ­ igger.)

These criteria enable the teacher to specify specific areas of achievement and weakness.
Does­the­subject­know­that­multiplication­with­fractions­can­make­answers­smaller?­Can­ the­subject­estimate­an­answer,­even­if­just­at­the­‘bigger­than­T,­‘smaller­than­1’­level?­If­ the­pupil­adds­all­these­questions­it­may­indicate­that­he­does­not­appreciate­the­different­ signs­or­that­he­just­rushed­through.­Simple­questioning­could­determine­which­was­the­ reason.­If­it­was­just­a­matter­of­rushing,­allow­the­pupil­to­attempt­the­questions­again,­ pointing­out­which­operation­is­required­for­each­question.

162 Appendix 5: Criterion referenced tests
FRACTIONS 1a name ....................................... 2a

3a

4a

5a 7a

6a 8a

FRACTIONS 1b 3b 5b

name .................................... 2b 4b 6b

7b

8b

ORALLY PRESENTED TEST FOR ESTIMATION
There­are­two­parallel­versions­of­the­oral­test,­which­may­be­used­for: ♦­­ Pre-­and­post-testing,­using­the­complete­tests; ♦­­ Providing­a­second­example­when­a­subject­gets­an­item­wrong.­The­second­example­ can­be­used­to­confirm­if­an­error­pattern­exists.­Single­examples­may­be­chosen. Remind­the­subject­that­for­estimation­an­approximate­answer,­a­good­guess­is­all­that­is­ needed. This section is read to the subject. After­ the­ test­ is­ completed­ ask­ the­ subject­ to­ explain­ how­ he/­she­ did­ each­ question.­ Prompt­if­necessary­(‘Did­you­change­the­value­of­94­to­something­else?­What­did­you­ chose?’) Ask­if­they­saw­any­connection­between­the­two­parts­of­Question­3.

Appendix 5: Criterion referenced tests 163
ORALLY PRESENTED TEST FOR ESTIMATION Make­and­use­printed­cards­for­each­question 1a What is an easier number to use instead of 96 if you are estimating an answer to this addition sum? 96+434 2a 3a 4a 5a Estimate the total cost of this shopping bill (show bill) £1.95 21×96 47p £9.99 52×18 56p 88p £1.12 Estimate the product (answer) to these multiplication sums Estimate how many chocca bars at 35p each you can buy for £4 Estimate the answer to this division sum 55.32÷0.489 ESTIMATION Use­the­estimation­cards­for­each­question 1b What is an easier number to use instead of 94 if you are estimating an answer to this addition sum? 657+94 2b 3b 4b 5b Estimate the total cost of this shopping bill 45p 22×95 £9.99 58p 51×19 81p £2.95 £1.20 Estimate the product (answer) to these multiplication sums Estimate how many yuffee bars at 26p each you can buy for £5 Estimate the answer to this division sum 52.73÷0.487

164 Appendix 5: Criterion referenced tests
WRITTEN ESTIMATION TEST FOR ARITHMETIC name ............................ date ............................ ADDITION 1) 38+28 2) 308+89 3) 12.3+7.8 4) 19.09+10.91 5) 63+12.05 SUBTRACTION 1) 67−38 3) 843−648 5) 37.6−4 MULTIPLICATION 1) 9×32 3) 4.9×12.4 DIVISION 1) 48.2÷1.94 2) 4) 6) 2) 4) 172−96 601−346 21.003−2.114 49×22 91×982

2) 788÷15

WRITTEN ESTIMATION TEST FOR ARITHMATIC
There­ is­ one­ version­ of­ a­ written­ estimation­ test­ for­ arithmetic.­As­ when­ investi-gating­ thinking­style,­ask­the­subject­‘How­did­you­do­that?’­This­will­be­the­key­diagnostic­question.­For­example,­788÷15­might­be­estimated­by­rounding­788­to­800­and­15­to­16.­There­ are­100­eights­in­800,­so­there­will­be­50­sixteens.­Another­possibility­is­to­start­with­15,­ double­to­30,­double­again­to­60­then­add­one­more­15­to­make­75,­or­just­multiply­15­by­5­ to­show­there­are­approximately­five­fifteens­in­78,­and­so­approximately­fifty­in­788. Although­both­tests­are­looking­at­estimation­skills,­they­also­lead­to­informa-tion­on­ how­numbers­are­understood­and­manipulated­and­thus­they­investigate­the­pupil’s­understanding of the four operations and basic facts.

Notes
1 Introduction: learning difficulties in mathematics
1­ V.A.Krutetskii,­ The Psychology of Mathematical Abilities in Schoolchildren,­ Chicago,­ U ­ niversity­of­Chicago­Press,­1976. 2­­ R.R.Skemp,­The Psychology of Learning Mathematics,­London,­Penguin,­1986,­pp.­64,­78. 3­­ B.Butterworth,­The Dyscalculia Screener,­London,­NFER-Nelson,­2003. 4 A front page article in the Times­ of­ 30/­12/­02­ headed­ ‘Exam­ stress­ strikes­ seven-year-olds’­ claims­that­the­Key­Stage­1­tests­are­causing­symptoms­of­excessive­anxiety­including­loss­of­ appetite,­insomnia,­bed-wetting,­forgetfulness­and­depression.­These­are­our­children!

3 What the curriculum asks pupils to do and where difficulties may occur
1­­ For­further­details­of­methods­for­teaching­addition­and­subtraction­see­S.Chinn,­What to do When you Can’t Add and Subtract,­Baldock,­Herts,­Egon,­1999.

4 Thinking styles in mathematics
1­­ M.R.Marolda­ and­ P.S.Davidson,­ ‘Mathematical­ learning­ styles­ and­ differentiated­ teaching­ strategies’,­Perspectives,­26,­3,­pp.­10–15,­2000. 2­­ See­S.J.Chinn,­The Test of Thinking Style in Mathematics,­Mark,­Somerset,­Markco­Publishing,­ 2003. 3­­ CASE.­ Cognitive­ Acceleration­ in­ Science­ Education.­ See­ P.Adey,­ M.Shayer­ and­ C.Yates,­ Thinking Science­2nd­edn,­Cheltenham,­Nelson­Thornes,­1994. 4­ CAME.­ Cognitive­ Acceleration­ in­ Mathematics­ Education.­ See­ M.Adhami,­ D.C.Johnson­ and­M.Shayer,­Thinking Maths: The Programme for Accelerated Learning in Mathematics, Oxford,­Heinemann­Educational,­1998.

5 Developmental perspectives
1­R.Gagne,­The Conditions of Learning,­New­York,­Holt,­Rinehart­&­Winston,­1970.

6 The language of maths
1­See­A.Henderson­and­E.Miles,­Basic Topics in Mathematics for Dyslexics,­London,­ Whurr,­2001.

166

Notes 8 The inconsistencies of maths

1­­ R.R.Skemp,­ The Psychology of Learning Mathematics­ 2nd­ edn,­ Harmondsworth,­ Pelican,­ 1986. 2­­ G.T.Buswell­ and­C.M.Judd­Summary of Educational Investigations Relating to Arithmetic: Supplementary Educational Monographs,­Chicago,­University­of­Chicago­Press.

9 Assessment and diagnosis
1­ ­N.France,­The Profile of Mathematical Skills,­Windsor,­NFER-Nelson,­1979. 2­­ J.M.Engelhardt,­‘Analysis­of­children’s­computational­errors:­a­qualitative­approach’,­British Journal of Educational Psychology,­47,­pp.­149–54,­1977. 3­­ Shuinn,­ as­ described­ in­Alexander,­ L.­and­ Murray,­ C.­ ‘The­ development­ of­an­ abbreviated­ v ­ ersion­of­the­Mathematics­Anxiety­Rating­Scale’,­Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development,­vol.­22­pp.­143–50,­1989.

Index
acalculia 4,­7 addition 23,­114,­127; by­casting­out­10s­89–90; criterion referenced tests 164,­168–9, 171–2; of decimals 168–9; errors 132; of fractions 141–8,­149,­171–2; mental calculation 47–8,­72–5; related to multiplication 23,­48,­49, 77–8,­87; addition­facts,­rapid­recall­of­46 addition­square­22,­90 adjusting numbers 72–3 algebra 78,­115,­116 algebraic thinking 3 anarithmetica 4,­7 angles 55,­58,­90,­116 anxiety­10,­13,­16,­19,­105–12,­136 area 58 area models for multiplication 49,­51–2,­79,­85 arithmastenia 4 Ashcraft,­M.­10 Ashcroft,­J.R.­12,­15 assessment and diagnosis 119–37 Association of Teachers of Mathematics 117 associative­law­78 associative­(rote)­learning­91 attitude 10,­136 attributional style 10,­106–7,­110,­111–12,­136 averages­57,­90 Bakwin,­R.M.­4 base ten blocks 17,­25,­37,­41,­45,­48,­49,­88–9 basic­facts,­recall­of­23,­30–1 Basic­Number­Screening­Test­130 Basic­Skills­Agency­8 beliefs and maths 110 British­Abilities­Scales­Basic­Arithmetic­Test­5 British­Psychological­Society­6 Buswell,­G.T.­113 Butterworth,­B.­6 calculations 46–54 calculators 3,­18,­30,­33,­53–4 CAME­and­CASE­programmes­67 carrying 48,­114 charts 57 checking answers 35,­54 Chinn,­S.­10,­12,­15 Cohn,­R.­4 coins see­money/­coins communication 2,­3,­15 commutative­law­49,­78 computational skills 3 computer software 153 computers 3 concept learning 91 consistency 158 coordinates 24,­58 counting 11–12,­127; backwards 24,­43; on 73 Cuisenaire­rods­see number rods curriculum,­design­of­13 data handling 56–7 Davidson,­P.S.­59 decimals 25,­45,­98,­133; addition of 168–9; representation of fractions as 45; rounding of 45; sequencing­32–3,­43,­116; subtraction of 169–70 decomposition 46,­48,­114 definitions­of­learning­difficulties­6–8 denominator 44 department policy 158–62 developmental­perspectives­15,­76–92,­159 DfES­4,­6–8 diagnosis and assessment 119–37 Dienes­blocks­see base ten blocks directionality 24–5 distributive­law­49,­78,­84 division­23,­24–5,­48–9; by­2,­4,­5,­10­or­100­43; criterion referenced tests 167–8;

pencil and paper strategies 48

168

Index
Gagne,­R.­91 Geary,­D.­5 generalisations 37 geometry 3 Gerstmann,­J.­4 graphs 57 Henderson,­A.­98 homework 18 homophones 98–9 inconsistencies in maths 113–18 Individual­Education­Plans­(IEPs)­136,­163 intuitive­approaches­9,­16 involvement­and­interaction,­pupil­159 Joffe,­L.­5–6 Jog­Your­Memory­cards­154–7 Judd,­C.M.­113 Kaufman,­A.­121 Kay,­J.­13 Kent­Mathematics­Project­15 Kosc,­L.­4,­7 Krutetskii,­V.A.­2,­9,­11 labelling 6 language 93–104,­128,­159,­161 learning,­levels­of­91 learning styles 59,­61,­160 left to right working 73–4 long­division­86,­87,­138–41 long multiplication 23,­52,­84,­87 Magne,­O.­4 manipulatives­17,­56; see also­base­ten­blocks; money/­coins; number­(Cuisenaire)­rods marking 18,­160 Marolda,­M.R.­59 material(s),­choice­of­illustrative­17 mathematical reasoning 2 Mathematics­Competency­test­130 Mathematics­Learning­Styles­I­and­II­59,­61 Mathematics Teaching 117 measures/­measurement­3,­56,­57–8,­116

using­‘easy’­numbers­86; errors 135; related to fractions 45,­144; long 86,­87,­138–41; mental calculation strategies 50; related to multiplication 43,­49; pencil and paper procedures 52–3; by repeated subtraction 23,­48,­52,­87, 140 division­facts,­rapid­recall­of­49–50 dot recognition and counting 11,­126 dyscalculia 3,­4–15 dyslexia­5,­6,­7,­8,­16 Dyslexia Review 4 ‘easy’­numbers­161; for­division­86; for multiplication 82,­85,­86,­87 empathy 15,­160 Engelhardt,­J.M.­131 error analysis 131–5 error patterns 28–9,­131 errors 129–31; basic fact 30,­129,­131 estimation 2,­41,­88–9,­115,­129,­139; and fraction sums 146–7 estimation skills tests 163,­173–5 even­numbers­43 everyday­situations,­maths­applied­to­2,­9,­56 examinations­16; and multiplication facts 85 expectations­109–10 factors 43 feedback 160 Feynman,­R.­117 flexibility: in teaching 15; of thinking style 63,­66–75 formulaic approaches 9,­16 fractions 33,­44–5,­115; adding and subtracting 141–8,­149, 171–2; criss-cross-times method for 142–3; decimal representation of 45; related­to­division­45,­144; multiplication of 148,­171,­172; renaming 144–6,­148

Index 169
memory: long­term,­for­mathematical­information 2,­11,­13,­23; short term 11,­14,­16,­21–2,­127–8 mental calculation 2,­11,­13,­22,­27; addition and subtraction 47–8,­72–5; multiplication­and­division­50–1 metric measures 57,­116 Miles,­E.­98 Miles,­T.­6 mnemonics 33 money/­coins­17,­48,­125–6,­135; and decimals 32,­45; and estimation skills 89; and­number­bonds­for­10­and­100­46, 47,­88; and­‘real­life’­maths­56,­89,­135 multiples of 6,­7,­8 and 9 43 multiplication 41,­48–9,­77–8,­115; area models for 49,­51–2,­79,­85; criterion referenced tests 166–7,­171, 172; related­to­division­43,­49; using­‘easy’­numbers­82,­85,­86,­87; errors 134; of fractions 148,­171,­172; long 23,­52,­84,­86,­87; mental calculation strategies 50–1; pencil and paper procedures 51–2; as repeated addition 23,­48,­49,­77–8, 87 multiplication facts 50,­78–87; and­examinations­85; Jog­Your­Memory­cards­for­154–7; later­in­the­curriculum­(or­life)­85; recall of 23,­49–50,­128; for students who cannot rote learn them 81–5 multiplication­(table)­squares­23,­50,­80–1,­85 multisensory work 17,­159 National­Council­of­Teachers­of­Mathematics­ (US)­2–3,­63 National­Numeracy­Strategy­(NNS)­4,­11,­14,­ 63–5,­66,­109 negative­numbers­41–2 negative/­positive­coordinates­24 no attempts 28–9,­108,­130,­131 number­bonds: for­100,­1000,­10,000­and­1­46,­47,­88, 90; for­9­and­11­87; for­10­23,­30,­87,­90 number­(Cuisenaire)­rods­34,­42,­43,­46,­88 number­sequences­32–3,­42–3,­116 number stories 55 numbers/­number­system­9,­12,­14,­40–6; adjustment of 72–3; negative­41–2; odd­and­even­43 numerator 44 odd numbers 43 order/­ordering­35,­41 organisation,­pupil’s­lack­of­28,­30,­36 overviews­15,­69,­71 patterns 37,­161 percentages 45–6 perimeter 58 place­value­41,­115,­116,­128 place­value­cards­36,­128,­129 positive/­negative­coordinates­24 praise 160 presentation: of lessons 159; of­text­books/­worksheets­17–18,­25–6, 151–2 principle learning 91 probability 3,­56 problem­solving­2,­54–6,­91; thinking style and 62 proportion 45 ratio 44 reading skills 16,­31 reasonableness of results 2 recording 29–30 relevance­160 responsive­teaching­15,­160 revision­15,­159 risk taking 108–9,­111,­159 rote learning 91 rounding 41,­45,­72 safe learning 159 seating for testing 124 self­confidence­111

170

Index
criterion referenced 163–72; informal 124–36; standardised 119–22; see also examinations text­books­17–18,­25–6,­151 thinking styles 34,­55,­59–75,­136,­160; and computation 60–1; flexibility­of­63,­66–75; ‘grasshopper’­29,­34,­42,­59–71 passim, 75,­77,­109; ‘inchworm’­34,­59,­60,­62–70 passim, 72,­75,­76–7,­109; and­National­Numeracy­Strategy­63–5; and­problem­solving­62; and risk taking 109; and shape and space problems 62–3; of teachers 71 time 35,­56,­116,­117–18 times­tables­see­multiplication­facts;

self tuition 15 Seligman,­M.­106,­112 sequencing­32–3,­42–3,­116 shape 55,­58,­62–3,­102 Sharma,­M.­4,­7 Skemp,­R.R.­3 software 153 space 58,­62–3,­102 speed of working 13,­16,­27–8,­129,­130,­160,­ 162 Stanovich,­K.E.­12 statistics 3 subitizing­(dot­recognition)­11–12,­126 subtraction 41,­90,­114; criterion referenced tests 165,­169–70, 171–2; decimals 169–70; related­to­division­23,­48,­52,­87,­140; equal­additions­for­74; errors 132–3; of fractions 141–8,­149,­171–2; mental calculation 47–8,­72–5; pencil and paper procedures 48 subtraction­facts,­rapid­recall­of­46 success 160 symbols 2,­3,­17 table­(multiplication)­squares­23,­50,­81–2,­85 targets 107,­110 task analysis 37–9 teen numbers 24,­35,­36,­93,­94,­114 testing 16,­119–37;

table­(multiplication)­squares
timetables 58 transfer of skills 34 transposals 36,­131

visual­problems­25–6 vocabulary­of­maths­94–8,­128,­159,­161 WISC­test­130 word problems 99–101,­135 worksheets 17–18,­25–6,­151–2 writing up 29–30

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