# Mathematics

Scoil Cholmcille,

Kilmacrennan

Maths Policy

INTRODUCTION:

Our school plan has been formulated to provide a framework to ensure that the school meets the learning needs of each pupil and that there will be continuity and uniformity of attitude and approach with regard to the teaching of Maths.

Following our in-service we reviewed the teaching of maths throughout the school to conform to the principles outlined in the Maths Curriculum.

OUR VISION:

· We see Maths as being very important in relation to our school and very necessary in the development of all our pupils. It is a subject that has many values including practical and aesthetic and can benefit all our pupils.

· We hope to enable each child in our school realise his/her full mathematical potential in Mathematics.

· We hope to foster a love and enthusiasm for maths in our pupils.

· We hope to provide each child with mathematical knowledge, concepts and skills required for everyday living.

· We will encourage parental involvement as much as possible to support the child’s learning in maths.

AIMS:

We endorse the aims of the Primary Curriculum for Maths as set out on pg.12 of the Curriculum.

· to develop problem-solving abilities and a facility for the application of maths to everyday life

· to enable children to use mathematical language effectively and accurately

· to enable children acquire an understanding of mathematical concepts and processes to his/her appropriate level of development and ability

· To enable children to acquire proficiency in fundamental mathematical skills and in recalling basic number facts.

Curriculum Planning

Strands and Strand Units:

The curriculum objectives are used as the objectives for each class level in our school:

Junior and Senior Infants: p. 20 – 35 Curriculum

First and Second Class: p. 40 – 59 Curriculum

Third and Fourth Class: p. 64 – 83 Curriculum

Fifth and Sixth Class: p. 88 – 111 Curriculum

At the start of each year teachers will familiarise themselves with the objectives for their class and make sure that their individual planning for the year incorporates all strands of the Maths Curriculum.

Approaches and Methodologies:

The following approaches and methodologies will be used throughout the year:

The Use of Manipulatives:

Children will have access to and use a broad range of mathematical equipment during lessons.

Talk and Discussion:

Maths has it’s own language that needs to be spoken before being read and read before being written. We include talk and discussion in our maths lesson to develop concepts, mathematical language and to assess pupils understanding. Our school promotes the accurate and effective use of mathematical language.

We will use the following to develop talk and discussion in our school:

(i) Maths Language in the Strands – we will identify and emphasise the key vocabulary in each strand.

(ii) Introduction of maths topics – we will draw out children’s prior knowledge, experience and language through open discussion.

(iii) Using children’s literature in maths – we will use stories such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears to develop maths language and concepts.

(iv) Number Rhymes and Stories – we will use number rhymes and stories in the junior classes to consolidate maths language and concepts.

(v) Maths in the Environment – at all levels and in all strand areas we talk about the maths in our classroom environment and maths in the children’s home environment.

(vi) Concrete Materials – at all levels and in all strand areas we use concrete materials to encourage children to communicate about what they are doing and what they see happening.

(vii) Board Games

(viii) Problem-Solving – we will encourage children to talk about their strategies.

(ix) Maths Trails – in the senior classes

(x) Parents and Maths – we will encourage parents to talk about maths in their homes and in the local environment – shopping, travelling distances, shapes in the environment, measures……

Active Learning / Guided Discovery:

Active Learning in our school is promoted through the use of concrete materials, ICT and maths games.

Collaborative / Co-operative Learning:

To meet the different learning styles in our pupils we vary our teaching styles. Collaborative / Co-operative learning is important in developing social skills, motivating children and fostering positive self-esteem. We see collaborative / co-operative learning as being promoted through the following mathematical areas:

(i) ICT

(ii) All aspects of strand of measures

(iii) Maths games

(iv) Problem – Solving (in pairs)

(v) Data

(vi) General use of equipment (sharing)

Problem –Solving:

Children are encouraged to use their own ideas as a context for problem – solving. To promote problem – solving in our school we have prioritised the following strategy:

(i) Attend to key mathematical words

(ii) Draw picture / diagram of problem

(iii) Use appropriate materials / resources

(iv) We will encourage estimation

(v) Solve simpler versions of problems

(vi) Act out problem

(vii) Break problem down and solve each part

(viii) Look for patterns in a problem.

Estimation:

Estimation will form part of every maths lesson. Emphasis will be placed on the development of estimation skills from Junior Infants to Sixth Class in all strand areas.

In teaching Measures at all levels we take every opportunity to have the children practise estimation of lengths, heights, widths, distances, weights, volume, capacity.

KEY STRATEGIES:

(i) Estimate

(ii) Discuss or consider

(iii) Measure or do

(iv) Record or report

In teaching Number we develop estimation skills by practising a variety of strategies including rounding strategy and the front end strategy.

In all strand areas children will be taught to investigate the reasonableness of their results.

Children from fourth class upwards will be encouraged to estimate when working with calculators so that each child can evaluate the validity of the result given by the machine.

Developing estimation skills will be one of our school strategies to develop problem skills.

Using the Environment as a learning resource:

The school building is used as a resource to support the Maths programme. In our school we promote a maths rich environment both inside and outside in the yard. Each teacher uses the local environment as well as the classroom and school environment to make maths more real to the children’s lives.

Skills:

Priorities in our school:

(i) Oral Maths

(ii) Mental Maths

(iii) Use of concrete materials

(iv) Promoting Problem Solving

(v) Standardising of Testing

(vi) Agreed ways of doing things.

The following number limits for each class will be adhered to:

Class Numerals

Junior Infants 0 – 5

Senior Infants 6 – 10

First Class 0 – 99

Second Class 0 – 199

Third Class 0 – 999

Fourth Class 0 – 9999

Fifth Class read, write and order whole numbers and decimals

Sixth Class read, write and order whole numbers and decimals

Data:

Children will be encouraged to collect real data i.e. infant classes collect personal information and represent it on a pictogram for example; older children will create and interpret bar charts and pie charts. Children in senior classes will create a database to show how information technology can be used to interpret large amounts of information. As part of this project they are made aware of the importance of entering relevant data and asking clear questions to extract the required information from the data.

Language – Concept Skills:

There is a strong link between language and concept acquisition. We feel it is important to have a common approach to the terms used and the correct use of symbol names. Our school has agreed the following:

Vocabulary:

Addition and Equivalence

“+” and “=” are introduced as symbols in Senior Infants.

Prior to this (i.e. Junior Infants) the vocabulary used to talk about operations will be

· “+”: “plus”, “and”, “more”, “altogether”.

· “=”: “the same as”, “is”

From First Class children will become familiar with the

Following:

· +: “addition”, “total”, “sum of”, and “increase”, “more than”.

· =: “equals”

Subtraction:

“- “is introduced as a symbol in First Class.

In the infant classes the vocabulary used will be:

· “take away”, “less than”, “left”

From Second Class children will become familiar with:

· “subtraction”, “decrease”, “subtract”, “take away”, “from”, “less than”, “minus”, “difference”.

Multiplication and Division:

“x” and “ “ are introduced as symbols in Third Class. The following vocabulary will be used:

“x”: “multiplication”, “multiply”, “times”, “of”.

“ “ : “division”, “divide”, “divided by”, “split”, “share”, “shared between”, “group”, “how…many…in…”

In Fifth and Sixth Class the words “product” and “quotient” will be included.

Place Value:

The word “unit” will be used rather than “ones”.

Written Methods:

To ensure a common approach to the teaching of subtraction and fractions we have agreed the following:

Subtraction:

Vertical: Start from the top using the words “take away”.

Horizontal: Read from left to right using the words “take away”.

Renaming/Regrouping will be the method used throughout the school.

Fractions:

In the addition and subtraction of mixed numbers the whole numbers are worked on first, then equivalence is used for the fraction part by finding the common denominator. In multiplication and division improper fractions are used.

Children will be afforded opportunities to verbalise and to use manipulatives to represent each of these activities before the written recording of symbols.

Tables:

Number facts up to ten will be memorised. Addition facts will be memorised by the end of Second Class and multiplication facts by the end of Fourth Class. Both will be revised up to the end of Sixth Class.

A variety of methods will be used including counting in 2s, 3s, 4s……., reciting, using music cds etc. Subtraction and division tables will be learnt as the inverse of addition and multiplication.

Skills:

The following skills will be acquired by the children through the study of the various strands of the Curriculum:

(i) Applying and Problem-Solving

(ii) Communicating and Expressing

(iii) Integrating and Connecting

(iv) Reasoning

(v) Implementing

(vi) Understanding and Recalling

(vii) Estimation.

ASSESSMENT AND RECORD KEEPING:

Assessment will be used by the teachers in our school to inform their planning, selection and management of learning activities so that they can make the best possible provision for meeting the varied needs of the children in our school.

Teachers will select from the following range of assessment approaches:

· Teacher observation of knowledge, skills development and participation in activities.

· Teacher designed tests and tasks.

· Work samples, folders and projects.

· Children will be encouraged to assess their own work on a continuous basis.

Teacher designed tests and tasks.

The following are used throughout the school to inform the Class Teacher of each child’s progress in Maths:

· Oral Tests (tables, continuation of number patterns etc….)

· Written Tests of numerical competence

· Problem – Solving exercises that use a variety of mathematical skills.

· Projects that require compilation of data or the drawing of diagrams.

Standardised Testing:

· Assessment Tests from the Maths scheme will be used throughout the school.

· Children will bring tests and results of such tests home for parents to see.

· Test results will be kept by the teacher and passed on to the next teacher.

The following procedure will be used for norm-referenced tests:

· Children will be formally assessed by means of the Sigma-T tests in the Senior classes and the Drumcondra Maths Tests in the Junior classes.

· All children will be tested each year.

· The results of each child’s tests will be kept in their school file to be stored in the school office.

· Sigma-T results will be communicated to parents at the parent-teacher meetings using the Sten Score result.

· In line with the school’s policy on record keeping school files will be kept until.

Children with Different Needs:

The Maths programme aims to meet the needs of all children in the school. This will be achieved by teachers varying the pace, content and methodologies to ensure learning for all children.

Those children who receive scores at or below the tenth percentile on the Sigma-T tests will have priority in attending the Learning Support Teacher for supplementary teaching for maths. The availability of supplementary teaching for maths, however, will depend on the case load of the Learning Support Teacher.

Diagnostic tests may be administered where the need arises. Parental permission will be sought before these tests are administered.

If there are children who qualify for supplementary teaching but for whom there is no possibility of receiving formal supplementary teaching the following will happen:

a) The Learning Support Teacher will liaise with the class teacher on resource books and materials that could be used by the class teacher and the child in the mainstream setting.

b) If the child is already attending the Learning Support Teacher for English, it may be possible, on occasion, for the child to receive some help with his/her Maths work as part of the supplementary teaching sessions.

The progress of such children will be reviewed on a regular basis.

The same provision will apply for children who do not qualify for supplementary teaching but yet demonstrate difficulty with Mathematical activities on an on-going basis or with particular concepts.

The requirements of children with special needs will be taken into consideration when planning class lessons and field trips. The SNA supports particular children or groups as directed by the class teacher. Grants as appropriate will be accessed to support the needs of individual children. Additional materials and resources may also be purchased by the school.

For children of exceptional ability opportunities will be provided to work on independent research projects, ICT and with other children who have a similar interest in Maths activities. Parents will be consulted and opportunities for further development will be explored e.g. Centre for Talented Youth. Teachers will be required to keep a record of the differentiated approach adopted for these children.

Equality of Participation and Access:

All children are provided with equal access to all aspects of the Maths curriculum. Boys and girls are provided with equal opportunities to engage in mathematical activities.

Organisational Planning:

Timetable:

The following time is allocated for Mathematics in this school:

· Infant Classes: 3 hours 25 minutes

· First Class – Sixth Class: 4 hours 10 minutes

Timetables must record this time allocation for Maths.

There is discretionary time available each week that teacher can occasionally use to support the Maths Curriculum.

· Infants: 1 hour

· First Class – Sixth Class: 2 hours

Homework:

In our school

· Homework should be in line with the approaches as set out in the curriculum for Maths

· Maths homework should be given each night homework is given

· Homework allocated should take account of the differing levels of ability in the class

· Children should generally be given a mixture of number work and the current concept being taught in class in a homework assignment

· Tables may be given for homework but children should be given an opportunity to begin the process of learning these in class

· Practical activities may be given from time to time (e.g. measuring, collecting data)

· Time should be allocated as part of the Maths lesson for correction of Maths homework and the review of any problems arising.

RESOURCES AND ICT:

Manipulatives:

We, in the school, acknowledge the importance of concrete materials in the development of mathematical concepts for children in all classes. Each class is supplied with equipment suitable for that class level.

Calculators:

From fifth class upwards children are permitted to use calculators alongside traditional paper-and- pencil methods. Calculators are particularly useful for handling larger numbers, to check answers, to explore the number system and to remove computational barriers for weaker children. They also allow the child to focus on the structure of problem-solving questions. It is important that the skill of estimation is developed along with the use of the calculator.

ICT:

Software used must include a variety of activities to develop the children’s conceptual knowledge and problem-solving skills in addition to drill and practice activities.

List of useful Mathematical Websites:

www.primaryresources.co.uk

www.bbc.co.uk/schools/numbertime/games

www.kidwaresoftware.com

www.multiplication.com/games/htm

www.teachingtables.co.uk

www.rainforestmaths.com

www.scienceacademy.com

www.kidsnumbers.com

www.primarymaths.ie/mathstrail1st2nd.pdf

www.ixl.com/maths

www.mathsisfun.com

www.topmarks.co.uk

Textbooks:

· Textbooks are selected in line with the school’s Textbook Policy and reflect the objectives of the Curriculum.

· The scheme currently in use throughout the school is “Planet Maths”. This scheme is used in all classes from Junior Infants to Sixth Class as the basic text. Mental Maths is used from First to Sixth Class.

· A table book will also be used throughout the school.

· Where a teacher deems necessary supplementary materials will be supplied/designed.

Individual Teachers’ Planning and Reporting:

Teachers should base their yearly and short term plans on the approaches set out in this whole school plan for Maths. Work covered will be outlined in the Cuntas Miosuil which will be submitted to the principal.

Staff Development:

Teachers are made aware of any opportunities for further professional development through participation in courses available in Education Centres and other venues. Skills and expertise within the school are shared and developed through inputs at staff meetings.

Parental Involvement:

Parents are encouraged to support the school’s programme for Maths. They will be encouraged to use real maths i.e. real objects when doing maths at home, use board games regularly and use the same methodologies as used in the classroom.

Individual parent/teacher meetings are held annually. Teachers and parents are afforded this chance to discuss each individual child’s progress in Maths and other areas and ways of assisting that progress. Parents and teachers are welcome to make individual arrangements to discuss matters of relevance at other times throughout the school year.

Success Criteria:

The success of this plan will be measured using the following criteria:

(i) Implementation of revisions in the Maths curriculum will be evident in the teachers’ work.

(ii) Continuity of content and methodology will be evident in teachers’ preparation and monthly reports.

(iii) On-going assessment, formal and informal, will show that pupils are acquiring an understanding of mathematical concepts and a proficiency in maths skills appropriate to their age and ability.

Review:

Progress made during this school year will be reviewed at the end of March 2013 (Croke Park planning hours) staff meeting and will be based on results of assessments across all classes and on teachers’ views as to the effectiveness of the plan.