3. My child doesn’t like maths and struggles to understand it, but I’m not surprised, they probably got it from me. Will maths mastery help them to succeed?
We need to dismantle this idea that it’s acceptable for adults (and children) to say this as an off-the-cuff remark. After all, no one would say ‘I don’t like reading, and I don’t understand it’.
How do you convince a parent that maths mastery helps struggling learners get the most from their maths lessons?
Start by explaining how maths mastery helps learners with low mathematical self-esteem ‘find a way in’. Right from the beginning, it sets high expectations, making the assumption that learning (and even liking) maths is possible for all.
You can show parents the number patterns lesson again, but this time look at Maths — No Problem! Textbook 4A, Chapter 1, Lesson 8. Here, you can see the building blocks that help less confident learners understand how the numbers change in different columns.
This is a nice opportunity to explain how each lesson reinforces the CPA approach. Point out that in the first example, learners use concrete materials (Dienes blocks) to represent the number changes. MNP characters Ravi and Lulu are shown in bubbles, explaining the thinking behind the maths.
Learners progress to the pictorial stage by reflecting the patterns on a number line. Then they move onto recording their answers using numerals. With confidence, they might be able to go ‘one step further’ by extending the pattern.
Here, you can see the maths is differentiated and designed with the struggling learner in mind.
Even though one parent told me that using Dienes blocks in KS2, “sounded babyish”, many parents were grateful their child was building a deep understanding of what the maths actually means.
In a nutshell: maths mastery builds understanding, helping learners to enjoy maths and reach their full potential.