Do you know ‘How To Teach Primary Maths – anyone can feed sweets to sharks’ ?
An easy-read creative little maths book
Nick’s (@mrtileynunn) approach is to make maths memorable. This includes using sugar sharks to explain division, greedy crocodiles to look at equations and developing dance routines to understand algebra. Maths need never be dull and irrelevant to children again.
Yet the book is not a collection of gimmicky activities. Throughout the book, Nick offers wee gems of advice about teaching maths concepts based on years of practical front-line experience. I particularly liked the step-by-step approach to fractions. It doesn’t involve pizza. Using lengths of string and moving onto practical experience of having objects, the vocabulary and development of understanding is carefully explained. From here, the fraction of shapes is practised. Finally Nick advocates that children learn about more complex fraction work through the use of a blank 10x10m grid in the playground which makes the ideal link to decimals and percentages.
The level of rigour underpinning each chapter is appropriate and there are many helpful reminders to the readers such as the need to consider the wider mathematical picture beyond numeracy. I found the mix of mathematical investigations such as exploring Pascal’s Triangle, along with the teaching of specific concepts, a good balance.
All-in-all, this is an excellent book that will be of value to all student teachers and any primary teacher wishing to revamp their maths practice. My copy is already well-thumbed and my repertoire of mathematical jokes has broadened too…!
Juliet Robertson (@creativeSTAR) – Author of ‘Dirty Teaching’, education consultant and blogger at www.creativestarlearning.co.uk