13 October 2018
Reasons to Love Reasoning
Reasoning is at the heart of learning and doing mathematics. But evidence points to reasoning not getting as much attention in mathematics lessons as it might. Is that because fluency and problem solving need to come first? Or because reasoning is only something that a select few children can engage in? In this keynote Mike will explore why it is important that all children get to engage in mathematical reasoning, and why reasoning is complementary to, but not directly dependent upon, fluency and problem solving. In fact, some evidence suggests that reasoning may come first in learning mathematics. We will explore practical strategies for bringing reasoning into the center of all mathematics teaching, and making mathematics learning engaging, challenging and productive.
Mike is a distinguished Professor of Mathematics Education in the School of Education at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, having previously held Professorships at King’s College, University of London and Monash University, Melbourne. Originally a primary school teacher, Mike moved into teacher education and developed his interest in research. He has directed many research projects including the influential ‘Effective Teachers of Numeracy in Primary Schools’ and was deputy director of the five-year Leverhulme Numeracy Research Programme. His books include: ‘Transforming Primary Mathematics’, ‘A Practical Guide to Transforming Primary Mathematics’ and the popular ‘Maths for Mums and Dads’ (with Rob Eastaway).
Mike believes that mathematical activity can be, and should be, engaging and enjoyable for all learners and that the majority of learners can come to see themselves as mathematicians, in the sense of having confidence in their ability to do maths. From April 2018 Mike is pleased to be the President of the Mathematical Association.
Katie Crozier and Claire Gerrard - Numberless Word Problems: How to encourage mathematical reasoning and avoid ‘number-plugging’
When presented with word problems, there is a conflict between context and quantity. Children often resort to ‘number plugging’ and default to the favoured operation of addition. During this session, Katie and Claire will share some tried and tested class teaching strategies to encourage children to think more about the context of word problems and to use mathematical thinking to suggest potential solutions. Participants in the workshop will explore different ways of presenting word problems, including removing the numbers, to help children make sense of the maths involved and reach well-reasoned, accurate solutions.
Alison Eves – Using Systematic Reasoning to Solve Problems … and have fun!
This workshop will use some of the materials developed for the Royal Institution’s “Off the Shelf” (OTS) Primary Maths Masterclasses. By adopting a systematic approach to reasoning pupils can have the satisfaction of not only solving a problem, but also knowing that they have found a complete solution. In addition they can then use that reasoning to generalise and solve similar problems. As part of the workshop Alison will explain how these OTS materials can easily be used to enhance your students’ love of reasoning, via engagement with the Royal Institution’s Maths Masterclass programme for primary schools. (And with a minimum of time commitment from the busy teacher!)
Sue Gifford – Developing Pattern Awareness in the Early Years
Young children’s awareness of pattern varies greatly and predicts their later mathematical achievement – but it can be taught. Following Australian research and based on a current project with teachers of three to five year olds, this session considers practical ways of developing children’s pattern awareness and its relation to mathematical thinking.
Ray Huntley - Developing Reasoning to Support Problem Solving
In this session, we will look at a number of 'classroom-ready' activities which involve solving problems using reasoning skills. They cover number and geometry and use minimal equipment beyond a few cubes, counters, paper and scissors. Pair and small group work will be strongly encouraged, even enforced, and you will go away with ideas and insights to get your children reasoning.
Laurie Jacques –Teaching with Variation: Planning for key points, difficult points and critical points in learning mathematics
In this session, Laurie will offer some case studies from a primary professional development programme that has facilitated teachers to begin designing and teaching using variation. Laurie will provide a brief background to teaching with variation and share examples of tasks that teachers have developed in the last 12 months as part of their professional learning. Participants in the workshop will have the opportunity to consider their own practice and work on some mathematical tasks designed with procedural variation as a foundation.
Jane Liddle – Mastery beyond Number and Calculation
Much of the focus of teaching for Mastery has been on Number and Calculation to date, but as a Mastery Lead for BBO Maths Hub, Jane is often asked what mastery looks like in other areas such as Measures and Geometry. This session will be a hands on exploration to try out some activities to address aspects of these topics.
Lucy Sayce-Browne – Let’s Talk about Reasoning
When asked to explain their reasoning children will often answer with ‘I just know it’. They struggle to find the words to talk about the maths and so are unable to form chains of reasoning. Their understanding becomes stuck in the moment and progress stagnates. By providing pupils with rich and frequent opportunities to talk about maths and by scaffolding that talk we can help to develop pupils reasoning skills as well as strengthening conceptual understanding. In this session we will explore strategies for developing maths talk through working on simple but rich tasks that can be taken straight into the classroom.
1000-1030 Registration and refreshments
1030-1130 Opening Plenary
1140-1240 Workshop 1
1240-1330 Lunch and MA publications
1330-1430 Workshop 2
1440-1540 Workshop 3
1540-1600 Refreshments and evaluations
The event is held on a Saturday to avoid problems with cover. It is priced so that schools can afford to send two members of staff (about half the price of a typical LA course) - staff who enjoy the day’s training together are more likely to discuss and implement what they have experienced on their return to school.
The cost of the day is £70 for members of The Mathematical Association.
£95 to non-members who will receive a £25 voucher redeemable against membership.
All members of a school with Institutional Membership are entitled to come at the members’ price.
Publications from The Mathematical Association will be on sale on the day.
We provide a lovely lunch and refreshments, and do everything possible to make it a great day out for those who attend.
The feedback on last year’s sessions was excellent. Please do consider sending at least one member of staff, as it is rare to have so many experts in the field of primary mathematics together for the day. It really is an opportunity not to be missed!
We will contact delegates nearer the time giving more detailed directions and the finalised schedule for the day.
Online Booking Opening soon.
Receipt of your conference fee will book your place, please be aware your place is not secure until payment is received.
No refunds are given once a place has been booked, but other names can be substituted if the person registering cannot attend.
We reserve the right to change the programme.
The PMC is a nationwide challenge for pupils who want to get involved in some interesting and stimulating mathematics. Aimed at the top 60% of pupils in Years 5 and 6 England and Wales, P6 and P7 in Scotland, and Years 6 and 7 in Northern Ireland, the PMC is taken by tens of thousands of children each year.