Planning Maths using APP materials

This post is a follow-up to one I wrote here as someone asked me to go into more detail. This is the main text of the email but I thought it might be useful to post here too.

I will try to explain what I did and why but if it doesn’t make sense please just let me know! The problem that I was having with planning maths from the new framework was that a lot of it is aimed at the high-middle ability children and above and I had a year 6 lower-middle ability and below class (a two-form entry school so we had a higher and lower group, although could ideally have done with a middle group too). I had the lower group with levels ranging from 2a – 4c at the beginning of the school year with many of them way below their actual targets for end of year 6 as these children had obviously got lost somewhere along the way between year 2 and year 6.

I started off following the framework but initially found it trying to fit too many different areas of maths into the block meaning that there was not enough time for consolidation, for example in a two-week block we might have to cover place value, multiplication, division, shape, angles, word problems etc and it was bonkers. The children hardly had time to understand, practice, consolidate and apply when we spent one/two days on division every 6 or so weeks so every time it came round to teach it again, although they may have taken two steps forward the last time because it was so long ago they had probably gone 1 1/2 steps back.

Now, I know a lot of people hate APP and slag it off but for me it’s something that I’ve found has helped me pitch my teaching much better. What I decided to do was spend as long as the children needed on different aspects of maths and not move on just because Unit A says I have to fit all that stuff in. I started off with Ma2 calculation as that is the most heavily weighted and took the objectives for my class from level 3 as that’s what most of them were working at, then use level 2 for lower ability and level 4 for higher ability. We then spent as long as needed to meet the level 3 objectives before moving on to the next and I highlighted on my APP grid what we’d covered. I then made sure that we revisited the things already covered as starters and then moved on to more application through Ma1, Ma3 and Ma4 after we’d covered Ma2.

So, for example, Ma2 Numbers and the Number system says:

  • understand place value in numbers to 1000, e.g.
  • – represent/compare numbers using number lines, 100-squares, base 10 materials, etc.
  • – recognise that some numbers can be represented as different arrays
  • – use understanding of place value to multiply/divide whole numbers by 10 (whole  number answers)
  • use place value to make approximations
  • recognise negative numbers in contexts such as temperature
  • recognise a wider range of sequences, e.g.
  • – recognise sequences of multiples of 2, 5 and 10

And each of these bullets would be 2-3 days on the plans of different activities to really ensure the children have understood. I would highlight all the objectives covered so I could see what I have left to do eg I might decide that actually I want to cover arrays and sequences when we do multiplication so wouldn’t highlight that yet (I’ve use stars on here instead as I can’t highlight).

  • understand place value in numbers to 1000, e.g. *
  • – represent/compare numbers using number lines, 100-squares, base 10 materials, etc. *
  • – recognise that some numbers can be represented as different arrays
  • – use understanding of place value to multiply/divide whole numbers by 10 (whole number answers)
  • use place value to make approximations*
  • recognise negative numbers in contexts such as temperature*
  • recognise a wider range of sequences, e.g.
  • – recognise sequences of multiples of 2, 5 and 10

It’s just something that I found worked better for me although I know APP is not everyone’s cup of tea!

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