AbstractThis research seeks to identify a set of principles that underpin a discussionbased approach to the teaching of primary mathematics.
In order to build up a picture of the ways in which children learn, a series of effective mathematical activities have been developed and used with a sample group of children. The children were chosen from the first National Curriculum cohort (Year 1) at Porth Infants School, and were monitored over a period of two years. The data and information collected refers to the children's mathematical development between 1989 and 1991.
The activities provide access to a wide range of differentiated learning experiences and encourage children to develop a variety of skills including those associated with speaking and listening, using and applying mathematics, and social awareness.
In order to provide accurate, valid and reliable information concerning pupils' progress, a series of assessment sheets have been developed to support the activities. The sheets provide a manageable means of recording progress and provide evidence of attainment and achievement. They are particularly useful for monitoring individual progress within a group activity.
Guidelines have been developed to aid classroom management and vanous strategies have been identified to improve the quality of teaching and learning. In addition, the importance of discussion as a tool for teacher assessment and planning is considered. Support materials and guidelines for teachers wishing to provide an effective approach to assessment, recording and reporting have been developed. These guidelines, together with the activities and the recording sheets, form a package which can be used to help teachers implement the National Curriculum for Mathematics through an interactive discussed-based teaching approach.
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