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Professional Learning

16/05/2014

​In progressing our Action Research work on Mathematics Vocabulary, this week in our staff meeting we refreshed our memory of  Bruner’s work , and the importance of ensuring that when effectively teaching mathematics concepts to students, that we continue to focus on the “Concrete –Pictorial/ Representation- Abstract”  instructional strategy.  The Concrete Pictorial Abstract sequence for maths lessons should be very explicit and systematic, with multiple opportunities for both guided practice and independent practice. The use of manipulatives or models that represent the concept being studied is critical. This is the “doing” step of instruction. Students must be fluent in manipulation of the concrete materials and must be able to explain the connection to the skill, before progressing to the written form.  For example, if teaching fractions, your child’s teacher would provide many opportunities for students to cut up “real life” materials such as apples, paper, play dough into various equal parts (half, quarters, eighths etc.).  Following this, students colour portions of items to make a fraction, then finally writing abstract symbols (e.g. ¾) to represent a fraction. Through engaging with the concrete and pictorial representations first, students will be able to consolidate and retain their understanding of key mathematical concepts.  The diagrams below help to further illustrate this strategy.  Have any further questions? Why not start a conversation about this with your child’s teacher?