Lincolnshire Teaching School Alliance

Kirsty: Maths Theories of Learning

"My current focus of my training has been to teach Maths lessons, both in groups and as a whole class." - Kirsty explores her use of Maths resources and how the training sessions link to classroom practice.

I am now almost six weeks into my first term of teacher training. What a 6 weeks it has been! Every day and each week are different, presenting new and varied challenges.  My current focus of my training has been to teach Maths lessons, both in groups and as a whole class. I have found this both challenging and very rewarding. Coming from a background of working with slightly older children I have really had to focus on simplifying how I explain the Maths concepts to the children. My mentor advised me to go home and try the methods myself before teaching them to the class. This has really helped me improve my delivery of Maths lesson as I have been able to identify where the misconceptions may come from when I am explaining.

Recently at university we have been studying the different theories of learning from both Jean Piaget and Viv Vygotsky, this has also helped with my understanding of how best to teach Maths. At seven years old most children will need a concrete resource in order to be able to solve maths problems. At this age they are not abstract learners. This has now given me a better grasp on the importance of using resources such as base 10 and cuisenaire rods when teaching addition and subtraction. Again, this was not a resource I needed to use as much with older children. I have learnt so much about the different ways to teach Maths in the last 6 weeks, seeking advice from both my mentor and the maths lead within the school. I’d advise any trainee to ask as many questions as they can and try methods themselves before teaching them in front of the class.  I’m excited to progress my learning further within Maths and across the whole curriculum. It’s almost the end of the first half term and I have learnt so much already, I am excited to see what the next half term will bring.