Primary maths curriculum
Sir, – Dr Cora Stack (August 25th) questions the quality of maths textbooks provided at primary level.
Many parents of primary-age schoolchildren assume that the work in the textbook represents all of the work covered by the teacher on a particular maths topic.
In primary classrooms today, the textbook is just one of many teaching resources used by the teacher in the daily maths class. Primary teachers strive to implement a “hands-on” approach to teaching maths, and make use of maths equipment, oral maths games, interactive whiteboard activities, iPad apps and board games when teaching a new maths concept. The textbook is used at the end of the class as a way of reinforcing the learning that has taken place, and for further practice at home.
In my experience, topics such as length, weight, time, capacity and money are best taught without recourse to textbooks at all.
I am returning to school this week to teach a class of 33 senior infants. Instead of a revised maths curriculum or better textbooks, I believe that smaller classes and more learning support time for those who need it are required to ensure more effective maths teaching at primary level. – Yours, etc,