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'maths Makes Sense' In Foundation


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Anyone have any experience of using the new OUP/Richard Dunne's 'Maths Makes Sense' in EYFS? There is a resource folder specifically for Foundation - wondering how well, if at all, the approach dovetails with Early Years philosophy, and how well young children respond to it?

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Hi,

I did my final teaching placement in Jersey which is where this originates from and is taught as standard there, I also spent 2 afternoons on his course and observing him teach and did a research project on tis (although I was based in a year 2 class at the time). Some aspects of MMMS are good and I use them in an adapted way in my Reception class, however it is very, very prescriptive. There is a scheme and, if you follow it exactly as suggested, you teach certain aspects on certain days of the week. Some of the lessons are very teacher led - you do something, they copy, you do something else, they copy etc. My main problem with MMMS is that it states that children do not understand maths in real life situations. Richard Dunne says maths has it's own language and does not re;ate to real life. therfore they do not do real life number problems or word problems and there are no real life contexts to any of the lessons.

 

The children are taught to use 'cups' to solve the problems, moving them from the resources table to the maths table. Each of the 4 opperations has an action so they childen understand what it actually means, e.g. add = get ready to get some more, takeaway = get ready to take some away, times = I loved that so much I'm going to do it lots more times, divide = make piles of ... . I know this sounds really wierd, but when you see it in action it makes sense. Using this way of teaching the opperations children quickly become confident at them, even using fractions. The Reception class in the school I was in from Jan -March were able to add and take away using 1/2s and 1/4s and the year 2s were able to multiply and dicide using them too!

 

Personally I wouldn't use it as Richard Dunne proposes as I think it is too prescriptive (although I haven't looked at it recently, it was 3 years ago that I did my research, so it is possible that it has changed a little), but I use the idea of giving the operations actions so the children really understand what they are doing and this has been successful. I haven't introduced the idea of 1/2s and 1/4s but I am tempted just to see the look on the head's face!!

 

Rosie xx

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Thankyou RosieC, for that very informative response. Its always good to get a perspective from someone who really knows it well.

 

I am not familiar with it apart from what I have read, but I did get the impression that it was a whole school scheme, and therefore not something you would really invest in just for foundation.

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Thanks so much for your responses, especially RosieC - a fascinating insight into the early days of this scheme. Our school is thinking of adopting the scheme as a whole, and were very impressed when visiting a school operating it, but as you say it does seem very prescriptive. This may not be as much of an issue further up the school: perhaps we NEED a little more prescription, if it is based on pedagogical research and actually results in gains in the children's understanding in this fundamentally abstract subject? However, it doesn't seem to sit well with EYFS practice. I have an EYFS LA advisor visiting tomorrow, and have asked her to have a look at the materials and approach embodied in the Foundation materials (we have purchased the FS-Y2 resource folders, plus one resource box, and teachers are dipping in and trying it out - there ARE some excellent ideas, particularly with regard to fractions, negative numbers, division).

Thanks again.

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