Michelle Cobb – Michelle Cobb teacher and math department

Michelle Cobb, teacher and math department chair at Underwood West Academy in Crewe and a member of the Cheshire and Wirral Math Center leadership team, talks about how using the elementary school math instructional guide helped her school survive the pandemic and plan for the future after the pandemic. Instead of thinking about how to rush curriculum and math concepts, the guide helped us prioritize and focus teaching on the fundamental concepts children need now and how that will support their development. As teachers prepare for the start of the new school year, the Department of Education’s guidance on teaching math in elementary schools can help them plan and prioritize the math curriculum in Key Stages 1 and 2. We need to spend more time teaching key concepts so that children can make connections in their future learning. In changing the KOVID, we have prioritized the teaching of mathematics because it is vital to children’s development, and leading the KOVID process has been an important tool in supporting this change. These criteria are vital because everyone’s understanding is essential to the development of mathematical concepts and connections to other concepts as students progress through elementary school. We know that these concepts must be explored in depth so that children can retain and apply their knowledge as they develop through math concepts in elementary school. There is a guide for each of the progress criteria, breaking them down and offering tools and teaching approaches to help children master these concepts before they move on to the next stage. The guide identifies a set of progression criteria covering the core concepts in grades 1 through 6. Indeed, children need time in grades 1 and 2 to develop a deep conceptual understanding of multiplication and division before they can transfer that understanding to fractions in grade 3. My colleagues have found this guide useful for planning lessons and working together to understand and support our children’s progress, which has a noticeable impact on their learning. The material helped us focus on what each group was expected to accomplish by the end of the year, which would be the foundation for their future learning. I know that math is interconnected, but sometimes I think we need to do more to assess children’s abilities and learning styles first, rather than assuming that this form of learning will work for everyone. I worked in an elementary school, and they taught the Singapore math curriculum there. Kids respond positively when they can learn in small steps and make connections.