In the September edition of the STEM Learning magazine we look at how to tackle mathematical fluency in the classroom in a way which will give at least as good a result as traditional methods but in, maybe, a more interesting way than the use of exercises that often repeat the same kind of question over and over again?
At the British Congress of Mathematics Education, I attended Dr Colin Foster’s session which explored the work of the ‘Mathematical Etudes Project’. The project “aims to find creative, imaginative and thought-provoking ways to help learners of mathematics develop their fluency in important mathematical procedures.”
You can find more about Mathematics Etudes Project here: http://www.mathematicaletudes.com/
Here is an example from Colin’s website.
Ask students to add together as many of the six fractions below to get an answer that is as near to one as possible – using each fraction only once.
1/6 1/25 3/5 3/20 4/15 5/8
Here, the skill of adding fractions is embedded in a larger problem and the practice of addition is needed, but it is not the end goal of the lesson.
In the replies to this post we will add some ideas of our own. Please feel free to add examples of your own.