Mathematics for Parents

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This booklet in the "Mathematics for Schools" series from Addison-Wesley came about as many parents, whose children were using Mathematics for Schools, asked the authors to write a booklet explaining their approach to teaching mathematics. The booklet describes how the series came about due to Harold Fletcher who was seen as an outstandingly gifted teacher and educationalist. While he was always a firm believer in children being able to calculate accurately, he found from his own teaching that they could achieve remarkable results in other aspects of mathematics. Harold Fletcher considered the mathematics he wanted children to learn under six strands:

Number Pattern Shape Pictorial Representation Measurement Algebraic Relations.

With the help of a team of experienced teachers and educationalists, Harold Fletcher wove these strands into a teaching sequence which was called Mathematics for Schools. Examples of classroom activities are used to describe the mathematics, complete with teacher dialogue, diagrams and outcomes from recording. Each element of number, addition, subtraction, division and multiplication along with place value were developed showing the use of concrete materials and styles of notation (many of which would be seen later in the Framework for Teaching Mathematics (NNS). Shape begins with an introduction to solid shapes before bringing in 2 dimensional or plane shapes. This is followed with measuring, area, capacity and volume before concluding with symmetry and tessellations. As with all aspects of the series it was stressed that concrete materials should still be used. Pictorial Representation focussed on students, from an early age being able to collect information, record it in pictures and most of all, think about it and use it for further number practice. The foundations for graphs were introduced before dealing with them further in Algebraic relationships. A final section on “How can I help my child?” contained some do’s and don’ts.

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