The study of mathematics is mandatory from Kindergarten to Year 10.
Mathematics at Auburn Public School
Mathematics is the way people use logic and creativity to solve problems that involve patterns and relationships. It is a vital component of teaching as it allows students to make informed decisions through interpreting and applying maths to a variety of contexts. In addition, Mathematics is an essential component of students' preparation for life in the 21st century.
At Auburn Public School, Mathematics is taught in accordance with the NSW Mathematics K-6 Syllabus. This syllabus outlines 5 content strands - Number, Patterns and Algebra, Data, Measurement and Space and Geometry and one process strand - Working Mathematically, which teachers must teach.
Mathematics is taught within each of the classrooms through consistent revision of covered content, units of work on new content and integration through other curriculum areas. Specific Mathematics Programs, including Count Me In Too, Counting On, the Numeracy ‘Metalanguage' Project and Literacy/Numeracy Links are embedded in the teaching and learning of Mathematics.
Within our classrooms, Mathematics involves explicit and systematic teaching of concepts, ‘hands-on' teaching activities, children working cooperatively in small groups at their own level, children talking about how they found their answers, whole class discussions, and most importantly both teachers and students having fun and enjoying Maths!
In our school, we believe that parents are their child's first teacher and as a result, encourage their participation and involvement in their child's learning about Mathematics through parent information sessions, parent in-services, hands on workshops and open classrooms. This involvement improves communication about how Mathematics is taught in classrooms, as well as parents' confidence in understanding how to help their children at home.
School Initiatives in Mathematics
Literacy/Numeracy Links – Focus is on linking the literacy in numeracy based on numeracy focused big books and guided reading books. Use of community language teachers also enables children to make connections between their home language and English.
Count Me In Too – This program is implemented across K-3 and is based on the Learning Framework in Number. Students are grouped according to their abilities, with a focus on moving students through a continuum of number skills and processes.
Counting On – This builds upon Count Me In Too, for students in Years 5 and 6. The main focus is developing Place Value concepts, as well as efficient strategies for Multiplication and Division.
Mental Computation – Focuses on building children's mental computation skills in Number. This initiative has been implemented through professional development for teachers, ‘Daily Workouts' (short problems based on number) and Maths Mentals (utilised mostly for homework purposes).
Box Cars – Teaching and learning activities using cards and dice kits to further enhance mental computation and number skills. Each classroom is equipped with a Box Cars Kit.
Numeracy ‘Metalanguage' Project – Aimed to improve students' numeracy performance by focusing on Mathematics metalanguage through Talking and Listening, Reading and Writing in all Numeracy sessions. Implementation strategies include open ended questioning, introduction of Best Practice Numeracy Lessons, reciprocal numeracy, cooperative problem solving and grade based numeracy metalanguage word lists. Staff utilise Newman's Error Analysis on pre- and post tests to assist in identifying student needs when solving word problems, as well as a teaching tool to enhance students understanding of the problem solving process.
Best Practice Numeracy Lessons – Focus on ensuring each lesson conducted in Mathematics has a review or drill of familiar concepts; main body including whole class, small group and individual hands on activities; and plenary to discuss discoveries from lesson, clarify results and complete reflections with a focus on metalanguage.
Full-time Maths Mentor (K-6) – Works closely with colleagues to promote, support and guide all maths initiatives. This may be through team teaching, demonstration lessons and/or support in planning and programming, in areas of the teacher's perceived need. The Maths Mentor may also provide professional development to staff members through in-servicing and workshops. Various members of staff on the Maths Committee may also undertake such roles in working with their stage colleagues.
Working Mathematically – Focus on building mathematical skills and embedding problem solving strategies, using outcomes of the Working Mathematically strand. Problem solving books are provided to each staff member, outlining step by step solutions to solving problems.
Literacy/Numeracy Week – Each grade participate in a mathematical activity during Literacy/Numeracy Week to promote Mathematics. Previous activities have included the ‘Paper Chain Challenge', which involved each class competing against other classes in their stage to make the longest paper chain. This extended children's mathematical ability by posing ‘What if?' scenarios.