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Big Ideas in Primary Mathematics
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Big Ideas in Primary Mathematics

First Edition


November 2016 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Lightbulb moments for you and your pupils

This book explores the ‘big ideas’ in maths to help trainee teachers confidently teach the curriculum in a way that engages children and focuses on understanding, rather than memory, for those lightbulb moments.

Covering the major concepts in simple terms, whilst carefully linking to the National Curriculum, it shows how they can be used to enable learning and support mathematical mastery.

A focus on explaining misconceptions and errors will strengthen trainees and teachers own mathematical subject knowledge, while also giving them the confidence to deepen their understanding of the children they teach.

Key topics include:

  • Problem-solving, reasoning and developing fluency in maths
  • Place value and counting systems
  • Measuring money, time and weight
  • Geometry, and understanding space and shape
  • Fractions and statistics for the primary classroom

This is essential reading for anyone studying primary mathematics on initial teacher education courses, including undergraduate (BEd, BA with QTS) and postgraduate (PGCE, PGDE, School Direct, SCITT) routes, and also NQTs.

Robert Newell is a tutor in primary education at the UCL Institute of Education, London.

 
Introduction: The conundrum of primary maths teaching
 
Chapter 1: Problem solving
 
Chapter 2: Mathematical understanding in the early years
 
Chapter 3: Place value
 
Chapter 4: Addition and subtraction
 
Chapter 5: Multiplication and division
 
Chapter 6: Time
 
Chapter 7: Algebra
 
Chapter 8: Fractions
 
Chapter 9: Statistics
 
Chapter 10: Geometry: Shape and space
 
Chapter 11: Measurement

How to actually teach problem solving beyond simply giving children problems  actually presents a great challenge to teachers. There is a drive towards ‘mastering’ mathematics through using skills , knowledge, reasoning and creativity that makes this book an essential guide for teachers attempting to develop this area of their children’s learning.  The author encourages us to consider our pedagogy, assessment and differentiation through  some useful example activities, as well as the overall approach in schools to promoting mathematical thinking , fluency and confidence. This is an essential book for trainee and new teachers, and should be on staffroom bookshelves. 

Nick Tinsdeall
Senior Lecturer in Primary Mathematics, University of Cumbria

Beginning teachers looking to build their subject knowledge and confidence in teaching mathematics will find this book invaluable. It uses the exploration of ‘big ideas’ to guide the reader through the trickier areas of the mathematics curriculum, building understanding to allow beginning teachers to explain key ideas, model mathematical reasoning and address errors and misconceptions with confidence.

Catherine Foley
Lecturer in Mathematics Education, University of Reading

For non-specialists, the focus on explaining misconceptions and errors will strengthen their own mathematical subject knowledge, while also giving them the confidence to deepen the understanding of the children they teach.

The perfect book for anyone studying primary mathematics on initial teacher education courses, including undergraduate (BEd, BA with QTS) and postgraduate (PGCE, PGDE, School Direct, SCITT) routes, and also NQTs. Clearly written, it's a book that can be dipped into at any stage of teaching, giving practical advice and reassurance.

Sarah Brew
Parents in Touch

Supports development in mathematics for our undergraduate primary teacher students.

Miss Vicky Lunniss
Department Education, Bradford College
January 14, 2019

The perfect book for anyone studying primary mathematics on initial teacher education courses (undergraduate or postgraduate). Clearly written with beautifully illustrated examples. It is a book that can be utilised at any stage of teaching, giving practical advice and reassurance.

Miss Syreeta Charles-Cole
School of Education, Theology & Leadership, St Mary's University, Twickenham
August 10, 2017

This book contains central ideas which children should develop, while they are learning Mathematics. For students it gives insight into the thinking of children. I think that the term 'Big Ideas', as Fosnot and Dolk (1998) defined this term, is not well used. This book tells pre-service student teachers more about central development stages in mathematics, which children should achieve. If you are looking for an overview of this kind of information, than I can recommand this book for teacher education.

Mrs Hanneke Doornik-Beemer
Education, Fontys University of Applied Sciences
April 11, 2017

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Robert Newell

Robert Newell has worked at the Institute of Education (IOE) for 15 years; full time for the last six. He works with Primary PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) trainees and School Direct students; he has previously worked with Teach First participants. His career started as a primary school teacher, taking responsibility in maths in several schools before progressing to two deputy head posts and then a Headteacher role.Primary maths teaching though, has been his biggest passion. He has worked as a numeracy consultant and also delivered a PGCE Maths programme to a London SCITT (School-Centred Initial Teacher Training centre) for... More About Author

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