How would you count these dots?

 

These are some of the ways that our Year 5s came up with.

Perhaps your way of seeing the image is included or maybe you used a different visual arrangement? The children have been exploring the open and visual nature of Maths, showing it is so much more than just numbers.

The mastery approach to teaching and learning Maths helps children at Vinehall to understand the importance of visualising problems and to appreciate the value of exploring different methods.

Year 7 have been investigating algebraic patterns and how they grow.  The two pictures show the same sequence but how it can be viewed in different ways.

 

By looking at the sequence visually, the children can really make sense of what is being added on each time and begin to develop the skill of how to generalise for any term (the nth term) in the sequence. This can also be seen in the border problem and the toothpick problem below:

This creativity with how number patterns can be formed in many different ways is crucial to developing number sense; it is the basis of using numbers flexibly, not only in class but, more importantly, in real life.  This flexibility helps us make connections and new pathways between ideas and shows what an amazing interlinked subject Maths is.

Youcubed.com includes a great selection of other visual problems and also a good parents’ section under their tasks tab for more explanation on the research behind visualisation and growth mindset in Maths.

Alison Tripp