Mathematics
Mathematics
Aims:
We endorse the aims of the Primary School Curriculum for Mathematics which are:
 To develop a positive attitude towards Mathematics and an appreciation of both its practical and aesthetics aspects.
 To develop problemsolving abilities and a facility for the application of mathematics to everyday life
 To enable the child to use mathematical language effectively and accurately
 To enable the child to acquire proficiency in fundamental mathematical skills and in recalling basic number facts.
 To enable the child to acquire an understanding of mathematical concepts and processes to his/her appropriate level of development and ability.
1. Strands and Strand Units
All teachers are familiar with the strands, strand units and content objectives in the Maths Curriculum and refer to them regularly when planning for their classes ensuring all strands and strand units are covered.
STRANDS 
STRAND UNITS 
Early Mathematical Activities (Infants)  Classifying, Matching, Comparing Ordering 
Number  Counting, Comparing and Ordering, Analysis of Number (introduced in Infants ) Numeration, Place Value, Operations: Addition, Subtraction, Fractions (introduced in 1st 2nd) Multiplication, Division, Decimals (introduced in 3rd/4th ) Percentages, Number theory (introduced in 5th/6th) 
Algebra  Extending patterns (introduced in Infants) Extending and using patterns (introduced in 1st/2nd) Number patterns and sequences, Number sentences (introduced in 3rd/4th ) Directed numbers, Rules and properties, Variables, Equations (introduced in 5th/6th) 
Shape and Space  Spatial Awareness, 2D shapes 3D shapes (introduced in Infants) Symmetry, Angles (introduced in 1st/2nd) Lines and angles (introduced in 3rd/4th ) 
Measures  Length, Weight, Capacity, Time, Money (introduced in infants) Area (introduced in 1st/2nd) 
Data  Recognising and interpreting data (introduced in Infants) Chance (introduced in 3rd /4th ) 
2. Resources
We acknowledge the importance of concrete materials in the development of mathematical concepts for children in all classes. Each class is supplied with Maths equipment suitable for that class level. The class teacher is responsible for checking these resources at the end of the year. A list of items that have to be repaired/replaced or additional items needed should be sent to Joanna Kelly
 All Maths equipment bought with school funds remains the property of the school
 Teachers may borrow equipment from other classes but must make sure that it is returned promptly
Resources are stored in a central area in a specifically assigned Maths press
Textbooks are in line with the content objectives for each class level. Textbooks reinforce the concept taught and give adequate practice in each activity.
 Teachers should not use the text chosen for the next classlevel in the same scheme as this may lead to difficulties in terms of continuity and progression in the following year
 Where a teacher deems it necessary supplementary materials will be designed/supplied
Jun. Sen. Infants: Planet Maths
1st/2nd classes: Mathemagic 1&2, 2^{nd} Sum Detective
3rd – 6th classes: Mathemagic 36, Sum Detective 36
3. Approaches and Methodologies
The following approaches and methodologies are used throughout the year:
 The use of Manipulatives: Children will have access to and use a broad range of mathematical equipment during lessons. (see attached list of resources)
 Talk and Discussion: Talk and discussion is seen as an integral part of the learning process and opportunities should be provided during the Maths class for children to discuss problems with the teacher, other individual children and in groups.
 Active Learning/ Guided Discovery: As part of the Maths programme for each class children are provided with structured opportunities to engage in exploratory activities under the guidance of the teacher to construct meaning, to develop mathematical strategies for solving problems and to develop self motivation in mathematical activities.
 Collaborative and Cooperative Learning
Collaborative and cooperative learning in junior – 6th classes is promoted using the following strategies:
 Encouraging the children to listen
 Encouraging the children to take turns
 Seeing that others opinions are important
 Children working in pairs while playing mathematical games.
Teachers use a variety of organisational styles to encourage cooperative and collaborative learning: pair work, group work and whole class work.
Using the environment/community as a learning resource: The school building is used as a resource to support the Maths programme. Teachers use the school environment to provide opportunities for mathematical problem solving e.g. numbers on doors, using hula hoops to sort children in PE, games on the playground, count trees in the playground, count windows, observe shapes of windows, doors etc.
Mathematical Trails are used outdoors to help teach mathematical concepts to children and make them aware of mathematics in their environment. Children display their mathematical work in their classrooms.
Number:
The following number limits for each class will be adhered to:
Class  Numerals 
Junior Infants  0 – 5 
Senior Infants  6 – 10 
1st Class  to 99 
2nd class  to 199 
3rd class  to 999 
4th class  to 9999 
5^{th}/6^{th}  To 100,000s 
Data:
Children are encouraged to collect real data i.e. infant classes collect personal information and represent it on a pictogram for example; older children create and interpret bar charts and pie charts. Children are made aware of the importance of entering relevant data and asking clear question to extract the required information from the data.
Language – Concepts/ Skills
There is a strong link between language and concept acquisition. We feel it is important to have a common approach to the terms used and the correct use of symbol names. This language has been agreed at whole school level in order to ensure consistency from one class to the next and also to help avoid confusion for children having difficulties with Mathematics. Our agreed strategies/language are on the following pages:
JUNIOR INFANTS:
No signs used
Addition:  Language: and, makes, add, is the same as, altogether makes 
SENIOR INFANTS:
Introduction of signs: +, =
Vocabulary to match this: plus, equals (and, makes initially used as in junior infants)
2 + 1 3 
Top down: 2 plus 1 equals 3 2 + 1 equals 3 
2+1 =3  reads 2 plus 1 equals 3 or 2 and 1 makes 3 
FIRST CLASS
Subtraction:  – is introduced as a symbol in First class Language: take away, less than, left 
16 – 4 
Vertical: start from the top using the words ‘take away’ 16 take away four equals 
5 – 1=  Horizontal: Read from left to right using the words ‘take away’ 5 take away 1 equals 
PLACE VALUE: THE WORD ‘UNITS’ WILL BE USED RATHER THAN ‘ONES’
RENAMING/GROUPING WILL BE THE METHOD USED THROUGHOUT THE SCHOOL
SECOND CLASS
Addition:  
7+3+8= 18  7 plus 3 plus 8 equals 18 (7plus 3 equals 10 plus 8 equals 18) 
6 3 +6 
6 plus 3 plus 6
encourage 6 + 6 + 3 
Subtraction  Language: subtraction, decrease, subtract, take away, from, less than, minus, difference 
27 18 
7 take away 8 I cannot do so I change a ‘ten’ to ten units, 7+10= 17. 17 take 8 equals 9. 1 take away 1 leaves O. 
4^{1}1 –1_{1}9 2 2 
3^{rd} ClassUp – Revert to Borrow & Pay back Method
1 take 9 I cannot take so I borrow my 1 ten, Pay back my 1 ten
4^{1}1 1_{ }9 2 2 
Third Class/Fourth Class
Rounding: 14 go back
59 go up
Renaming & Regrouping
1 take 9, I cannot take go next door, whack him in the head & take a 10
Multiplication/ Division
Short multiplication Long multiplication Multiply by 10 
÷ and x are introduced as symbols in Third Class. The following vocabulary will be used: ÷ division, divide, divided by, split, share, shared between, group, how many in … X multiplication, multiply, times, of Multiply top row by single digit in order, starting with units, then tens, then 100’s.
Multiply by 100: Add two zeros 

Division  Language: Divisable by/ not divisable by, share among  
12 ÷ 4 all signs used ÷, / etc. 
12 shared among 4 12 divided by groups of 4 Repeated subtraction.


Fractions  
¼ of 32 7/2 
Share 32 among 4 and/or 32 divided by 4 7 divided by 2 ½ is equivalent to 2/4 (4th class) 

Decimals  1/10 is equal to 0.1 1/100 is equal to 0.01 Include zero before decimal point 

Tesselation  Fit together with no spaces 
FIFTH/SIXTH CLASSES
Number:
Multiplication/Division 
Language: square, prime, composite, rectangular numbers. Finding common multiples by listing numbers Finding common factors by listing factors The words ‘product’ and ‘quotient’ are introduced. Problems involving sum, difference, products, quotients 

Fractions:  All children are taught to MEMORISE TABLE OF EQUIVALENT FRACTIONS, DECIMALS AND PERCENTAGES (see attached) Numerator, denominator 

½ + ¼ =  
Find the LCF Lowest Common Denominator  
Mixed numbers + and – 3 ½ – 1 ¾ =

Initially the children will be asked to deduce/hypothesise for themselves how to solve the addition and subtraction of mixed numbers. Those experiencing difficulties in this, through guided discovery by the teacher will be exposed to the following methods and from there will deduce the method they find logical to their thinking.


Multiplication
⅓ x 1/5 
Multiply top number by top number 

Division of whole number by fraction:  5 ÷ ¼ = Change your whole number into a fraction and turn your second fraction upside down and multiply. 5 X 4 = 20 1 1 1 

Decimals  1/10, 1/100, 1/1000 – tenths, hundredths, thousandths  
Addition Subraction Rounding decimals
Multiplication of decimals
Division by decimals
Converting a fraction to a decimal

to 3 decimal places (with/without calculator) to 3 decimal places (with.without calculator) to the nearest whole number Multiplying a decimal by a whole number You divide the numerator by the denominator ( divide the top by the the bottom) 

Percentages Converting a fraction to a percentage 
You multiply by a 100/1 or if possible you change the fraction to hundredths.


Time Addition
Subtraction 
Add minutes to minutes hrs. mins. hrs. mins. ^{2} 3 15 ^{+60} 2 75 2 33 – 2 33 You must rewrite the sum before carrying out the operation If minutes number is bigger on the bottom line, convert… Take hour and change to 60 minutes. Add to other minutes and rewrite sum. 

Coordination  Introduce (x,y) axis Explain x comes befor y in the alphabet. This will help them remember which comes first. 

Area  Rectangle/ square Length x width (l x w). breadth = width Ares (1 Are = 100m, 1 hectare = 10,000m ) Surface area 

Circle  Radius, diameter, circumference, arc, sector, Relate the diameter of a circle to its circumference by measurement. Measure the circumference of a circle using a piece of string. Construct a circle of given radius/diameter Examine area by counting squares. 

Length

Irregular Shapes Look for regular shapes. Divide the shape and draw diagrams. Add areas a, b and c. 

Lines and Angles  Right angle, acute, obtuse, reflex, straight, degrees, protractor, ruler  
2D shapes
3D shapes 
Sum of the angles in a triangle = 180 Sum of the angles in a quadrilateral = 360 Sum of angles in a circle = 360 Identify regular tetrahedrons, nets, construct 
Tables
Addition facts up to 12 will be memorised by the end of Second Class and multiplication facts up to 12 by the end of Third Class. Both will be revised up to the end of Sixth Class. Multiplication is a natural progression from extended addition e.g. 3 groups of 3, 4 groups of 3, 5 groups of 3 etc. Thus tables are recited throughout the school as follows: 3x 3 = 9 (three threes nine), 4×3=12 (four threes 12), 5×3=15 (five threes fifteen). All teachers are expected to teach tables this way in order to ensure consistency and avoid confusion as children mover from one class to the next.
A variety of methods will be used including counting 2s, 3s, 4s …, reciting, etc. Subtraction and division tables will be taught as the inverse of addition and multiplication.
Children from 2nd – 4th classes recite their tables regularly and tables are reinforced regularly. Children are encouraged to memorise tables and tables are given for homework. Class teachers identify children having difficulties with tables and with them set realistic targets ensuring steady progression. Children will have their tables assessed using teacher observation and weekly tests. Tables are continuously revised in 5th and 6th classes both incidentally through operations of various concepts/ core objectives but also formally through evaluations and games; “Fizz Buzz”, “King of the Castle etc.
Skills
The following skills will be acquired by the children through the study of the various strands in the Curriculum:
 Applying and Problem Solving
 Communicating and Expressing
 Integrating and Connecting
 Reasoning
 Implementing
 Understanding and Recalling
 Estimation
Every strand studied must provide opportunities for acquiring skills. Opportunities should also be provided for the transfer of these skills to other areas e.g. Science, Geography, Music.
Problem Solving
Children are encouraged to use their own ideas as a context for problem solving. With regard to problemsolving children will be taught to apply the following strategies:
Understanding the problem
 Read the problem
 Read it again
 Say, in your own words, what you are trying to find out
 Find the important information
 Look for key phrases
 Write what you know
 The Plan – Do – Review model (Hohmann et al 1979) is a useful strategy.
Pupil: I want to make a bed for Teddy
Teacher: Have you thought what you could use to make a bed?
The child is encouraged to think about the solution.
Start the project. Difficulties arise – bed too short etc.
Solving the problem
 Look for a pattern
 Guess and check
 Write an equation
 Break the problem down and solve each part
Additional Help
 Draw a picture
 Make an organised list or table
 Use objects to act out the problem
 Use easier numbers
 Work backwards
Answering the problem
 Use all the important information
 Check your work
 Decide if the answer makes sense
 Write the answer in a complete sentence
THE RUDE WAY OF SOLVING A MATHS PROBLEM: Children from 3rd – 6th classes, throughout the school are encouraged to use the following abbreviated model for solving a Maths problem – R ead, Underline the key words, Draw a diagram of the problem, Estimate your answer and then attempt to solve the problem. All children should be exposed to this model regularly and be very familiar with it by the time they reach 6th class.
Resources used for problem solving with 5th/6th classes include the following:
Brain Snack, Countdown, Teacher designed booklets, internet and Mathemagic scheme.
Estimation
Estimation will form an important part of most Maths lesson.
Presentation of work
In all classes Maths work is presented using a number of formats namely:
 Oral Presentation
 Teacher designed work sheets based on strand unit being taught.
 Work in class Maths Book which is an activity book
 Recording work.
 Using concrete materials to draw a picture, pictogram
 Number stories, Number rhymes (Junior classes)
 Birthday chart/ graph of favourite fruit/ colour etc.
A pencil only is used for writing numbers, and problems in Maths right up until the end of 6th class. Children are allowed to use erasers. A red biro is introduced in 3rd class for correction purposes only.
4. Assessment and Record Keeping:
Assessment is used by teachers to inform their planning, selection and management of learning activities so that they can make the best possible provision for meeting the varied mathematical needs of the children in our school. Teachers use a number of tools for assessing pupils’ work including selfassessment, conferencing, conceptmapping, questioning, teacher observation, teacher designed tasks and tests, pupil profile, and standardised testing.
The following are other assessment tools used by teachers:
 Teacher observation
 Worksheets and work in copies
 Assessment games
 Extension and enrichment activities based on the strand unit being taught. Samples can be seen in the Teacher’s Manual Mathemagic
 Ongoing teacherdesigned tests. Children will bring the tests and the results of such tests home for signing. Test results are kept by the class teacher and passed on to the next teacher.
 Oral tests (tables, continuation of number patterns, …)
 Problem solving exercises that use a variety of mathematical skills
 The Sigma T standardised test is administered every year during May from 1st – 6th classes while teacher designed tests are used througout the year. The results of each child’s tests will be kept in their school file. Results of the standardised test are communicated to parents. The full booklet is kept for one year after the test is administered. After this year, the front cover of the test with test scores is kept on file for ten years and the rest of the booklet is binned.
Following assessment teachers may do the following:Give extra help to individual who need it
 Decide to increase time spent using concrete materials
 Discuss the situation with forwarding teacher at the end of the school year and beginning of new school year
 Discuss concerns with parents and encourage parents to help children informally e.g. Give me 3 spoons, Help me set the table, How many doors etc.
 Consult with the Special Needs team who will provide support when needed using available resources within the school.
5. Children with Different Needs
The Maths programme aims to meet the needs of all children in the school. This will be achieved by teachers varying pace, content and methodologies to ensure learning for all children.
Teachers are cautious not to label children as having difficulties in Mathematics especially in Junior and Senior infants.
Those children who receive scores at or below the 10th percentile on the standardised tests will have priority in attending the Learning Support teacher for supplementary teaching for Maths. The availability of supplementary teaching for Maths, however, depends on the case load of the Learning Support teacher. Arrangement will be in accordance with the recommended selection criteria as determined by the DES..
If a child is already attending the Learning support teacher for English, it may be possible, on occasion, for the child to receive some help with his/her Maths work as part of the supplementary teaching sessions.
Children with exceptional ability in Maths will be given extra work based on the concept being taught in class. ICT allows children to work at their own level and challenges children of all abilities. Parents will be consulted and opportunities for further development will be explored.
7. Homework
See the school Homework Policy which is synopsised in the children’s school journal.
8. ICT
Calculators (In 2012 5th/6th class teachers decided that pupils would be encouraged to buy their own calculators as these can be carried onto Secondary school. ) Calculators in any other class is at the teachers discretion.
From fourth class upwards children are permitted to use calculators alongside traditional paperandpencil methods. Calculators are particularly useful for handling larger numbers, to check answers, to explore the number system, to remove computational barriers for weaker children. They also allow the child to focus on the structure of the problem solving questions. It is important that the skill of estimation is developed along with the use of the calculator.
Maths Software
Apps, IWB
9. Individual Teachers’ Planning
Teachers should base their yearly and short term plans on the approaches set out in this whole school plan for Maths. Work covered will be outlined in the Cuntas Míosúil which will be submitted to the principal.
10. Staff Development
Teachers are made aware of any opportunities for further professional development through participation in courses available in Education Centres or other venues. Skills and expertise within the school are shared and developed through inputs at staff meetings.
11. Parental Involvement
Parents are encouraged to support the school’s programme for Maths. Meetings for parents take place in November. At these meeting parents will be informed of their child’s performance in Maths. Particular attention will be drawn to:
 The importance of trial and error, estimation, the use of concrete materials and the role of calculators
 The school’s approach to e.g. subtraction, division, calculations using fractions..
 The fact that Maths homework may be used on practical activities
 The use of the Homework Journals as a vehicle for twoway communication between teacher and parent on progress in Mathematics or other issues.
Individual parent/teacher meetings are held annually in November. Teachers and parents are afforded this chance to discuss each individual child’s progress in Maths and other areas, and ways of assisting that progress. Parents and teachers are welcome to make individual arrangements to discuss matters of relevance at other times throughout the year.
Parents with particular expertise may be invited to address classes. Eg. Codordojo training
12. Community Links
Members of the local community may be invited to assist the school’s Maths programme. Proposed invitation must be discussed in advance with the principal.
13. Success Criteria
The success of this plan will be measured using the following criteria:
 Ongoing assessment, formal and informal, will show that pupils are acquiring an understanding of mathematical concepts and a proficiency in maths skills appropriate to their age and ability.
 Implementation of the school plan will be evident in teachers’ preparation and monthly reports.
 Teachers will know from their new classes in September that work/approaches as outlined in the plan have been covered by the previous teacher
14. Implementation, Review and Ratification
Class teachers are responsible for the implementation of the Maths programme for their own classes.
Progress made during the school year will be reviewed in June of each year and will be based on results of assessments across all classes and on teachers’ views as to the effectiveness of the plan.
It was ratified by the Board of Management in February 2015. The plan will be communicated to teachers and implemented in classes from February 2015.