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Maths lesson structure

allentsui 08 May 2016 14:40

I'm struggling to remember what the structure should be when following this CPA method of teaching maths.

What I do remember is after modelling the "what we are learning", the chn are set six questions...

I also remember that they go on to an extension activity and challenge activity...

But that's all I can remember...

I could ask my senior colleagues but didn't want to either (a) be waiting ages for a reply or (b) show myself up for not listening properly at the last INSET.

Anybody who might be following / using the PA Maths structure, your advice / guidance / reminder would be very welcome.

Many thanks

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cherri 08 May 2016 15:41

I am rather puzzled by you question, because the CPA approach does not have a set structure.

The idea is that you explore the mathematics, whatever it might be, using a concrete manipulative to expose the structure involved. In time, children might draw instead and then move on to working in the abstract. Sometimes all 3 will be present in the same session. For a trickier problem, or because they are not sure or you are extending the mathematics in some way, children go back to the concrete. So it's often more of a cycle, but one you can travel in any direction as the need arises.

There is no 'rule' about 6 questions, extension activities and challenges, the CPA approach is just that, an approach. It sounds like you are thinking about the components of a scheme of work which your school has bought into, and for that you are going to  have to ask a colleague as it could be anything. The CPA approach may well be buried within the scheme, but it does not of itself have a particular lesson structure.

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allentsui 08 May 2016 20:37

Thank you for the feedback.  I think how I worded my post wasn't the best.

The school I'm with are using are using a "teaching to Mastery" lesson / activity structure where they ask teachers to set six questions as a way of checking that learners have secured the concept being taught.  Children then move on to questions where they are expected to apply the concept before finishing with a challenge.  For those who are able to complete these activities the expectation is that their is an extension related to the concept.   



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cherri 09 May 2016 11:00

Is any of this provided or do you have to write your own?

If there is no scheme, how do you organise what you teach when? Even without a scheme, there should be some plan of what order to teach in.

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sstrain1987 11 December 2016 17:03

This is what I have devleloped in my school to halp staff:


CPA Lesson Structures A typical lesson should consist of the following:

1. Explore: Focus Task Let go: Rein in – children are posed a problem to solve independently using prior knowledge or new strategies learnt within the sequence of lessons. After this, children share ideas with class and model and explain themselves. Use of concrete materials needed throughout this part especially. Remember to allow access to concrete materials throughout lesson

2. Structure: Model, question and discuss The teacher will then structure the children’s ideas and then question further to secure and deepen understanding. Further modelling to take place here and another question is given to the children to give them the opportunity to use the new strategies or models taught

3. Journal: Guided Practice Use of guided practice from the text book to allow children to consolidate learning. This is to be done in the maths journals and children can record work using drawings and/or abstract methods learnt. A good opportunity to use the maths talk starters so that children can explain their understanding

4. Reflect: Discuss and challenge Bring the attention back to the whole class and share journal work. What explanations have you used? What examples can we share with each other? Why have you used that method…?

5. Practice: Workbook Consolidation of lesson allowing more practice to take place.

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RuthBull 10 October 2017 11:06

Is their a maths mastery specialist (NCETM trained) who can clarify if there is some kind of structure for a mastery lesson? 

I am familiar with the five big ideas in MM but have not heard anything about a structure for a lesson. Is there a format that folk should be striving to achieve? Also, is it the case that there should be fluency, reasoning and problem solving in every lesson as defined chunks? White Rose seem to advocate this in there scheme of work.


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Laurie_Jacques 10 October 2017 11:27

I am not an NCETM trained mastery specialist but I have been develping a mastery mode inspired by Helen Drury's work, Mathematics Mastery.

She uses a model of Explore, Clarify, Practice and Apply. This can be cyclical in a single lesson or over a period of a few days depending on what you are teaching, wherein the learning journey you are  and how well the pupils are progressing.

If you look at the SIngapore text books they tend to have a similar model. A real llife hook to explore for 5 or so minutes, whole class discussion with the teacher to clarify and draw out important points, followed by a practice of another problem. This might then be followed with some further clarification work with the whole class before the children work on a more extended 10 minutes individual practice.

Ending the lesson with a problem or challenge that extends the pupils' thinking is very common. Not so much in the text books but can be seen in the mastery lessons that are available on NCETM or to watch through your Maths Hub.

I have also found that after designing the main teaching parts of the lesson, I identify a flueny practice that the children begin with individually so that they have prepared a learning key with some facts that will become useful in the main part of the lesson.

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RuthBull 10 October 2017 13:27

Thanks - that's really helpful. Yes I'm familiar with Helen Drury's maths mastery as my school use it. Just wasn't sure what a NCETM maths mastery specialist would say (as I'm not trained as one of them either). Thanks again

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