Mathematics Around the Kitchen Table – Gillingham, Kent
Following family mathematics sessions for parents earlier in the year an Advanced Skills Teacher in Kent has introduced ‘Mathematics around the kitchen table’ to pupils in years 6, 8 and 9.
Tasks were chosen to encourage a conversation about mathematics around the kitchen table. Parents and children worked together on mathematical challenges which are ‘hands on’, can be built and visualized. The starting point for each task is accessible by all and families are encouraged to work together, checking results, trying another way and recording comments in a workbook/mathematics journal.
Video Case Studies
The tasks used in the video clips are
These are available as Task cameos from The Mathematics Task Centre Project
The conversation and interaction involved both parent and child in working together on these mathematical challenges to support the development of the pupil’s problem solving skills, mathematical and literacy skills. The tasks all connect to deep and rich mathematical investigations, as each task presented is the ‘tip of an iceberg’. There is always more that can be learnt from each task.
The approach was very successful with increased parent participation and pupil confidence in problem solving. Parents and children are requesting more follow up activities. In focus group interviews it has been noted that parents are more likely to engage in these rich tasks rather than the traditional type of homework questions.
A bridge has been built between home and school through using the tasks as the centre of mathematics around the kitchen table. It has enabled the development of a three way conversation between pupil, teacher and parents through the use of mathematics journals.
For an abundance of ‘iceberg’ tasks, tired and tested by many teachers over many years, which promote deep understanding of mathematics visit the task centre and try the task cameos.
Peter Hubble, Robert Napier School, Gillingham, Kent.