About cookies

The NCETM site uses cookies. Read more about our privacy policy

Please agree to accept our cookies. If you continue to use the site, we'll assume you're happy to accept them.


Personal Learning Login

Sign Up | Forgotten password?
Register with the NCETM

Mathematics Matters Lesson Accounts 57 - Fluency in Recalling Facts and Performing Skills

This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 29 May 2008 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 17 June 2008 by ncetm_administrator

Mathematics Matters Lesson Accounts
A collection of memorable mathematics lessons that conference and colloquia delegates had observed or taught which they felt were successful.  Each account refers to one or more of the values and principles in the report.

Lesson Account 57 - Fluency in Recalling Facts and Performing Skills

Written by Watson
Organisation Unknown
Age/Ability Range Unknown

(a) What was the mathematical task(s)?
Practice leads to fluency; multiplication facts are important; learning habits can be retrieved; all students are entitled to work in conducive environments; students can self-monitor progress.

Students work individually on a list of 120 multiplications (up to 12x12) in random order in silence.  They do the same sheet every lesson for 15 mins.  At the end the teacher reads out answers once, only once in a quiet voice, then asks for hands up re: how many right. 

The next part of the lesson is a ‘discuss in pairs’ task and teacher rushes round getting public contributions from each pair and thanking them.  Strangely, I cannot recall the topic!  All pairs were asked before teacher commented on them.

(b) What learning culture was created?  How was this achieved?
Teacher’s aim is to re-teach Year 9 how achieving adolescents that they can sit still, concentrate, get better at maths, listen to quiet voices etc..  They aim to beat their previous personal best; they also get fluent with x answers. This task provides a ‘buffer’ from the other events in their lives.

(c) How could you tell that the task(s) achieved the intended purposes?  Do you have any evidence?
Students ‘came back’ to full participation in lessons.  Evidence was the next part of the lesson in which all pairs contributed answers, suggestions when asked and volunteered questions too.  This was an on-task, engaged class which has previously been negative and disruptive.

(d) Is this example available to see/read about?
This was one of the lessons video-filmed for a research project which led to the publication of ‘Deep Progress in Mathematics’.  The lesson is briefly reported in that publication, but the above description is more detailed.  The interpretations are my own

(e) Can you say why you chose this example?  What criteria were in your mind?
To show that some lesson bits which sound horrid in themselves can be part of overall meaningful empowering strategy.


Downloadable PDF

Click here to download this lesson account in PDF format.

Values & Principles

Fluency in recalling facts and performing skills

Browse by
Lesson Accounts
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 
21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30,
31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40,
41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50,
51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57
Search by ... Values
V1, V2, V3, V4, V5
Search by ... Principles 
P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7, P8

Lesson Accounts Introduction

Mathematics Matters - What constitutes the effective learning of mathematics? find out more


Discover the 'Mathematics Matter' Project Forum







Comment on this item  
Add to your NCETM favourites
Remove from your NCETM favourites
Add a note on this item
Recommend to a friend
Comment on this item
Send to printer
Request a reminder of this item
Cancel a reminder of this item



There are no comments for this item yet...
Only registered users may comment. Log in to comment