Colour coding in maths

By:Claire Lotriet

mathema“So, this week in maths was all about multiplication. The majority of my maths group struggled with long multiplication from the get go. I went back to basics and we practised multiplying by a single digit and then tried to move onto 2-digits by 2-digits. It didn’t go well. Errors littered throughout. We worked through examples together, I went around to give feedback as usual, but it wasn’t sinking in. Obviously, at the end of that lesson, I knew we’d need to spend more time on it, but I was thinking about what exactly it was that was holding them back and it became quite clear: they were getting confused with the layout, what goes where and the relationship between it all. When multiplying by one digit, they were ok, but as soon as another digit was added into the mix, it threw them. Moving onto that second line, to multiply the tens column, was causing us a world of pain.Then an idea about using colour coding to reinforce the layout and the calculations relating to the different columns hit me. This could well be down to the fact that we’d had a staff meeting on colourful semanticsjust this week – an approach that colour codes different types of words to help children develop their use of grammar. Anyway, here’s what we tried yesterday.”To read further please click here:

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