Fluency in maths is all about developing good number sense and being able to use the most appropriate method for the task at hand, it is being able to apply a skill to a range of problems as opposed to doing pages full of the same sums.
The National Curriculum states that pupils should become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics through varied and frequent practice. Whilst a part of this is about knowing key mathematical facts and remembering them quickly, fluency means so much more than that.
Just like reading, the more you practise working with and exploring number the more fluent you become. The more able mathematicians are the ones who not only know and use mathematical facts and principles but are able to manipulate them and intertwine them to work around a problem.
At Springmead we understand that learning the basic building blocks of number is not just about being able to recite them by rote, it is being able to manipulate them and play with them to create new and fascinating patterns and problems. Just like learning the alphabet and the basic sounds for reading begin to open up a world of adventure in reading; understanding numbers and how they relate to each other can be just as exciting.
While being able to work out
3078 – 1547=1531
Is a valuable skill. Understanding that you can use this to derive the fact that
1531 + 1547 = 3078 or 3078 – 1531 = 1547 shows a real understanding of our number system and how it works.
Feeling confident with number and having a strong number sense allows children to risk being flexible in their thinking to use trial and error and to make estimations.
Sadly there can be a negative attitude towards maths, we often hear people saying things like I don’t get maths or I don’t like maths. With your children try to make maths fun, sing number songs from an early age, play games involving number, learn Sudoku with your children and explore the world of number games on your phone or tablet, there are so many to choose from.