Extraordinary Times

We are thinking of the uncertainties facing schools in these extraordinary times and, in particular, are hoping that you are managing to stay as well and safe as possible.

Many schools are already running with 30% of students absent. Schools are having to limit unnecessary visitors and cancel face-to-face professional development. With this in mind, we have decided to cancel all Term 2 work. This does not mean that Natural Maths will not be working; we will be working hard and trying to find ways of offering support should school closures occur. At the moment, we are brainstorming what this might look like. We have already had schools contact us. There seem to be two types of query.

  • The first is about how to ensure that students do not lose their engagement with maths if all that they are suddenly offered is drill and kill or as one leader said today, death by worksheet.
  • The second is from schools wondering about ongoing professional development support. Our first thoughts follow.

Student and Parent Support.

One school has already recommended that parents buy:

Unlock Your Child’s Natural Maths Ability has games and activities matched to the mental and written computation methods that students in schools using Natural Maths ideas already use.

The book includes the Natural Maths Strategy Posters which give page-size illustrations of the strategies as well as introducing the Secret Code that enables students to explain which strategy they chose.

This book is available from https://www.pascalpress.com.au/blakes-guide-to-unlock-your-childs-natural-maths-ability/

If you wanted to recommend materials that are focussed on a particular topic or age-range, the Back to Basics books have many activities and games matched to Natural Maths strategies.

This series was always intended for the home market and follow an “I do, we do, you do” model so that parents know how to introduce a topic and share the method with their child before letting them loose on their own.

As you can see from the cover, the books also anticipated the outbreak that is so changing our daily lives – not intentionally we assure you!

Available from: https://www.pascalpress.com.au/back-to-basics/

We will continue our blog and Facebook entries, hopefully more frequently with ideas for at home use. Teachers may access these and freely use them or suggest that parents access them directly. We could also put on some home-school parent-child workshops if appropriate.

Please let us know if you think there is something specific that we can do.

Teacher support

Several schools have already approached us about our online courses and how they might use them during any non-contact time.

Two schools have contacted us and asked about PD via Zoom or webcast. We are exploring both avenues. We may set up our own Natural Maths TV channel on YouTube so that we can continue to work with you.

Again, please let us know if you have ideas that will help us to respond to your maths and pedagogy needs through this difficult time.

Finally, please take the best possible care of yourselves.