More able children
Parents will appreciate that children develop at different rates. Some walk or talk earlier than others. Whilst a child may be ahead in mathematics they may not have the same maturity as a child a year older so a different approach may be needed.
Boys particularly, often take longer to mature and this needs to be taken into account so that they do not become bored or lose interest. Practical, action-based activities that interest and engage them are essential.
At every level children should be encouraged to discuss their work – explain and question what they have been doing. They will grow in confidence and be happy to experiment. Maths needs to be fun and exciting and definitely not a chore. Play is important at all levels – children need to play.
An able child will develop at a faster rate than their peers. Schools have to meet the needs of all their pupils. They will provide work matched to the different ability groups in the class and also provide additional extension activities for the more able.
Teachers ask lots of questions to develop understanding. You may hear them talk of 'open–ended' questioning. This just means asking questions that require more than a 'yes' or 'no' answer. This is a powerful way of finding out what children already know and where their thinking is taking them e.g.
- What do you think?
- What pattern can you see?
- What might you do next?
On the whole, able children will be identified by test results, work quality and teacher assessments. Teachers will provide extension and enrichment activities to cater for their needs.
Throughout the importance of practical activities that relate to everyday life as well as using the games children play including computer games, to develop their mathematical understanding cannot be over-emphasised.