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Shanghai Maths

(10 Posts)
Maidupmum Thu 09-Feb-17 20:49:33

Can anyone help me with Shanghai Maths? I understand that it splits into 5 parts during the lesson but apart from that, I'm clueless! I'm hoping to go for a job in a school that uses the method and I'd like to be able to use it for the lesson observation.
All help appreciated!

BizzyFizzy Fri 10-Feb-17 20:41:11

It's not a million miles from Kumon. Baby steps, lots of repetition.

I have to say that we have quite a few boys literally from Shanghai and they are so happy to be realeased from this type of teaching/learning.

bangingmyheadoffabrickwall Fri 10-Feb-17 21:45:09

Ooh we are literally just starting it. A lot of books but I like the teaching sequences.
It's one of those things that all the negatives are seen before the positives and it's easy to get caught up in the 'it doesn't work' scenario.
All new things need time and patience before we see the benefits or not!
There is the CPA approach to it.
First it's a 'let's learn' in which there is direct teaching and children practise in groups/pairs before moving onto the independent work in the books. (Talking about Inspire Maths here!). Children move only onto the practical/ bar method after dealing with the concepts and skills in concrete form and then the abstract which is to do with numbers, problem solving and reasoning.
That is as much as I can give and I may be wrong about parts as my school is literally just starting it.
So far I like it! My head (I think) asked the maths coordinator to look into it. The research underpinning it is crucial and convincing (IMO).
Joked today that we need a Shanghai/Singapore visit!!

toomuchicecream Sat 11-Feb-17 09:10:59

(having been thinking about my reply to this since you posted, but can't remember password to log into MN on phone so have had to wait until the weekend when laptop is on...)

I was lucky enough to be one of the primary maths specialists the DfE took to Shanghai last November, and we had 2 teachers from Shanghai teaching in my school in January. That came about because a couple of years ago I was lucky enough to be selected by NCETM to be trained as a primary maths mastery specialist, to implement the best of what was seen on the first primary Shanghai exchange two years ago. Having completely changed my approach to Maths teaching and supported my colleagues in my school to change, I'm now working with a number of local schools, supporting them to implement teaching for mastery.

Singapore/Shanghai Maths and Maths mastery as some of the most misunderstood concepts in teaching at the moment, in my experience because they all mean different things to different people. It just isn't possible to take a system of teaching from any other country and transplant it here. Our culture is different, our children are different, our parents are different, expectations are different... But what you can do is pick the best of what they do and match it with the best of what we do (because they are very aware that they have a lot to learn from us too).

For me, Singapore/Shanghai/mastery maths is about teaching for deep understanding. Slowing the curriculum down. Spending longer on each topic so that children really understand what they are doing, rather than the superficial, one dimensional learning that the spiral curriculum often produced. Giving children the chance to transfer their new knowledge from their finite, short term memory to their infinite long term memory so that you don't have to keep revisiting topics because they've forgotten most of what you did when you last covered the topic. Giving them the skills to use their knowledge flexibly. Teaching them to reason and to communicate their reasoning. Enabling them to apply their knowledge in a range of different situations. I don't think any teacher would argue with any of that. What is up for debate is how you achieve these aims.

Inspire Maths/Shanghai Maths/Maths No Problem/whatever are just resources produced by publishers to help schools teach for deep understanding. They all have a slightly different approach and organise things slightly differently. So it's impossible to say what a school means when they say they do Shanghai Maths.

The journey through the lesson, with small, clear steps from the initial starting point to new knowledge is key, as is thinking carefully about the examples a child will work through. Yes, there is repetition but it certainly isn't mindless repetition because of the conceptual/procedural variation in the examples they will experience which are designed to deepen their understanding as they work through them.

#Maidupmum - in terms of doing research before an interview lesson, I'd have a good dig around on the NCETM website as they have lots of good resources to support with teaching for mastery. I'm pretty sure a 5 part lesson is part of Inspire Maths (OUP) so a google for that might dig up some useful reading. I've told my colleagues that the three part lesson is dead, but you can now have as many parts to the lesson as you feel is appropriate for your children. You might have a 1 part lesson today and then an 8 part lesson tomorrow. It's about good teaching - knowing your class and tailoring your teaching to match their needs. I'm more than happy for you to pm me, or to try and answer any questions you have. Good luck!

toomuchicecream Sat 11-Feb-17 09:21:17

Oh - and if you want to impress at an interview lesson, I'd suggest you include lots and lots of reasoning. How did you work that out? Did anyone do it another way? Why? Why? Why? Lots of opportunities for open questions and mathematical talk. My favourite quote in this context is "the answer is only the beginning"....

Maidupmum Sat 11-Feb-17 10:31:09

Fantastic responses. Thanks everyone.... I may have to PM you all my lesson plan if I get shortlisted!!

bangingmyheadoffabrickwall Fri 17-Feb-17 22:27:49

Toomuchicecream - you may have to be my mentor!!

I am finding planning tricky!!

toomuchicecream Sun 19-Feb-17 16:38:29

Ask away! Although I can only respond to posts when on laptop (ie when planning - guess what I'm doing this afternoon...) as MN logged me out on my phone during Jeffreygate and I can't remember what I reset my password to so I can log back on on phone!

bangingmyheadoffabrickwall Tue 21-Feb-17 21:32:13

It's Inspire Maths we do. Is that yours?

We have been told that the kids should be doing independent/practise book work every day but I am finding it tricky building in the teaching sequences to allow for this.

An example is that unit 10 (I think) which is mass has 8 teaching sequences before it then says do practise book pages * to *. But I find we need more than a day to get through those teaching sequences and being told they must do their practise book every day ... how Ian this possible?

I suggested that hat we plan for the week and simply work through it and not tie ourselves down to doing a specific teaching step or practise book page on any particular day!

Is that right?

toomuchicecream Sun 26-Feb-17 19:24:00

Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you - have had a manic week and so didn't turn laptop on until this afternoon for lesson planning!

I've never used Inspire Maths nor looked at it properly. Last summer I wanted to buy 1 copy of each book for each year group so that teachers had it as one of several resources to draw on, but at that stage OUP were only selling the books in packs of 10 so I abandoned the idea. All I know is what I've read online - when OUP bought the right to publish Inspire in the UK, they only got a licence to reprint, not re-align the content to match the English curriculum. Children start school later in Singapore (their year 1 children are the same age as our year 2) so very often the content is in the wrong year group. You therefore have to use a series of matching charts to find the appropriate content for your year group, which is often in the books used by the teacher next door. OUP explain this away by saying that raised expectations mean that it takes time for children to be ready to work at the right level for their year group. As I say - that's heresay based on what I've read on line, but I've read it a number of times in different places. We use Maths No Problem as Maths teacher friends whose opinion I really respect were raving about it. I got it for my year group and really liked it, so I bought it for the rest of the school (to use alongside other resources).

Answering your question bangingmyhead, having to do all that practical work and get work in your books is pretty stupid, in my opinion. When I run training I tell people it's fine to not have work in the books everyday - I keep a whole class scrapbook of photos of practical Maths work (no way am I sticking photos into individual books...) so if anyone wants to see what we did in a given lesson, the evidence is there.

You need to go to your Maths Leader with the specific example you've quoted and ask them to explain how to do what they are asking you to do - would they like to do a demonstration lesson to show how it is possible?!?

When teaching for Mastery (and Inspire is one of the main mastery schemes sold in this country, alongside Maths No Problem), the important thing is that the children are fully secure in their knowledge before they move on. With something like mass, the only way they are going to achieve this is when plenty of practical work. I've told my colleagues that Maths lessons will include a mixture of practical work, teacher led input, recording in Maths books and recording in Maths journals. This should be balanced out over the week/sequence of lessons. At the beginning of a sequence there is likely to be more practical work and a greater emphasis on fluency whereas towards the end of a sequence there is likely to be more written work and more problem solving. Reasoning opportunities should be threaded through every lesson, and often lessons will start from a problem (so don't think that all the problem solving happens on Friday). For me, it's about teachers being given the space to use their professional judgement about what activities will best suit the needs of their class. Hope that helps!!

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