Talking Mathematically

DSCN2484I was talking to the father of a child in year one recently. He had just been to the parent teacher interview for his year one son. The dad said that he was impressed with the teacher’s knowledge about his son’s reading and writing and the detail she had about his progress in these areas but, he proceeded to say that when it came to maths the teacher could not speak with the same detail about this son’s progress. He said, don’t teachers care about maths?

I have reflected on these comments. It is true that most teachers can speak at length about a student’s progress in reading and writing but what about maths. Like reading it is the strategies that are central to progress in maths. Close observation of working mathematically is an essential skill that we need to develop. We should all be able talk with the same precision about a student’s maths progress as about their reading development.