Supporting learning in maths

Below is an overview of how to use Arrow-Ed materials to support learning. Purchase Arrow-Ed learning materials from our online shop. (Materials available from 21st August 2018.)

Look at the Parent Tutor Guide (PTG)  First of all, take a look at the PTG. There is one PTG for each unit. This provides an overview of the content to be covered in the unit – the Unit Information. On each PTG there is a small section giving a little more information and advice for working with each Learning Guide.

Learning Guides In each unit, there are several Learning Guides. These contain several sections to work through to support learning.

Prepare resources  Look at the Resources section of the Learning Guide and make sure you have the required resources to hand (you’ll see when and how these are needed by also reading the Learning Information and Daily Practice sections). Many of the resources can be found as free printable downloads, or be bought from other sellers, on the resources page of our website.

Read and introduce the learning  Introducing the learning to the learner is not a case of just putting the Learning Guide in front of them. The ‘I can’ statements can be discussed (although this is not essential to begin with) but more important is giving the learner a brief overview of what they will be learning about. It is therefore highly advisable for the adult to read through the Learning Guide first, especially the Learning Information!

Work through the Learning Guide While the main Learning Information is not a script, it provides a logical order in which to work through the learning. There are questions and statements to help engage the learner and provide points of discussion. There are also many examples of questions, use of resources, calculations and ideas throughout the materials. While these provide starting points they are not designed to be used in isolation – in other words, you should (often with the learner) make up other examples too for further practice and demonstration of understanding. Pace of learning is also important. If the learner is very confident, it may be possible to work through one spread in one sitting. However, each spread is  not intended to represent one ‘lesson’. Work at a pace to suit the learner and revisit the key learning again to make sure the learner has retained it.

Answer the questions On the reverse of each Learning Guide are questions designed to check understanding. If the learner is unable to read the questions, they should be read to them. While learners will often want to work through the questions alone, and this is fine sometimes, there is obviously an advantage in sitting with the learner, particularly with questions in which they are required to use reasoning and explain their answers. This will help both you and the learner to address any misconceptions. It will also help you to encourage the learner to use resources (e.g. counters and base 10) or create their own representations (e.g. place value grids and number lines) to support their work.

Daily Practice  This section of each Learning Guide gives simple ideas for quick practice sessions to help the learner consolidate some of the concepts from the spread. As the learner progresses through a unit (and beyond to different units) it is always worthwhile revisiting some of the Daily Practice sections to keep reminding the learner. Another way to use the Daily Practice is as a quick ‘starter’ when sitting down to work through the main learning information.

Most importantly Work at a pace that suits the learner. Use your judgement and the response to the learning to decide with the learner how much they need to do, and how much support they need. There should be sufficient challenge in each Learning Guide to keep them engaged for a recommended 3-4, 20-30 minute sessions per week, supplemented by the ‘daily practice’ for a a few 5-10 minute sessions per week. At Arrow-Ed, we know this is not always possible (and sometimes impossible). The real key is regular sessions, be it a couple of half hour sessions with an adult per week, or an hour or so with a tutor. Working this way, each unit should generally be covered over 2-4 weeks.

Take a look at our About page and  Frequently Asked Questions for further information.

Visit our online shop to purchase Arrow-Ed Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 maths materials.