Dandenong South Primary School recognises that Mathematics teaches us how to make sense of the world around us through developing a child’s ability to calculate, reason and solve problems.
It enables children to understand and appreciate relationships and patterns in both the world around them and their everyday lives. Mathematics influences all aspects of our world, crossing cultural and linguistic boundaries to provide a universal way of solving problems. Competence in Mathematics is integral to successful participation in modern society.
Students from Foundation to Year 6 study Mathematics for at least five hours per week. Each day, during the Mathematics block, students ‘tune in’ by unpacking and solving a particular problem. The problem promotes discussion about various strategies used to find solutions. Students participate in a whole class focus where they are given the learning intention of the lesson. ‘Why are we learning this?’ ‘How can we use this in real-life?’ are questions asked to ensure the Mathematics lesson is relevant and meaningful. The focus for the session is taught explicitly with examples shared and steps broken down. Students then have an opportunity to practice what they have learnt during independent learning tasks. The teachers take small focus groups, which are differentiated to meet the ability levels of each student. Reflection time at the end of a Math lesson provides opportunities for students discuss their strategies and understandings. Teachers implement differentiated lessons, using agreed planning templates, assessment tools and lesson structures.
At Dandenong South Primary School, teachers work as part of a professional learning team, and sub schools to contribute to the development and implementation of a viable, guaranteed and sequential Mathematics program. The school has engaged a Mathematics Consultant (Sue Fine) who provides needs based professional development on an ongoing basis to support all teachers in their understanding of the sequence of numeration and use of effective teaching strategies.
Students have access to Mathletics, which is an online resource. This program can be accessed at school and at home using individual login details. Teachers personalise the activities and lessons on Mathletics to cater to the individual student learning needs. If the student has access to a computer, laptop or tablet, they are encouraged to complete lessons at home as part of their weekly homework.
To support your child at home, you can practise the times tables, involve your child in creating shopping lists, talk about Mathematics in everyday life and play games that involve problem-solving, i.e. Sudoku, chess, checkers, cards, etc.