Phorms Schule Frankfurt - Everyone can do maths!

Metacognitive teaching strategies in maths lessons – Allison Mills and Hannah Southwood succeed in communicating seemingly complex concepts to year 3 and 4 students in a playful way

Allison Mills, Year 4 Leader and Hannah Southwood, Year 3 Leader at the Phorms Campus Frankfurt City agree that, ‘Every student can learn maths.’ To achieve this, the two teachers apply metacognitive strategies in their lessons for years 3 and 4. This method enables students to address their own thinking processes and makes them reflect on their own learning. Students discuss different strategies and are able to try the method that works best for them.

‘The students can solve problems, but they usually can’t make mathematical connections beyond what’s in their exercise book. Many of them become nervous as soon as the exercises get harder,’ says Allison Mills. This is why they felt it was important to improve their teaching methods.

Now, the year 3 and 4 students more frequently discuss how they would solve a problem in lessons together, as year 3 student Ben attests: ‘I’ve learned that you can reach your goals by working in a group. There is more than one way of finding a solution, and the more I practise maths the easier it becomes.’ Through metacognition, students learn to think flexibly and discover that what they have already learned can lead to the answer in different ways.

Positive developments have already been observed among the year groups. ‘They are less worried about new exercises, and discuss different possible solutions with their classmates,’ stated Mills and Southwood. The students have also become much more open-minded and self-confident in maths lessons.

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