In the Mathematic Learning Area, students learn about Mathematics, what it is and how it is used in making decisions and solving problems. Mathematics involves observing, representing and investigating patterns and relationships in social and physical phenomena and between mathematical objects themselves. Mathematics is often defined as the science of space and number … [but] a more apt definition [is that] Mathematics is the science of patterns. The mathematician seeks patterns in number, in space, in science, in computers, and in imagination. Mathematical theories explain the relations among patterns … Applications of Mathematics use these patterns to ‘explain’ and predict natural phenomena … (Steen, L.A. (1988), “The science of patterns”, Science, 240, 29, 616.)
Mathematics can enhance our understanding of the world and the quality of our participation in society. Since it is valuable to us individually and collectively, it should be an integral part of the general education of every young person.
This statement is based on three premises:
- All students are capable of learning the mathematical ideas and skills that underpin a wide range of everyday uses and can benefit from doing so.
- All students have a right to learn Mathematics in a way that enables them to see that Mathematics itself makes sense, that they can make sense of Mathematics, and that working mathematically can help them make sense of their world.
- For students to become confident and capable users and learners of Mathematics we will need common high standards and flexible curricula which respond to students’ non-standard learning needs.
Many students develop strong views about Mathematics during their schooling: what it is about, who it is for, and what kind of people need it and are good at it. Some are effectively excluded from some of life’s opportunities because they, and others, assume that they cannot do ‘it. For this reason it is essential that school Mathematics be as rewarding as we can make it, that all students feel, and be, able to learn Mathematics, and that students develop a positive attitude to their own continued use of it. Every student needs to develop an awareness of the nature of mathematics, how it is created, used and communicated, for what purposes, and how it both influences and is influenced by the things we believe and the values we hold.
Western Australian Curriculum Content Strands Mathematics:
NUMBER AND ALGEBRA
Number and Algebra are developed together, as each enriches the study of the other. Students apply number sense and strategies for counting and representing numbers. They explore the magnitude and properties of numbers. They apply a range of strategies for computation and understand the connections between operations. They recognise patterns and understand the concepts of variable and function. They build on their understanding of the number system to describe relationships and formulate generalisations. They recognise equivalence and solve equations and inequalities. They apply their number and algebra skills to conduct investigations, solve problems and communicate their reasoning.
MEASUREMENT AND GEOMETRY
Measurement and Geometry are presented together to emphasise their relationship to each other, enhancing their practical relevance. Students develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of size, shape, relative position and movement of two-dimensional figures in the plane and three-dimensional objects in space. They investigate properties and apply their understanding of them to define, compare and construct figures and objects. They learn to develop geometric arguments. They make meaningful measurements of quantities, choosing appropriate metric units of measurement. They build an understanding of the connections between units and calculate derived measures such as area, speed and density.
STATISTICS AND PROBABILITY
Statistics and Probability initially develop in parallel and the curriculum then progressively builds the links between them. Students recognise and analyse data and draw inferences. They represent, summarise and interpret data and undertake purposeful investigations involving the collection and interpretation of data. They assess likelihood and assign probabilities using experimental and theoretical approaches. They develop an increasingly sophisticated ability to critically evaluate chance and data concepts and make reasoned judgments and decisions, as well as building skills to critically evaluate statistical information and develop intuitions about data.
Content descriptions are grouped into sub-strands to illustrate the clarity and sequence of development of concepts through and across the year levels. They support the ability to see the connections across strands and the sequential development of concepts from Pre-primary to Year 10.
|Number and Algebra||Measurement and Geometry||Statistics and Probability|
|Number and place value (P-8)||Using units of measurement (P-10)||Chance (1-10)
|Fraction and decimals (1-6)||Shape (P-7)||Data representation and interpretation (P-10)
|Money and financial mathematics (1-10)||Geometric reasoning (3-10)|
|Patterns and algebra (P-10)||Location and transformation (P-7)|
ORIGO Stepping Stones Program:
ORIGO Stepping Stones is an award winning F-6 Mathematics program developed by specialists for primary schools. Stepping Stones has been developed to fully address and improve on the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics.
This F-6 Mathematics program is delivered online to give teachers one central location to access all their lesson plans, student activity pages and teaching tools. ORIGO believes that students master skills over time as they engage in four distinctly different types of activities; introducing new skills and concepts, reinforcing these concepts, practicing skills and concepts to develop accuracy and finally extending skills and concepts.
This program aligns with the Our Lady of Mercy Instructional Model of teaching and is a base for Mathematic lessons, however teachers use the resource to best suit the students in their classrooms. The Stepping Stones text book is used as a guide for Mathematic lessons at OLOM. Teachers may use these for the lessons or they may supplement student learning with other activities. Some lessons and questions are also extension in the book and may not always be completed if students are not at that level in their learning. Our teachers use their professional judgement when teaching concepts and include many other aspects into their lessons including; concrete materials, modelled examples, demonstrations, fluency training, group activities and review of difficult concepts.
Math Mastery Series (MMS) is a Direct Instruction Maths Program that has been especially designed for the contemporary Australian classroom.
Maths Mastery consists of daily lessons composed of strands each starting at base level where foundations are laid. These strands proceed to build on the foundations moving through the particular concepts involved whilst all the time inter-relating with the other strands being run concurrently.
MMS programs (JEMM, JEMM+ and EMM) serve as daily diagnostic tools incorporating daily assessment as an integral part of the learning process. The program maps student progress, identifies precisely where and when students experience difficulty, contains inbuilt assessment, corrects procedures and instils fluency and automaticity in fundamental maths skills.
Students in Years 3 – 6 use this program 3-4 times a week as a part of the Mathematic lessons.