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Broadbent Maths
Broadbent Maths - creative primary maths

Ask Paul

If you have a question or need some help with your maths teaching, click on the link below, complete the form and write your question.

Paul will answer a few each month to help you with your teaching and to share with other teachers.

Ask Paul...
Help! I need some ideas for counting in 5s with my class. I know you'll come up with some good ones!
Try these ideas - they've been around a long while but they're still some of my favourites.
Can you recommend any resources for SEND maths intervention?
I’ve had a think about maths intervention for your SEND children and there are a number of programmes/resources out there that may be of use for you which I’ve listed below. Apologies for it being a bit wordy, but I couldn’t get it down to anything more succinct!
We are looking to improve the maths environment of the school - any ideas on maths displays?
Our governors are doing a learning walk of the school looking at Maths displays - what would you expect to see in classrooms and the communal areas of the school?
I would want to see a maths learning journey and practical maths resources in the classrooms and an 'I can do maths' attitude around the school. Here are some ways to implement these maths displays. 
I have a gifted and talented Y2 mathematician who would get nearly 100% on Y6 SATs paper
I'm struggling to find resources to engage/challenge him at the right level - do you have any ideas or books you would recommend?
With the problem solving and reasoning statements, should we select at least one for each unit?
I think it is probably a good idea to start off with identifying at least one problem solving and reasoning statement for each unit. It will help get staff into the habit of looking for the mathematical processes their children are using when working on problems, investigations and challenges and will help the class think mathematically. 
We are creating maths folders for our teachers are there any files you recommend from your site?
Shared maths folders are a good idea. To make things easier for you it would be a good idea to have two sections, information for their folders and then encourage them to use some materials directly from our site. So what should you choose? 
We are having a moderation visit and need to show how our maths matches the NC
Curriculum coverage and match is a basic essential of the Broadbent Maths material - it goes way beyond that in terms of progression, pedagogy and depth. To demonstrate this I suggest you share the following with the moderators:
Have you worked with any schools to develop mixed age maths planning?
I worked with you at a previous school. I now have a headship and have subscribed to your site (of course!)  However we have mixed age classes Y1/2, Y3/4
I am currently reading 'Make it Stick' which has some interesting strategies
I would like to introduce some of these science of learning ideas into my maths teaching.  Is there scope within the Broadbent Maths scheme to try some if these practices out? If so could you suggest a starting point? 
Our school has started using Broadbent Maths and we have a couple of questions
1. Do the units have to be taught in the order they are given?
2. The units are all 2-weeks, is it possible to split them?
We have some confusion about the language to use with 3D shapes, can you help?
Spheres are often referred to having one face, cones two faces and cylinders three faces. Mathematically a face on a 3D shape is part of a plane and therefore is flat. Does this means that much of the language that has been used in inaccurate?
Any chance of some pre teaching assessment questions for each unit? :)
This 'Ask Paul' did start with the sentence: We're finding it much easier with the mental maths objectives and statistics checklist on the plans now. Always a good to idea to give a compliment before a request! 
Yes, pre-teaching assessment questions are a good idea and I will certainly take a look at this, however in the meantime...
We would like your online progress tracker to track each objective rather than a summary
Really good query - we obviously no longer have levels or attainment targets so it does take a bit of a shift in thinking to work out the best way to track the progress of individuals. There is also the relationship between formative assessment (AfL) and summative assessment that will need clarifying perhaps.
Do you have any completed unit templates to show as examples?
Here are some unit templates completed by teachers and that have been used in the classroom. There are some interesting themes, such as 'At the Opticians'. As you will see teachers are using the templates in their own way, there is no prescriptive set way of doing it, just make it work for you.
What resources can we 'dip into' to give more ideas?.....
We would like to provide more easily accessible age appropriate activities. There are many resources on various websites, but we want something more concrete e.g. clear ideas for Y5/6 linked to, say, geometry. We subscribe to your website, so don't want a scheme. Have you any ideas or thoughts?
Which models and images would you use for addition and subtraction in Y4?
Representation using models and images is something that should be considered in every unit, but you're right, it is not always obvious what is the best model or image to use. It very much depends on where the children are in their learning (look at the bold parts of the small steps of progression on each unit planning template to help with this) and what they need to help them make sense of the maths.
The Year Progress Trackers have 3 statements at the top
Please could you clarify if staff purely assess on those 3 statements or for all the objectives.
I wrote the three statements for each unit as a summary of the success criteria shared with the children, written to show the key steps as objectives for that unit. They are all connected and give teachers a good idea of the progress of individuals and whether they are starting or developing their knowledge or understanding, or have mastered all three statements and so are ready to move on to the next step. 
How do we implement the statistics statements without just fitting them in randomly?
The data handling/statistics query is an interesting one. Schools using this planning material have found that planning for the use of tables, charts, graphs etc within each unit is much easier than having a separate unit on it. 

I read your latest news article on the use of text books - do you recommend any?
I think with the new expectations teachers need a base line to know where to aim.
Yes you make an interesting point. At the moment my advice would be don't rush into anything - publishers are very active so it will be interesting to see what is available next year. 
Is there a way of knowing which steps within the Unit Plans should be taught mentally?
We would like a clear picture of the mental strategies taught.
I think what you are asking for are the mental calculations strategies to be clearly identified within each unit. At the moment these are part of each unit to help break down the PoS and make sure the small steps are clear.

What steps can we take with a gifted mathematician in my Y5 class?
A child that is exceptional at maths can be difficult to plan for - I have taught a few in my time and it is finding maths that engages them and also allows them to make progress. They want to show they are learning and like being challenged, but they do vary in the things that they actually enjoy doing. 
How do I manage teaching maths to a mixed age class with a wide ability range?
I am based in Lincolnshire where there are many small schools with mixed age teaching – the last class I taught was a Y4/5 mixed age class so I know the difficulties. However, differentiation is obviously an issue in most single age classrooms too and having a mixed age just makes you have to use strategies to target the different abilities.  

What on earth does this mean?
'positive integer scaling problems and correspondence problems in which n objects are connected to m objects'?
A PoS from the new NC and simpler than it sounds...
Why isn't 24 hour time included in Y3 when it is part of the Y3 PoS?
When the 2014 National Curriculum was introduced, some degree of flexibility between year groups was encouraged. Y1/2 are linked and so are Y3/4 and Y5/6. So if a child had not understood a particular concept or skill introduced in, for example, Y5, the topic could be left until Y6 when it could be taught again with the child assessed at that point for understanding.
Have you any good ideas for teaching the 12 times table?
I think the best way is to see 12 as one ten and two units. Multiplying numbers by 10 is an easy first step and something that children will have been repeating, practicing, chanting and hopefully knowing with understanding since they were 6 or 7 years old.
Should the whole data handling cycle be part of every unit?
Within your planning, data handling (or statistics) is not taught as a discrete unit but is part of each unit. This gives the opportunity to use the data as a context for the teaching of number, calculation, shape and measures. So what about the data handling cycle? It is a good question, and something that certainly needs planning for.
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