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Coldean Primary School

Millie is a spring born child who was assessed as a level 1C at the start of Year Two. She had made good progress in reading and writing during Year One but had really struggled with maths.

After an initial assessment including a Sandwell Assessment, an observation in class and 5 diagnostic lessons I was able to write a detailed Individual Learning Plan for Millie identifying what she already knew, resources she was confident with and first steps.

Millie responded well to personalised learning. During the Diagnostic Assessment we made a small world scene of a farm with fields and animals to use for calculation activities.  Millie made her own number lines and painted a picture of a Queen and a teacup to help her differentiate between teen and ty numbers.

During the Diagnostic assessment I had observed that Millie was very confident with numbers to 20 and could read, write and order them so this was a good starting point for introducing numbers greater than 20 with Velcro number lines, Numicon and Base 10.

We bundled straws into tens and used these to develop understanding of place value. Soon Millie was able to read, write order numbers to 100 and partition these into tens and units. She became confident at placing numbers on empty number lines and explaining her reasoning.

During the Diagnostic assessment I had noticed that although Millie could confidently say 1 more and 1 less than numbers to 10 in a variety of practical contexts, she did not connect this to adding and subtracting 1 or apply it to 2 more/2 less. She understood 1 more/less as the number before or after a number on a number line or counting sequence. We used her small world to act out stories of adding/subtracting 1 or 2, linking this to 1 or 2 more/less and using the mathematical vocabulary correctly.

Millie knew the word ‘double’ but was unsure what it meant. She could find a ‘double’ on a domino but was unsure how to double a small set of objects. We use paper cups, people on buses, jewels in a treasure chest and Numicon to develop the idea of doubling and spent one lesson baking Magical Muffins where we had to double all the ingredients, the paper cases and the baking trays. We used the cakes, Numicon, beads and counters to secure understanding that halving is the inverse of doubling.

A Millie’s confidence grew and she discovered that maths was fun, she became more able to explain her thinking: describing how she had reached an answer, questioning what might happen next and making connections. She took great delight in discovering that the even numbers, doubles numbers and counting in 2s numbers are the same.

As the weeks progressed Millie grew in confidence and took great pride in her successes. She enjoyed the daily counting activities especially using the balloon, clapping games, counting bubbles and drum beats. She really enjoyed playing mathematical board games and these greatly helped to develop her ability to express herself mathematically and make connections.

In Millie’s final assessment, after 13 weeks, she made 26 months progress on her number age and reached a secure level 2C. She maintained this progress in her follow up assessment 3 months later.

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