Once again some of our resources have been featured in the Guardian “how to teach” series, this time about mental maths (link here: How to teach: Mental Maths)

I do however have quite strong thoughts (me? strong opinions? who’d guess that?)  on the subject. Mental maths is a major component in a students’ toolkit of mathematical knowledge but it is too often associated with the ability to do “sums” quickly – it also involves conceptual understanding and problem solving. I genuinely believe that mental maths is just one important dimension of mathematical knowledge. Too often, students will say “I’m rubbish at mental maths” and I find that I have to keep saying that it is just one aspect of maths and that we will develop mental number skills to differing degrees, and in fact personally, I find I much prefer paper methods. Developing the ability to do “sums” mentally clearly has a place in teaching maths, and I have found that it helps to use engaging (read that as the “F” word … “fun”!) activities. OK so it doesn’t always have to be fun but I have found it helps in this case – so before the comments section gets loaded with the views of “maths purists” about mental maths being only one aspect, and also asking why, as teachers we can get obsessed with the thought that learning always has to be “fun” I thought I’d just clear that up. It really is just my view, one persons opinion. Get over yourself 🙂