A core purpose of teaching and learning at Lenah Valley Primary School is to develop each student’s intellectual capacity and the quality of their thinking. In numeracy our focus is on thinking mathematically, problem solving and mental computation. We have a whole school approach to the teaching of mental computation and problem solving. Progressively, through all grades, students learn to effectively use a range of thinking strategies for mental computation. Through our class programs, students are encouraged to develop understanding and to identify the connections between ideas rather than the rote learning of facts and procedures.
Students are encouraged to use specific mathematical vocabulary so they can communicate precisely and shared meanings can be developed. Our classroom programs use open-ended challenges and investigations to develop mathematical thinking and creative problem solving. We want all students to be able to think in ways that are considered mathematical – conjecturing, proving, convincing and justifying. We give emphasis to being able to interpret and use mathematical information. Students learn the importance of presenting information visually so their findings and justifications can be understood by others.
We value students sharing their discoveries and learning collaboratively. Through small group learning arrangements, students can engage in joint inquiries that extend each other’s’ thinking and learning.