# Mathematics How Models and Images Can Be Used to Teach It

## Mathematics How Models and Images Can Be Used to Teach It

discuss how models and images might be used to effectively teach mental calculation.

In recent times there has been a much increased emphasis on mental calculation’ (Cooke 2000:24) within primary mathematics. At Key Stage 1 mental methods have taken the lead in introducing numbers, place value and calculation to children. This continues into Key Stage 2 when children are introduced to more formal written methods. Understanding numbers and attempting calculations at this early stage is a complex skill, therefore it is essential that we as teachers understand and utilise all the teaching aids and methods available to us; namely models and images. This essay will concentrate particularly on models and images and how they can be used effectively to teach mental calculation. Appendix 1 shows a lesson plan that was presented in session, with the main activity focusing on the addition of a two digit number to another two digit number. It demonstrates how models and images can support the teaching of mental calculation to a year 4 class using the partitioning method and the empty number line.
When studying mental calculation, a wide range of models and images can be utilised to help pupils learn. For example, mental strategies such as partitioning, factorising, doubling methods, counting on or compensation can be used to support teaching and learning. Within the lesson plan in Appendix A we can see that the partitioning method is being modelled to the class. Focusing on the pupil’s existing knowledge of counting on in tens and doubling, the children can offer suggestions on how to approach the first calculation of 45 +24. It is then the teacher’s role to suggest the use of the image of an empty number line to encourage the children to visualise each step within the calculation and reach an answer. Koshy and Murray (2002) suggest that as teachers ‘it is important to be familiar with as many of these strategies as possible and to know when it is appropriate to use...