Talking Points in Mathematics by Anita Straker
In most subjects it would be unthinkable to ask children to write what they cannot say. Yet in mathematics children who 'cannot do' a question are freqeuently given more paper and pencil examples. Talking Points contains suggestions for encouraging children to think and talk about mathematics. The ideas are grouped by topic and arranged approximately in order of difficulty from level 1 to level 6 of the National Curriculum. The book will thus be invaluable for all teachers in primary schools and many teaching the lower years of secondary school. The ideas vary from the imaginative: - Could an elephant walk through the door of the classroom? What would you need to know? to thoughts with a practical basis: - Estimate the school's floor area. What about its volume? The introduction discusses the purpose of the book, suggests strategies for planning and organising the work, and gives ideas for extending and evaluating the discussions. The rest of the book provides different ideas to support five or more minutes of discussion. One section describes talking points in full with suggested questions, lists of vocabulary that could be brought in, aims, organisation and follow-up. The other sections contain lots more ideas described more briefly. The suggestions focus on the use of mathematical vocabulary, the use of imagery and mental arithmetic strategies.