At Stannington Infant school we teach maths through ‘Big Maths’. This is a teaching programme used to help children to become numerate. Problem solving and word problems cannot be solved until children can manipulate numbers and understand how the number system works.
Big Maths lessons are fast-paced and fun. The children are introduced to child-friendly terms such as ‘Switchers’ and ‘Learn Its’, to help them manipulate numbers and make them more confident and more successful. There is a strong emphasis on developing instant recall of number facts, including number bonds and doubles.
Each maths session contains four elements and together they are called ‘CLIC’. This stands for ‘Counting’, ‘Learn Its’, ‘It’s Nothing New’ and ‘Calculation’.
Children will count forwards and backwards in all kinds of steps e.g. in 1s, 2s, 5s and 10s! When practicing counting at home with your child, make sure you go forwards and backwards. Don’t always start at 0 – make sure they can count on from 75 to 100 for example.
‘Learn Its’ are addition facts and simple times tables facts.
These are facts that children need to learn off by heart, so when they are asked ‘What is 6+4?’ they are able to give the answer as quickly as they would be able to tell you their name. As soon as they know 6+4=10 they also know 4+6=10 (This is known as a ‘Switcher’).
It’s Nothing New
This is the most important aspect of CLIC. It is the way children become successful and properly numerate. The idea that 5-things and 3-things are always 8-things is a fundamental concept. Once children understand this concept, we can change the ‘thing’ to other units, e.g. ‘tens’, so that 5 tens + 3 tens = 8 tens. Children begin to learn the concept by counting random unit e.g. bananas, aliens, cats etc. It then becomes much easier to use standard measures such as ml, m, cm, kg, whilst understanding the underlying number concepts.
Following this principle with young children leads to a deeper understanding and of how numbers works (and they think it is fun too!) The idea is that the ‘learning is nothing new’ and children feel able to answer the all sorts of questions with real understanding e.g. If a child knows double 4, they can use that to find double
40 with confidence.
This aspect of CLIC is when the teacher will focus on developing the children’s understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Big Maths maps out which steps children should do in a clear order and helps teachers to identify where to go back to if a child needs extra support. This part of Big Maths provides opportunities for children to record their maths work and this will be in their maths books as evidence of their learning.
If you have any questions about Big Maths please speak to your child’s class teacher.