Linking the ECF and the work of the Maths Hubs

By Mark Dawes (Sept 2021)

The Early Career Framework (ECF) provides considerable detail about the things Early-Career Teachers (ECTs) should do as part of their induction to the profession, during the two years after they have qualified as teachers.

It is a generic document, for primary and secondary teachers of all subjects.  When a group of teachers from the Cambridge Maths Hub discussed the framework, we were struck by how many of the statements reminded us of some of the key tenets of Teaching for Mastery, as it is presented by the NCETM and promoted (through work groups and the training of mastery leads) by the Maths Hubs.

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It’s not you – it’s me

By Mark Dawes (September 2021)

Over the past year, professional development courses, mathematics teaching conferences, meetings and work group have all moved online.  This has had many obvious disadvantages, but a major positive has been not needing to travel.  As a result, I have been in the fortunate position of being able to attend lots of sessions in the past 18 months, including CPD in summer term 2020 (after CAGs were complete), both of the subject association conferences during the Easter holidays in 2021 and more CPD after TAGs this past summer (2021).

This blog post is a reflection on two presentations I attended.  There were lots of similarities.

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Year 3 Fabulous Fractions Week

by Katie Crozier (May 2021)

My Y3 children missed out on the Y2 fractions unit of work last year during the time of school closures, and from the pre-unit assessment it was clear that I needed to start at the beginning of the fractions journey.  This suited me well as there is some excellent materials available to support this using the Y3 NCETM PD materials fractions spine.  However, these teaching slides alone didn’t provide the rich fractions experience that I wanted the Y3s to have.  So, plans for fabulous fractions week began to be formed.

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It’s good to be back!

By Mark Dawes, in conversation with Andy Cornick and Jo Cayley (March 2021)

Now that the vast majority of staff and children are back in the school building it seemed useful to capture some thoughts while these are still fresh.  What follows is taken from conversations with Andy (secondary) and Jo (primary) about their experiences.

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Cats don’t like avocados.  Maybe.

by Mark Dawes (February 2021)

I don’t often eat avocados but bought some last week when they were on special offer in the supermarket.  I ate one this morning and then one of our cats, always excited about anything new in the house, jumped up and started licking the inside of the avocado skin.  Three minutes later he started retching.

My first thought: “Cats don’t like avocados”.  But maybe they love the taste, and it’s just too rich for them (in the same way that young children like chocolate but it can make them ill!).

Would it be better as: “Avocados make cats ill”?  But perhaps that’s not true of all cats and only our cat is susceptible.

My third try: “My cat and avocados are not a good combination”.  But maybe it’s only because it was the first time he had tried it and if he were to get used to it then things would be fine (not that I’m planning on this!).

Fourth go:  “An avocado made my cat ill this morning”.  That sounds better.  But perhaps the timing was a fluke and he had previously eaten something else that didn’t agree with him.

I finally landed on: “My cat ate avocado and was ill a few minutes later.  I don’t know if there is a connection.”

While this clearly links with the idea that “correlation is not causation” (demonstrated brilliantly here in one of my favourite xkcd cartoons), this made me think about online teaching and how we tell whether students are engaged in the lesson.

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A net or not?

By Mark Dawes (December 2020)

What is your response to the instruction “draw the net of a cylinder”?

  1. To draw a rectangle and two circles
  2. To quibble with the word “the” in the question
  3. To state that “the net of a cylinder” doesn’t exist

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Mathematical Thinking for GCSE

by Julie Jacques (November 2020)

This week saw the first session of the Cambridge Maths Hub work group on Mathematical Thinking for GCSE. Because this is one of the Five Big Ideas in Teaching for Mastery I signed up. The work group is led by the Deputy Lead of the Cambridge Maths Hub. There were only three participants – me, a head of department and someone else who I didn’t get to meet because their microphone and video were not working. It meant I got to spend 90 minutes deeply unpicking maths questions with three other teachers – wow, what an amazing CPD opportunity! Being online makes accessing this workgroup really easy too. If you would like to come and join in the fun, email admin@cambridgemaths.org They have said that they will re-run session one for anyone else who wants to take part.

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From EYFS to KS3

by Chris Clayton (September 2020)

I was reminded of the early foundations in the teaching of mathematics when I attended a seminar on subitising for early years. At the seminar, the book Making Numbers: Using manipulatives to teach arithmetic, by Griffiths, Back & Gifford (2016) was recommended. While the book is aimed at EYFS and KS1, as I started to read it I realised the impact it could have on mathematics teachers at KS2 and KS3.

It will certainly have an impact on my own work.

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About the Cambridge Maths Hub – September 2020

By Mark Dawes (September 2020)

This blog post is aimed at those who want to find out more about the Cambridge Maths Hub, either because they are new to teaching maths, are new to our region, or want an update as to what is going on in this strangest of years!

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