How To Embed Maths Strategies

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Portrait Of African Girl Writing Solution Of Sums

Hanna Beech

Hanna Beech has been teaching for ten years and has a range of experience across Key Stages 1 and 2 in a large Primary School in Kent. She is a phase leader for Years 3 and 4, and also leads on teaching and learning for...
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Do your pupils forget core maths strategies?

Remembering maths strategies is hard going but not impossible. Try these seven ideas to embed mathematical strategies once and for all!

Remember the maths

  1. Repeat the strategy verbally working through examples, step by step.
  2. Model the strategy silently, asking a child to narrate as you model.
  3. Ask pupils to talk their partners through the strategy, missing one key step. Partners have to identify the missing step.
  4. Ask pupils to create an instructional poster for the strategy or make a vlog to explain it.
  5. Provide the strategy steps on strips of paper. Ask pupils to order the steps as rapidly as they can. As a challenge, throw in a random step to see if they can identify it as unnecessary.
  6. Share the strategy with parents and carers to ensure no confusion between home and school approaches.
  7. Buy some menu holders and place strategy posters inside them. Put a menu holder on each table.

Why are they good strategies?

Many mathematical strategies can contain multiple steps, making them easy to forget! Once a strategy is fully understood and embedded, it can become automatic, making the work easier.


Once a strategy is embedded, remove the support and scaffolding to allow pupils to retrieve the steps from their memory instead.

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