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Lesson Plan Rationale

Mathematics should be engaging, enjoyable and beneficial for all children. Not only should
new ideas and concepts be taught, but teaching should focus on exploring misconceptions
that children may have (Haylock, 2010). Booker, Bond, Sparrow & Swan (2014) assert that
for children to become competent and confident mathematic learners emphasis must be
placed on understanding what is happening and why; so that understanding can be applied
to new situations. After analysis of a Mathematics Assessment Interview (MAI) completed by
a Grade One student, it was apparent that she possessed a basic knowledge of number
sequence but still used a count all strategy for addition problems. A lesson focused on
counting on and counting back was created as Grade One students should be able to use
multiple counting strategies to solve simple addition and subtraction problems (ACARA,
2013). The use of a game and storybook within the lesson was chosen in order to engage
students and make mathematics relatable and exciting. Games allow children to verbalise
their thoughts and assist in developing relational understandings (Booker et al., 2014); while
the use of childrens literature inspires active, enthusiastic and authentic exploration of
mathematical concepts (Ward, 2005). When children are presented with opportunity to
explore, problem solve and take risks during their learning, they are more likely to develop
deeper understandings and skills for life. The lesson focuses on extending prior knowledge
the students already possess by challenging their current level of thinking. This challenge is
what expands the learning taking place (Boaler, 2009). Mathematics is a social process and
requires discussion to explore, extend, clarify and create new understandings (Askew,
1998). This is why discussion is a key element of the lesson plan. Students are given
opportunity for whole class discussion, small group discussion in pairs and focused
discussion in small groups with the teacher. When children share their understandings with
one another and implement peer teaching, learning becomes much easier (Buschman,
2007). For this reason, children have been placed in mixed ability pairs. A common
perception of mathematics is that things are right or wrong and you are either good or bad
(Haylock, 2010). This is not the case, however, as there are many ways to explore
mathematical understandings, which is why children are given opportunity to share
alternative methods of working out with their peers. From this, children learn alternative
methods of problem solving that may be more effective or less time consuming, and are able
to feel proud of their understandings rather than confined to only one way of thinking and
processing mathematical concepts.

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Askew, M. (1998). Teaching primary mathematics: A guide for newly qualified and student

teachers. London, England: Hodder & Stoughton.

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2013). Mathematics.

Retrieved from


Buschman, L. (2007). Making sense of mathematics: Children sharing and comparing

solutions to challenging problems. Oregon, Ore: National Council of Teachers of


Boaler, J. (2014). The mathematics of hope: Moving from performance to learning in

mathematics classrooms. Retrieved from http://youcubed2.s3-website-us-west- 5.pdf?


Booker, G., Bond, D., Sparrow, L., & Swan, P. (2014). Teaching primary mathematics (5th

ed.). Sydney, Australia: Pearson Australia.

Haylock, D. (2010). Mathematics explained for primary teachers (4th ed.). London: SAGE


Ward, R. A. (2005). Using childrens literature to inspire K-8 preservice teachers future

mathematics pedagogy. The Reading Teacher, 59(2), 132-143.