9th March 2001 at 00:00
DEVELOPING NUMERACY: solving problems. Reception, Y1, Y 2, Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6. Aamp;C Black pound;14.99 each

These books will be welcomed by teachers who have difficulty translating the numeracy framework's problem-solving objectives into classroom activities. Each contains about 60 photocopiable worksheets, covering most aspects of the problem-solving strand.

The worksheets are attractive and well laid out and use a minimum of text. The problems are thoughtful and - as far as is possible - open-ended, and really do exercise problem-solving skills.

Although many activities are intrinsically differentiated, the authors provide extra differentiation by replicating some worksheets but with different ranges f numbers and by including some extension activities.

There are some general suggestions for the teacher in the introductions and, most usefully, at the foot of each worksheet. The introduction also has suggestions for short whole-class activities that would be suitable for oral or mental lesson starters.

But the key problem-solving objective of children orally explaining their reasoning in solving a problem has not been sufficiently addressed. A worksheet is obviously not the place to do it, but there could have been suggestions to the teacher on ways of facilitating the objective - for example, through class or paired discussions and careful questioning by the teacher.

Paul Harrison

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