Mathematics education uncovered and recovered

Tidy-up time

I walked into a Year 1 classroom and was overwhelmed by the wall charts surrounding me. Numbers and shapes drawn in different fonts, colours and sizes, with heads and legs of animals, looked quite aggressive. I guess the children had got used to the zoo in which they spent every school day, but I doubt that the visual overload was conducive to learning.

One should look around cluttered classrooms, asking themselves whether a particular chart on the wall is helpful or misleading, meaningful or just distracting. If subjected to proper testing, the manipulatives traditionally found in primary schools might prove to be useless for learning. Teaching in a tidy classroom with just enough multifunctional objects and thought-provoking diagrams would become a bit more productive.

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