We ran a trial from February 2015 until the summer:
- Using Gattegno’s theory of colour and retention, we implemented a scheme of work based on Book 1 ‘Mathematics with numbers in colour’;
- Since Sept 2015, Book 1 is being used by both Year 1 classes at each of our schools;
- Children learn to understand the relationships between coloured rods to explore basic mathematical concepts;
- We have extended the teaching into Year 2 at Copdock Primary, our partnership school, in most lessons. Much of the maths curriculum is being delivered through use of the rods and this has shown good understanding of the structures behind maths;
- We found that the children wanted to write down what they were doing with the rods and record it in some way. The desire to write about maths has been led by the children, rather than the teacher. It was then easy to use letters for the rods e.g. 'w' for 'white rod', thus using simple algebra with Year 1;
- The method has developed children’s reasoning, understanding of difference, solving missing number equations, and led to a deeper understanding of odd and even. We have found even the least able children can access and talk about the rods.