Making maths a very accessible subject

Visible Maths. Using representations and structure to enhance mathematics teaching in schools By Peter Mattock Crown House Publishing: paperback, 312 pages

I think that Visible Maths is a great resource for teachers who are looking for a different method to help their learners understand mathematical concepts. The book covers a huge range of maths, from positive and negative numbers to irrational numbers and surds (expressions containing one or more irrational roots of numbers). It is a great way of helping to understand how representations can support learners’ understanding. The book is visually beautiful, with colour illustrations throughout

to clearly show examples of the representations being used. The representations thread throughout the book, allowing me to flip back and forth, and to really see the connections and links between them. Similarly, Mattock’s writing style is great – straightforward and clear, with some delightful maths tangents. There is a clear glossary, concise explanations support understanding, and the book reads in a non-patronising way. You will also find sections on frequently asked and anticipated questions, ideas and appropriate questions to consider, all of which help you to develop your understanding and confidence. Making mathematics accessible to all is something that is often

taken for granted, but for those who recognise it as a vital element in young people’s (or indeed, everyone’s!) education, here is the perfect place to start. Visible Maths challenges assumed knowledge and presents mathematics in a vibrant and engaging way.

Review by Danielle Watts, head of maths and English (16-18) at Barking & Dagenham College. Danielle is a Member of SET.


MEMBER OFFER SET members can claim 20 per cent off the RRP for Visible Maths, and all other Crown House publications on this page, when ordered from www.crownhouse., quoting code inTuition20. The offer is valid until 31 January, 2020.

By Peter Nelmes If you want to be a great teacher there is one question to bear in mind. It is a question that can seem unfair as it pays no heed to resources or staffing. It is a question that relates to the students’ needs as people, not yours as a teacher, and it applies across the age and ability range. The question is: how do students feel about being in your classroom? It is a question that takes in much more than your ability to impart knowledge of your subject. It encompasses their emotions as much as their thinking. In your mind they may be in your classroom as students, but in theirs they are there as people. They want a teacher who really ‘gets’ not just their understanding of the subject, but themselves as individuals. Therefore you need to think about how your lesson affects their feelings about themselves. Is being with you enhancing their sense of identity, belonging, empowerment and ambition? Even if a student cannot

well as teachers’ workloads and wellbeing.

This book has a slightly slower pace than Enser’s. It loses some momentum in the middle pages which deal with lesson case studies in various subjects, but these could be skipped and revisited later.

MEMBER OFFER SET members can claim 20 per cent off the RRP for this book

when ordered direct from Routledge. Use code SET20. Offer is valid until 31 December, 2020.

The Six Attributes of a Leadership Mindset By Joe Britto Crown House Publishing; paperback, 284 pages

Although not written specifically for the education sector, this book has lots to recommend it

to leaders and aspiring leaders in FE and training. Britto’s book is an engaging amalgam: part business school leadership course, part self-help/personal- growth manual, all sprinkled with insightful observation and anecdotes. It’s not short and is fairly dense, but it packs a lot in.

MEMBER OFFER See offer on Visible Maths above.

articulate these ideas, they still feel them. And, if they are feeling vulnerable in any way at all, they will also want a teacher who understands and accepts their perceived weaknesses – who will keep them safe from potential harm, be it failure, anxiety, anger or a simple loss of purpose. If you can teach the student as much as your subject, and make the experience a positive one, then you are on your way to greatness.

Peter Nelmes

is a teacher and author. His latest book is titled Troubled Hearts, Troubled Minds. Making sense of the emotional dimension of learning.

MEMBER OFFER SET members can claim 20 per cent off the RRP for Peter’s latest book when ordered from quoting code inTuition20. The offer is valid until 31 January, 2020.


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