Think Mentals 16/2/23
Think about the last time you tried something for the first time, like assembling a bookcase. Imagine how difficult the process would have been if some of the instructions were missing. Sure, you might be able to fumble your way through and finish it, but it might also result in some leftover pieces and crooked shelves.
The same applies to students independently learning a mental computation strategy for the first time. Some may be able to follow the strategy and figure out the steps, but fail to understand how to apply the strategy in other contexts. For other students, the guess work can be overwhelming and deterring.
Explicit teaching and effective modelling ensures your students are on the same page before they apply the mental computation strategy independently. If you’re using Think Mentals, try these resources and tips to support your explicit teaching of mental computation strategies:
If you have Think Mentals Digital Classroom, use the scaffolded slideshow to step through worked examples. Or, if you have Think Mentals Student Workbooks, use the projectable Strategy snapshots, available from www.thinkmentalsanswers.com.au, to demonstrate the worked examples.
When working through different strategies throughout the year, use consistent language and structure so the strategies are easier for students to memorise and recall. Implementing a whole-school approach to mental computation instruction is recommended to consolidate student learning across all year levels.
To see the order in which different strategies are introduced in each year level of Think Mentals, check out the Strategy Overview Guide.
Explicit teaching and effective modelling ensures students are all on the same page about aims and processes before they try out the mental computation strategy independently.
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