Professional Development

Developing Fluency With Procedures Without Using Traditional Exercises

In this video, I introduce the idea of mathematical etudes, which are tasks designed to generate extensive practice of important mathematical procedures within an interesting, problem-solving context. I share four examples of etudes suitable for use in upper primary and secondary school, and describe some research which compared their effectiveness with that of traditional exercises.

The article for teachers that I refer to is here. The full research paper is here.

The lesson plans for the tasks are here, here, and here, and the worksheet for the enlargements task is here.

Watch the video

About Colin Foster

Colin Foster is a Reader in Mathematics Education in the Mathematics Education Centre at Loughborough University and Director of LUMEN (Loughborough University Mathematics Education Network). His research interests in mathematics education focus on the learning and teaching of mathematics in ways that support students’ conceptual understanding. He is particularly interested in finding ways to enable students to develop the necessary fluency in mathematical processes to support them in solving mathematical problems.

Age: Primary, Secondary