Professional Development

Exploring computational fluency: connecting structures, strategies and symbols

Fluency is one of the aims of the National Curriculum in England, but is often unhelpfully associated with memorising facts. Drawing on work with primary schools, including the research project ‘Understanding Structured Number Lines’ (2019), Dr Ruth Trundley explores the importance of connecting different representations of mathematics and in particular how the meaning attached to symbols is essential in supporting fluency. She uses one particular subtraction and one student’s response to that subtraction as a vehicle for interrogating understanding, potential barriers to understanding and implications for teaching and learning mathematics.

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About Dr Ruth Trundley

Dr Ruth Trundley is a maths adviser interested in developing equitable settings, where all learners are supported to participate and have the potential to influence each other, and where the focus is on mathematical consensus building as part of a learning community. Her doctorate focussed on the development of counting, pre-school, and she has led numerous action-research projects since first working on Raising Attainment in Numeracy (1997/8). Currently she is exploring the link between executive function and mathematics, working in collaboration with colleagues from the Centre for Mathematical Cognition at Loughborough University, and considering how to bridge the divide between research and classroom practice.

Ages: Early years, Primary