Here are 5 top tips for developing calculation fluency in maths:

  1. Accept that students need instant recall skills around number bonds, times tables etc. and practise these regularly and systematically in lots of different formats.
  2. Use manipulatives and representations to develop key concepts before moving on to the symbolic, formal methods. Great websites like allow you to demonstrate how to use practical equipment on your projector.
  3. Encourage students to develop written methods alongside the use of manipulatives. This will support the transition away from the use of equipment. They should be encouraged to spot ‘What’s the same and What’s different’ during this process.
  4. Introduce methods in a coherent sequence across your school. A good whole school calculation policy that references models, techniques and core recall skills is vital. A good example can be found here.
  5. Introduce ‘Number Talks’ in your classroom and change the emphasis from finding the right answer to celebrating different approaches. How many different ways can your students calculate 18 x 5 ? Flexible thinking and the ability to pick the most efficient strategy is the essence of fluency.

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5 TOP TIPS FOR_ Developing calculation fluency

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