Laying the Foundation for Multiplicative Thinking

Each Tuesday afternoon, instead of traditional meetings, teaching staff at Geelong College engage in either an individual or collaborative Learning Project.

As part of her Learning Project in 2014, Kelly Watson, a Year 5 Teacher at Geelong College, was investigating ways for students to shift from using concrete materials to more sophisticated mental strategies to assist with multiplicative thinking.

Kelly writes,

"Within the first two years of school, many children are able to combine models of numbers where all items are represented with skip counting to find solutions to simple multiplication problems (Sullivan, Clarke, Cheeseman & Mulligan, 2001). However, moving children beyond recognising the group structure to abstract thinking can present challenges for both students and teachers alike. This has become a focus for instruction in my Year 2 mathematics classroom as I aim to provide the types of experiences, models, strategies and discourse that assist students development of multiplicative thinking."

Kelly has presented this work to her peers across the College and has recently had an article published through the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers in the teacher journal Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom.

The article can be accessed in full here.

Congratulations Kelly!