All posts by mhairi-stratton

The 2008 Maths Recovery Conference

This Maths Recovery conference will give you the opportunity to hear from the developers of the Maths Recovery programme, the authors and contributors of the books and to participate in workshops run by Maths Recovery practitioners from other countries.

The conference will be held in the Castletroy Park Hotel, Dublin Road, Limerick, Ireland.

Full details, including how to book, are available by downloading the conference leaflet: mrc-conference-2008.pdf.

First Feedback on MR Tracker CPD

30 teachers from the Preston Lodge Cluster have had initial CPD in MR Tracker. This is the first time that this training has taken place and the initial feedback has been very positive.

Here are the evaluation comments:

  • Next steps for teaching are much clearer
  • The assessment resulted in the teacher knowing each individual child’s strengths and weaknesses much better
  • The assessment gave us a better understanding of the strategies being used by the children
  • Created a greater awareness of the concepts of before and after
  • The knowledge gained from an assessment should prevent any child being moved on to more complex processes when the evidence suggests that they haven’t mastered some of the basic concepts.
  • It allows you to pinpoint difficulties
  • The teaching programme takes the children further on e.g. beyond 20, it encourages the teacher to move them on.
  • We have learned that interactive materials can be used as a successful assessment tool ( written assessments can give a false indication of a child’s ability)
  • Mr Tracker encourages you to track the child further than you may expect – you don’t stick to the level they are working at with planned work e.g. A1, A2
  • Staff found ‘no praise’ difficult
  • We learned not to make assumptions about what children can and cannot do
  • Children take a while to absorb a concept
  • We were not limiting the child’s use of maths ( by sticking to A1,A2 etc)
  • There are really good activities which benefit all the children
  • Staff wondered how filming affected the child’s response
  • The children took longer than expected to complete the assessment
  • Children needed sufficient vocabulary to explain how they worked out an answer
  • Staff need guidance about when and how frequently we should use the assessments ( time allocation)
  • It was a good experience!
  • Surprised to note extent of reversals e.g. 15 for 51
  • The test could be used across all ages P1 – Level D
  • EOL child could sort out numbers in teens, tried very hard to sort out numbers 20 and above by looking at the units
  • We would need to carry ou the assessment quite a few times to get slick at it
  • Could you use the assessment in smaller blocks e.g. addition only?
  • Next steps for teaching are much clearer
  • The assessment resulted in the teacher knowing each individual child’s strengths and weaknesses much better
  • The assessment gave us a better understanding of the strategies being used by the children
  • Created a greater awareness of the concepts of before and after
  • The knowledge gained from an assessment should prevent any child being moved on to more complex processes when the evidence suggests that they haven’t mastered some of the basic concepts.
  • It allows you to pinpoint difficulties
  • The teaching programme takes the children further on e.g. beyond 20, it encourages the teacher to move them on.
  • We have learned that interactive materials can be used as a successful assessment tool ( written assessments can give a false indication of a child’s ability)
  • Mr Tracker encourages you to track the child further than you may expect – you don’t stick to the level they are working at with planned work e.g. A1, A2
  • Staff found ‘no praise’ difficult
  • We learned not to make assumptions about what children can and cannot do
  • Children take a while to absorb a concept
  • We were not limiting the child’s use of maths ( by sticking to A1,A2 etc)
  • There are really good activities which benefit all the children
  • Staff wondered how filming affected the child’s response
  • The children took longer than expected to complete the assessment
  • Children needed sufficient vocabulary to explain how they worked out an answer
  • Staff need guidance about when and how frequently we should use the assessments ( time allocation)
  • It was a good experience!
  • Surprised to note extent of reversals e.g. 15 for 51
  • The test could be used across all ages P1 – Level D
  • EOL child could sort out numbers in teens, tried very hard to sort out numbers 20 and above by looking at the units
  • We would need to carry ou the assessment quite a few times to get slick at it
  • Could you use the assessment in smaller blocks e.g. addition only?
  • Next steps for teaching are much clearer
  • The assessment resulted in the teacher knowing each individual child’s strengths and weaknesses much better
  • The assessment gave us a better understanding of the strategies being used by the children
  • Created a greater awareness of the concepts of before and after
  • The knowledge gained from an assessment should prevent any child being moved on to more complex processes when the evidence suggests that they haven’t mastered some of the basic concepts.
  • It allows you to pinpoint difficulties
  • The teaching programme takes the children further on e.g. beyond 20, it encourages the teacher to move them on.
  • We have learned that interactive materials can be used as a successful assessment tool ( written assessments can give a false indication of a child’s ability)
  • Mr Tracker encourages you to track the child further than you may expect – you don’t stick to the level they are working at with planned work e.g. A1, A2
  • Staff found ‘no praise’ difficult
  • We learned not to make assumptions about what children can and cannot do
  • Children take a while to absorb a concept
  • We were not limiting the child’s use of maths ( by sticking to A1,A2 etc)
  • There are really good activities which benefit all the children
  • Staff wondered how filming affected the child’s response
  • The children took longer than expected to complete the assessment
  • Children needed sufficient vocabulary to explain how they worked out an answer
  • Staff need guidance about when and how frequently we should use the assessments ( time allocation)
  • It was a good experience!
  • Surprised to note extent of reversals e.g. 15 for 51
  • The test could be used across all ages P1 – Level D
  • EOL child could sort out numbers in teens, tried very hard to sort out numbers 20 and above by looking at the units
  • We would need to carry ou the assessment quite a few times to get slick at it
  • Could you use the assessment in smaller blocks e.g. addition only?
  • Next steps for teaching are much clearer
  • The assessment resulted in the teacher knowing each individual child’s strengths and weaknesses much better
  • The assessment gave us a better understanding of the strategies being used by the children
  • Created a greater awareness of the concepts of before and after
  • The knowledge gained from an assessment should prevent any child being moved on to more complex processes when the evidence suggests that they haven’t mastered some of the basic concepts.
  • It allows you to pinpoint difficulties
  • The teaching programme takes the children further on e.g. beyond 20, it encourages the teacher to move them on.
  • We have learned that interactive materials can be used as a successful assessment tool ( written assessments can give a false indication of a child’s ability)
  • Mr Tracker encourages you to track the child further than you may expect – you don’t stick to the level they are working at with planned work e.g. A1, A2
  •  Staff found ‘no praise’ difficult
  • We learned not to make assumptions about what children can and cannot do
  • Children take a while to absorb a concept
  • We were not limiting the child’s use of maths ( by sticking to A1,A2 etc)
  • There are really good activities which benefit all the children
  • Staff wondered how filming affected the child’s response
  • The children took longer than expected to complete the assessment
  • Children needed sufficient vocabulary to explain how they worked out an answer
  • Staff need guidance about when and how frequently we should use the assessments ( time allocation)
  • It was a good experience!
  •  Surprised to note extent of reversals e.g. 15 for 51
  •  The test could be used across all ages P1 – Level D
  • EOL child could sort out numbers in teens, tried very hard to sort out numbers 20 and above by looking at the units
  • We would need to carry ou the assessment quite a few times to get slick at it
  •  Could you use the assessment in smaller blocks e.g. addition only?

MR Tracker Trainers

In the summer term of 2007 East Lothian trained 15 experienced Maths Recovery teachers to become MR Tracker trainers.

These Maths Recovery teachers are key to making MR Tracker a success. Not only will they be training class teachers in this approach but will then support implementation in their cluster schools.  

The MR Tracker trainers in East Lothian are: 

Mhairi Stratton (Humbie), Therese Laing (Humbie), Janice Inverarity (Sanderson’s Wynd), Janis MacCaig (Windygoul), Janice Inverarity (Sanderson’s Wynd), Janis MacCaig (Windygoul), Sheena Aitken (Dirleton), Pam Clark (Longniddry), Amanda Hutchison (Longniddry), Gail Corr (Cockenzie), Anne Mackenzie (Prestonpans Infants), Janette Gordon (East Linton), Lindy Lynn (Innerwick), Susan Whiteford (St Mary’s), Anne Hubbard (Knox Academy), Alison Elgin (Musselburgh Burgh), Sharon Dixon (Pinkie)

Introducing MR Tracker

In East Lothian we have been piloting MR Tracker. Here is a brief overview: 

Maths Recovery is a system of teaching based on a clear understanding of the conceptual stages by which young children acquire knowledge and understanding of number. The rigour of the knowledge that underpins Maths Recovery allows teachers to make classroom learning and teaching more effective at all ages. It is very useful for ‘recovering’ children who are failing to grasp number, and it also can be used to develop number strategies in average and very able children.

MR Tracker is a joint project between East Lothian Council and The Maths Recovery Council UK & Ireland. It is has been adapted from the SNAPTM teacher development programme (Math Recovery Council US) to provide class teachers with an insight into Maths Recovery, moving the teaching of numeracy to a constructivist and active approach. 

Assessment and Tracker:

The individual assessment interview has been designed to focus on the key aspects of early numeracy development. It does not culminate in a score. Rather,the interview indicates a child’s performance along progressions, in several aspects of early numeracy development. The progressions for each child (Tracker) provides a clear view of each child’s understanding of the various aspects of numeracy. This data is invaluble in planning active numeracy sessions that differenciates  for a range of student development. A class tracker can also be completed in order to provide a scaffold for organising active numeracy sessions that will insure progress for each child.

The Training:

MR Tracker Training is a two-day professional development programme based on the new Maths Recovery book: Teaching Number in the Classroom with 4-8 year Olds ( (Wright, R.J., Stanger, G., Stafford, A. and Martland, J. (2006). London: Paul Chapman Pub./Sage) ISBN 1-4129-0758-6. )  Within these two days candidates learn more about the ways in which children acquire early number; understand how to conduct and use a diagnostic assessment interview & use Maths Recovery teaching strategies to create effective active-numeracy lessons within their classroom.

Candidates will also be provided with an easily accessible folder that provides:

•§  Individual assessment interviews to establish where the child is with early numeracy. 

•§  Developmental progressions with anchor points to inform daily teaching 

•§  A cumulative record of each child’s growth

•§  Class profiles for more effective planning of Active Learning

•§  Hands on activities that enable every child to be successful in understanding number.

•§  Teaching Number in the Classroom with 4-8 year Olds. (Wright, R.J., Stanger, G., Stafford, A. and Martland, J. (2006). London: Paul Chapman Pub./Sage) ISBN 1-4129-0758-6

•§  MR Tracker teachers are supported by fully trained Maths Recovery Teachers. In addition to practical advice,  Maths Recovery teachers can, through diagnostic assessments and interventions, support identified children.

 Look out for news on how the programe is developing here.