New Busy at Maths Scheme

April 23, 2024
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0 minute read

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Hi everyone,

I am sharing here a review on the new Busy at Maths scheme, in line with the new maths curriculum. First of all, let me preface this post by saying that the new maths curriculum, is, in my opinion, a very positive change. We had our first training day a few weeks ago and it was excellent. There is a huge amount of resources available on the Oide website, from plans and schemes, to resources for all areas of the curriculum. I’d definitely recommend having a look at it if you haven’t already.

CJ Fallon sent me the junior infants to second class books and resources but I will be focusing primarily on the first and second class levels.

Initial thoughts are:

The online resources are very strong. I use digital resources a lot in maths and this is a key factor for me in any book scheme. The digital activities are linked to each chapter of the pupil book and are also embedded in the ebook. I tried some of these with my daughter who is in junior infants and she enjoyed them. They are bright, engaging and user friendly.

The programme is divided into three sections: maths eyes, maths chat, and maths action activities, all of which link back to the new primary maths curriculum. I really like how the ‘maths eyes’ activities bring in maths all around us, and makes the class really think about maths in their environment and in the ‘real world’. This is a really nice part of the programme. The maths chat part brings in talk and discussion, which is such a key part of the maths curriculum. It encourages the children to work together and discuss how and why they came to a conclusion, or how they figured out the problem etc. It encourages the fact that how you came to your answer is just as important if not more so, than the final answer. The maths action section encourages playful learning and mathematical modelling and really encourages the use of hands on materials and manipulatives in each lesson. That is probably one of my favourite parts of this programme, the focus on playful and hands on learning. I did this all the time when I had first class but it took time to come up with and find lessons, whereas now they are all in the book!

Tactile numbers are used in the junior infant book to encourage multi-sensory learning. The junior infant book also comes with a free mini whiteboard which is double sided, with a blank side and a five/ ten frame for junior and senior infants. This is such a good idea! A home school links book also comes with the junior and senior programme. They are optional extras with first and second.

The teacher book is excellent, and very comprehensive with editable daily, weekly and yearly plans! The glance cards are handy for using day to day, and there’s loads of group and whole class activities too. A strong, user friendly teacher resource book is a must for me! The teacher resource books also has Maths Action Stations- these are a selection of stations for each chapter that the teachers can make use of, very hand for stations and team teaching. There is also a manipulatives toolkit available to purchase separately which accompanies the programme. It includes everything needed to cover the material in the pupils books. I’ll share photos of that below!

I would say overall it covers the new maths curriculum very well in a way that is very relevant to the children in a way they will understand and enjoy.

The first and second class books are quite strong. The programme also includes a pupil profile assessment booklet which will make keeping track of assessments so much easier! A very handy aspect of this programme is that the digital programme includes an interactive ebook where all the games, activities, and slideshows are embedded to the ebook for easy access. It can be so annoying going from tab to tab trying to get the ebook up, then the online resources during a lesson so to have them all in one place is something I know I will find very useful!

Some aspects I like about the pupil book is the fact that it is very high in colour and images which makes it instantly more appealing to students. It also has the mathematical concept you’re focusing on at the bottom of each page, with the learning outcome at the top of the page. I like this because it is so important to share the learning outcome with your class at the start of the lesson. The maths action activities are fun and hands on, and simply saves you the teacher going to look for hands on activities on Pinterest etc, they are all here in the book. The challenge section at the end of each chapter is great too to challenge different abilities. These are open ended problems for the children to figure out together. They reinforce the learning in the relevant chapter.

I will leave a link here to the home page which has a helpful video with more information on the scheme:

https://newbusyatmaths.cjfallon.ie/information/

https://www.cjfallon.ie/books/primary/

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,Manipulatives Toolkit
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