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Curriculum News Flash

Barvember        Maths using Bar Modelling                 November 2020

Maths is not just about skills and right and wrong answers- it is about reasoning and logic and creative problem solving. It is a wonderful adventure. Often our children gain a keener grasp on their basic skills and methods when they are applying them in the context of solving a problem than when they are learning them in isolation and we  are constantly surprised and inspired by what comes bubbling up to the surface from the depths of their young minds. 

At Minchinhamnpton we often get involved in something called ‘Barvember’ run by the White Rose Maths team. Here is their explanation of what Barvember is:

‘What is Barvember? What’s the point?

Barvember is organised by White Rose Maths to encourage everyone to use the bar model. We believe that the Bar Model is a useful tool for helping children visualise and then solve maths problems. Even some of the most complex problems can be seen much easier when represented visually.

Barvember provides an opportunity for everyone to just do some maths.

We know that the bar model is not the ONLY way of visualising a problem and we also know that these problems can be solved in the other ways.

Why should we take part?- We hope for the fun of doing maths.

Do I need to understand bar models to take part?

We have designed the problems so that people who have no or limited experience of bar modelling can still get involved.’

Yesterday one of our pupils, Isabel, was the winner of the daily Barvember. 

‘I like doing Barvembers a lot because they’re really fun, in the sense that they are challenging and it feels really good when you find the solution; in fact it feels good when you are in the middle of solving it as well. At the start I usually seem to have no idea and then I just settle into it and the rest of the world kind of disappears because you’re so interested in it and deep in.’ 

Mrs McCarron told me that in all the time (2 years) of doing Barvembers in school, this is the first time we have had a winner. Well done Isabel!



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